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#22323 - 08/18/04 10:45 AM HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
playsteinway Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 232
Loc: Mason, Michigan
This is usually the time of year I start ordering my holiday music for students so that they get the best selections and choices without being shut out due to supply and demand by many teachers.
Besides the Faber Christmas books that are out there (and other method books with holiday titles) what books have you found that work well with students and what level(s) are they best for?
I am always interested in what other teachers do for holiday music.

One non method type book that my intermediate students really enjoy is called "BACH AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE".
It is published by Cherry Lane Music and runs about $8.00. It has the nicest arrangements of traditional music, but they are all in the style or form of a famous composer. My students like it because they are songs they recognize but also a little challenging due to the classical arrangements of them in different styles (not the same old same old). Arrangements vary from Mozart to Joplin in style.

Another one for late elementary level playing is by Schaum. It is called "Popular Christmas Album". It runs about $7.00 and is published by Belwin Mills. It has stuff like Sleigh Ride, Little Drummer Boy, Silver Bells and Let it Snow (to name a few).

Finally, a third book that my students enjoy at holiday time is published by Alfred. It is one of the few Alfred series books that I will use. Titled "Christmas With Style" by Jerry Ray. Runs $7.00 a copy. Nice intermediate book of traditional favorites with a some playing flair.

For my beginners and elementary level students I use Faber supplemental books (both PA Christmas and the Christmas books that are in their supplemental library). They all enjoy these and like the arrangements (fairly easy for them to read).
Usually with holiday music I like to go just a tiny little bit below the level of the student so they can learn it well but have some fun with it also at the holiday season.

Would enjoy hearing other HOLIDAY MUSIC ideas or gifting ideas for students at the holiday....

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#22324 - 08/18/04 11:12 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Emilymae Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 191
I know you asked for non method books, but the favorites my students like are the Faber pretime to bigtime books, Piano adventure Christmas books, Hal leonard Christmas books, Alfred's Top Hits Christmas books. Those make up the staples in my studio. Hal leonard is probably used them most because of the CD accompaniment discs.
Non method books are for my more intermediate students and adults. They like Bober's Christmas arrangements and Kevin Costley's, Nutcracker arrangements from Alfred, Jeanine Yeager has some nice Christmas books and Catherine Rollin. I'd like to try some from Philip Keveren this year.
I also go a little bit below level so they can play several. I start holiday music the Monday after Thanksgiving. I absolutely love teaching Christmas music!

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#22325 - 08/18/04 11:55 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Dolce Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 934
Loc: USA
Do you all have a favorite place online to purchase music from?

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#22326 - 08/18/04 01:14 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
shannonspiano Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 694
Loc: WI
Philip Keveren's "A classical Christmas," A celtic Christmas," and "Jingle Jazz" are all ones that I really enjoy. Other easier pieces include: "Jesus is Born" published by HL, And the adult fjh christmas books..
"bach around the christmas tree" isn't that published by HL it was written by Carol Klose who is an exclusive HL writer..
I haven't even thought christmas yet.. Just mailed out my policy letter and first bill yesterday.
_________________________
www.shannonspianostudio.com

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#22327 - 08/18/04 01:30 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Carole Offline
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Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
Me either! I use almost all Faber Christmas PA or Pre-Bigtime. Now and then I will use Alfred's Top Hits Christmas for more secular. Melody Bober's two Christmas Encore (?) books (FJH) for intermediates are very good. For US, you can't go wrong with Mark Hayes or Marilyn Ham.

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#22328 - 08/18/04 05:37 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
playsteinway Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 232
Loc: Mason, Michigan
I get all my music from Sheetmusicplus.com
No matter what size order you can get $2.99 shipping anywhere in the US.
I used to use Patti Music Co. and will NOT use them anymore and I don't reccomend them anymore to anyone. Here is why:
I ordered music for my students. $160.00 worth to be exact. Well the manager of the store calls me and tells me that they need a second check for the same amount because they did'nt get one. (HA! I sent it certified mail with signature return and had proof!!) So I call my bank and stop payment on the check and send a new one since no actual confirmation in mail came. Three weeks later I get a string of harrassing phone calls saying that "you either pay us NOW or we are going to file a law suit". Well this time I did have proof of the check being delivered though it was'nt cashed. THEY WERE SITTING ON MY CHECK. I even verified it with my bank if it was cashed or not (it was'nt).
I put my mail proof of the check along with a copy of the order AND the xerox copy of the checks I had sent into a piano orders file and stopped doing business with them. These people are JERKS and I would'nt do any business with them if they PAID me to.

I now go to SHEETMUSICPLUS.COM and have been very happy with them. They are great at sending you confirmation when they receive your order, your payment method is confirmed with you AND they did a nice follow up call with me after my first order to be sure I was happy with their service and to give me the date my order would ship from their store.

I have to go through mail order because the music stores up here don't have big selections or will only sell to their teachers/students (which I think is kind of dumb but.....)

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#22329 - 08/18/04 06:37 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
One of my holiday favorites with students is ChordTime Jewish Favorites (2B) by the Fabers - just fantastic to have all of these in one great collection.

I've fortunately had excellent luck with Patti, both with everyday type service and on special thangs. They actually let me return 8 Alfred Summer Camp books for full credit after I had hung on to them for over a year because I kept procrastinating on finding a box to mail them back in! \:o

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#22330 - 08/18/04 08:27 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
playsteinway Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 232
Loc: Mason, Michigan
What are some things that you do special for holidays with students?
Mine usually go to an assisted living center or hospital and play for residents there. I let the students sign up if they are coming to participate and they pick their song at that time. I don't let anyone play the same song as someone else in the same performance ever. I want everyone to be unique and have their special highlight for the program. I had a teacher as a student and remember several people with the same song. I hated it because all you do is compare yourself to the other people with your song and it can get discouraging for alot of kids.
I also have the tradition at the christmas program that whoever picks "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" plays LAST. Usually I get the best student of the quarter to play it in addition to their selected piece and it is seen as an honor to play this song at the program. Someone different does it each year- sometimes a primer kid, sometimes intermediate, etc.. so that they all get a special chance to do this honor in the program. We don't do cookies or anything afterwards because we don't know who can eat what with residents. The students all do a group picture after the program and they all get a 5x7 digital copy at their next lesson for their scrapbooks or memory boxes that they keep. We also send a copy of the picture with a thank you letter or card signed by all the students that following week for the home/hospital we play at thanking them for letting us come to play for them and wishing them a happy holiday. This makes for good community relationships as well as future invites back ( or allowing us back) in future play dates.

[ 08-18-2004: Message edited by: playsteinway ]

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#22331 - 08/18/04 09:15 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
We do something very similar. Our two performance opportunities for the fall (Oct and Dec) semester are at assisted living or senior places. I also try very hard to have everyone play something different. This is a little hard at Christmas, as everyone wants to play songs like Silent Night, etc. but I try to assign different things. Last year a junior high girl wanted to play "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and I printed up words for the seniors to sing along. We practiced at the lesson, her playing and me singing. When she played at the senior place, she got nervous and FLEW thru the piece in record time and no one could keep up! Everyone laughed (inc. the girl) and we just had a good time in spite of it. The students made greeting cards to pass out afterwards. I like the idea of a picture and a follow up thank you. Our senior centers have had their own refreshments for us to partake. Two of my students are of Jewish faith and they play their Hanukkah pieces. Oh and some of the kids do dress up at the Oct. performance. The seniors love to see them in their costumes.

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#22332 - 08/19/04 04:16 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Kalmar:
One of my holiday favorites with students is ChordTime Jewish Favorites (2B) by the Fabers - just fantastic to have all of these in one great collection.

I've fortunately had excellent luck with Patti, both with everyday type service and on special thangs. They actually let me return 8 Alfred Summer Camp books for full credit after I had hung on to them for over a year because I kept procrastinating on finding a box to mail them back in! \:o


Lisa, thank you so much for pointing out the fact that there are other religious faiths in addition to Christianity to consider during the holiday season.

And yes, Patti has treated me well over the years. \:\) I've never received unsatisfactory or subpar service from them.

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#22333 - 08/19/04 04:22 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
playsteinway Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 232
Loc: Mason, Michigan
To each their own on suppliers but I will NEVER use them again because of this. They treated me like C-R-A-P crap. Many of the teachers I know in my area heard what happened and several have stopped using them as well.
Anyway, like I said, to each their own, Im not going to get into or start a debate about it.

Now, back to christmas ideas and music if you please :0)

In the past years I have always given out an ornament with the year on it to students. After doing this for fourteen years though I want to do something different this year.
I thought about a small stocking for each student but what would I fill it with? I have wide range of ages to deal with from age 6 to highschool and a few adults. For adults, how do you recognize them without spending a fortune when it comes to stuff like this? Maybe a gift certificate to a book store or some such thing? Anyone have any ideas?

[ 08-19-2004: Message edited by: playsteinway ]

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#22334 - 08/19/04 04:51 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
Lisa, I'm starting to believe in Karma. ;\)

[ 08-19-2004: Message edited by: Jalapeņa ]

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#22335 - 08/19/04 05:42 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Christine Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 65
I order from Prima Music. You get a certain percentage off, and always get free shipping for any order of $100.00 or more. I know many teachers who have ordered from Patti and just rave about them. Has anyone checked out the pianovision.com site? It's relatively new, and they are running a special of 25%off all music and free shipping for any orders $50.00 or more. I ordered some reference books from them and can't wait to get them.

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#22336 - 08/19/04 05:56 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
Kelly, there should be a thread about gifts in the Archives. I remember people had some interesting suggestions, but I can't remember right now what they were. I have always thought the book marks that hold pencils would be a nice useful gift. I think you can find them in both Friendship House and Music in Motion. They run a little over $1 a piece with an order of 10 or more. That will probably be my gift to my students this year.

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#22337 - 08/19/04 06:00 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Uh, that would be from the Hindi, I think, not My People. ;\) \:D

 Quote:
Originally posted by Jalapeņa:
Lisa, I'm starting to believe in Karma. ;\)


For adults' little holiday gifts I might suggest nice bookmarks or Seattle chocolate bars (expresso flavor), found at the top of every 3rd the checkout counter at Target. Which reminds me, it's time for my nightly bar.......

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#22338 - 08/19/04 06:01 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
playsteinway Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 232
Loc: Mason, Michigan
I'll have to check those out. It would be something unique and used by them. :o)
I'm not opposed to spending money but I want it to be on something they can keep - not eat in three bites and its gone. Those bookmarks sound like a good idea as all my kids like to read... alot!

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#22339 - 08/19/04 06:15 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
The bookmark clips over pages so I was thinking of marking places in their music and then having a pencil right there in case they need it. Of course, it could be used for reading books too.

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#22340 - 08/19/04 08:40 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
 Quote:
Originally posted by playsteinway:
I'm not opposed to spending money but I want it to be on something they can keep - not eat in three bites and its gone.


If you truly would like some new ideas when you ask for them here, then don't diss the hands that take the time to feed you. ;\) Just a suggestion.....

[ 08-19-2004: Message edited by: Lisa Kalmar ]

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#22341 - 08/19/04 10:37 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
I looked up those bookmarks in Friendship House on P.55 of the back to school catalog. Now that I look at them, I am not sure they clip on. The clip is to hold the pencil I guess. Not sure. On that page, they also have jumbo paper clips with music designs. A bag of 6 clips cost 5.95. No pencil attachment though.

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#22342 - 08/20/04 03:08 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
88keys Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 18
Loc: Georgia
I agree with playsteinway. Sheetmusicplus is a great online sheet music store.

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#22343 - 08/20/04 07:58 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
I've received excellent service from virtually every music supplier I've ordered from. FJH, Patti and Burt & Co. (especially Burt's bargain bin) are my favorites. Alfred and Piano Lane are also good.

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#22344 - 08/20/04 09:20 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
alidoremi Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/11/02
Posts: 2120
Loc: California
One idea for Christmas gifts I got from this site a couple years back: cookie cutters in the shape of a musical note or grand piano. I filled them with red and green M&M's and wrapped each one in red cellophane. Cost for the cookie cutter was under a dollar a piece. Here is the site:

"www.foosecookiecutters.com"

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#22345 - 08/20/04 10:02 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Emilymae Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 191
I'm going to do the cookie cutters this year! What do you mean you fill them with m'm's? How do they stay in the shape?
I spend more on adult gifts because I usually only have 2-3 of them. I buy something like the Alfred small music dictionary. I would add the little treat gift along with it.

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#22346 - 08/20/04 11:16 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
I did cookie cutters too, Ali, last year but just tied them on a small bag of candy. I didn't get much feedback, but I thought it was a fun gift. BTW, Foose also has Mennorah shapes for Jewish students.

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#22347 - 08/20/04 11:16 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
playsteinway Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 232
Loc: Mason, Michigan
I love the cookie cutter idea. I never would have thought to use a cookie cutter that way! What do you wrap in? Im guessing colored cellophane or something that will stay snug.
Hmmm..... bookmarks and cookie cutters for the kids yeah, those could work. It would be cute on the card to print a cookie cut out recipe to attach as well so they have something to do with the cutter OR tin punch a hole in the cookie cutter and string it to do an ornament even before filling. It would be easy to tie on the bookmarks/pencil to each one also for giving.

I also like the idea of the dictionary for music for adults. Good idea- and useful.
Something I have done for students who move away in the past has been to give them the next level of lesson book or some supplement book so they have something to keep working for and learning.

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#22348 - 08/20/04 12:57 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
alidoremi Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/11/02
Posts: 2120
Loc: California
Thanks playsteinway for the PM. I cut out a square piece of red, green, or gold cellophane, set the cookie cutter in the middle of it, fill the cookie cutter with M&M's (you have to work on a flat surface), gather up the cellophane and tie it with curling ribbon. It's super easy. I think the younger kids (age 4-9) would like this more than the older ones (you know, baking Christmas cookies w/Mom), but I got lots of positive comments from parents.

I like the music dictionary idea, but those are always out of my budget for a Christmas or end of the year gift. This year I've included a music dictionary as part of the materials that my older students will get. EVERYONE should have one. Alfred has a smaller version that was $5 or so (and because I purchased them at Convention, they ended up being even cheaper).

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#22349 - 08/21/04 07:53 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Marcia Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 11/18/00
Posts: 354
Loc: Maple Grove, MN
I think I got this idea for gifts from someone in the PIANO CLUB. Last Christmas I gave Symphony Hershey bars. I printed out each student's name on glossy paper in colors to match the wrapper and pasted it over the word "Hershey's." They were a big hit, even with my teacher, who has her DMA! (And they are bigger than 3 bites.) I look for them on sale at CUB, Target, or Walmart. When they are $1 each, I buy about 50 of them.

[ 08-21-2004: Message edited by: Marcia ]

[ 08-21-2004: Message edited by: Marcia ]

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#22350 - 08/21/04 10:02 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Emilymae Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 191
Aldoremi, so is the cellophane wrapped so tight that the M&Ms stay in the cooie cutter or do you end up with M&m's everywhere? I'm sorry I'm being so dense, This is such a cute idea!

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#22351 - 08/21/04 12:52 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
alidoremi Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/11/02
Posts: 2120
Loc: California
Yes, the M&M's stay put. I made about 60 of these last year and had no problem.

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#22352 - 08/22/04 05:44 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Vivace' Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1717
Loc: USA
Since the thread is Holiday & Christmas Music and we're discussing gifts, I will give another plug for Patti Music.
I've never had a problem and neither has anyone else I know.

Christmas Music I've used would include
Catherine Rollin Christmas Impressions
all levels, and most of Faber's Christmas books. I also use several Dennis Alexander and Melody Bober books, but I don't have them here for reference.

I never use jazz arrangements of Christmas carols.....just me, I can't stand it. My students also perform for nursing home residents, and we keep the melody recognizable without excessive embellishment.
_________________________
Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us,and never stop learning." ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

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#22353 - 08/22/04 09:12 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
cindylouwho Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 36
Loc: Dover, PA
For Christmas gifts this year, I'm going to make little gift boxes. I'm going to print off some copies of Fur Elise and decopague it onto 3" round paper mache boxes. I'll finish the edge with black ribbon and a little bow on top. Then I'll fill it with Hershey Kisses. The boxes cost less than $1 each.
If you take the first printed page of music and trace out the box, then cut out the pattern. Then you can just copy the pieces to make doing several go faster.

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#22354 - 08/22/04 09:26 AM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Dolce Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 934
Loc: USA
For Christmas this year I will have a studio recital.

The recital fee that the parents pay will not only pay for recital expenses, but will pay for their child to receive a bust of the composer we will have been studying at group lessons this Fall. These will be handed out to students at the recital in the box they came in - unwrapped because everyone gets the same thing.

This has become a tradition in my studio, and it makes it very easy for me because I don't have to buy my students a present, their parents do. And they love their composer busts.

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#22355 - 08/22/04 05:24 PM Re: HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Syndi Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/20/04
Posts: 134
Loc: Louisville, Ky
For as long as I can remember, I have done an ornament for my kids at Christmas time. The first couple of years I used the little ornament apples, one year I found some wonderful jingle bells and the last few years I have just used the plain colored glass ornaments. I take a paint pen and put each students name and the name of the piece that they played at the Christmas recital on their ornament. I also put the year on it. I just thought that it would give them a record of what they had played over the years and also give them a set of ornaments to take with them when they go out on their own!!!

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