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The holidays are often time to be spent with friends and family; but, why not ring in the new by getting out in the community and trying something different? This coming month, the Elkridge Branch Library has a carefully selected grouping of activities for all age groups to come out and enjoy. So don't be a humbug — read on and select an activity that strikes your fancy.

For adults, the holidays can be a stressful time, so don't neglect your blood pressure as an early warning sign that your system is overtaxed. Come down to the Elkridge Branch Library Dec. 9 between 1 and 3 p.m. for a free walk-in assessment of your blood pressure by professionals with Howard County General Hospital.

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Additionally, the holidays are a time for traditions and Scott Morrison, an expert on Gaelic culture, is putting on a program to help participants to discover the stories behind Gaelic language and traditions as well as learn more about how these cultural practices have helped to define ethnic identities. So come on in to the Elkridge Branch on Dec. 3 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to explore the link between Gaelic music and poetry and enjoy some light refreshments.

Teens that enjoy the Divergent books can look forward to representing their factions with loom bracelets made during a crafty program at the library. On Dec.15 from 7 to 8 p.m. all factions are welcome to come and make rainbow fishtail bracelets in faction fashion. If you are unsure where you belong, an Aptitude Faction Test is available. Registration is required, so call ahead to reserve your materials at 410-313-5077.

Kids ages 4 and up will love the opportunity to meet Frag and Toad from the Red Branch Theater. Come on in to the library on Dec. 1 at 10:15 and 11:15 am to enjoy amphibian stories and songs. A ticket is required so register in advance by calling 410-313-5077.

And lastly, in true holiday spirit, the library is putting on a live reading performance of "The Polar Express." Window or aisle, every passenger gets a wonderful view of a slide-show telling of Chris Van Allsburg's classic; but, space is limited so registration is required. Call 410-313-5077 for more information.

Don't forget to reach out to your community with your holiday event. Printing deadlines require 10 days of prior notice to ensure that your information will be available to the public in a timely manner. Send your community notes to Rebecca Lippa at rebecca_lippa@hotmail.com.

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