Photo Information

A group of military children craft gift tags and card holders during the Christmas Card workshop hosted by Marine Corps Community Services at Harriotte B. Smith Library aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, recently. Two workshops were offered, both of which were fully booked.

Photo by Pfc. Nik S. Phongsisattanak

Christmas comes early at decorating workshop

19 Nov 2011 | Pfc. Nik S. Phongsisattanak

When doors opened for Black Friday, mobs of people swarmed the shelves and rushed to grab merchandise, most of which will be gifts for Christmas. Buying gifts may have been difficult, but for some, the challenge lies in wrapping and decorating presents.

For patrons aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, the Christmas Card workshop hosted by Marine Corps Community Services at Harriotte B. Smith Library aboard the base offered guidance on crafting gift card holders and gift tags to perk up the presents.

“This is a way for people to put themselves into the gift,” said Anne-Marie Wiley, the instructor for the workshop.

The event was free to all authorized patrons and crafting supplies were also provided.

“I prepare the supplies to help make the crafting easier,” said Wiley. “Some of the participants say they don’t have any artistic talent or skill, but many of them proved themselves wrong. They do all the crafting on their own and bring out their activity.”

Wiley had pre-cut paper with score lines to help guide participants through the crafting. She also offered different stamp designs, paper colors and ribbons. Crafters personalized gift tags with their own designs.

The group attending the workshop immersed themselves with their projects. Their eyes were glued to their creations. Everyone was focused and the room was silenced, except for the snipping scissors and the shuffling from people finding their next decorative item.

“I really like this program because it gives kids who are a little bit older a chance to work together and it gets them motivated and excited for Christmas,” said Jill Gibler, a military spouse attending the workshop with her daughters. “This was also a way for us to learn about the other programs that the library offers.”

Cookies and beverages were offered to participants, but they seemed to be untouched and forgotten as participants became immersed in their creations.

Wiley offered two one-hour-workshops that day, both of which were full.  

“I enjoy watching the teens put their own spin on the basic project that I start them with,” said Wiley. “They’re taking the projects and they’re running with it. This is a hobby that I enjoy partaking, and to be able to share it with others is awesome.”

For more information on this event, call 451-3026 or visit