Where are you Christmas?

 

A song that I like during Christmas is the song “Where are You Christmas?”.   There are Christmases that I connect with it more than others. The Christmas after my father passed away was one of those that I felt disconnected from the holiday season. I didn’t know that I would just have 2 more Christmases with my mother after my father passed, that she would pass away as well. Though those aren’t the only times that the song has applied.

Life is about change and that change sometimes is hard to adjust to. My first real coherent memories of Christmas was the Castle Family Christmas when everyone tried to make it in to my grandparents to enjoy Christmas together. I remember the love felt during that time. The gifts weren’t special but the love was very special. Then it disappeared when my grandparents passed away. So Christmas changed.

100_5069

Sandi’s mom appreciating a christmas basket we put together one year

Then I got married and we would juggle which parents would get Christmas and which one would get Christmas Eve. With the kids, it became a special thing to me again. Watching their little faces light up to all the magic of the season. My wife’s father would do a Christmas hunt for her and myself every year and the kids would get such a kick out of watching us try to figure out the clues. We’d have Christmas at home as well. You know the kind where everyone is in their pajamas, you have hot cocoa and you watch with anticipation as the kids open their gifts.

IMGP1205

My Dad wanted a record player for sometime so surprised him with one.

The Christmas after my father passed felt so empty to me, but I never really said that to anyone. My father had a special place in his heart for Christmas, and with him gone it just felt empty to me. So Christmas had changed again. After mom passed, I found myself thinking how we needed to work out whose house we would go to on what day only to remember that we weren’t going to one house anymore. That was a hard change for me.

100_2884

My Mom would get excited over any gift no matter how small.

Christmas changes again as my wife’s father has Alzheimer’s. With some things becoming more difficult some traditions are going to the wayside because of his disease.

100_5076

Sandi’s Dad loves Labradors. Doesn’t matter the size.  Love seeing a smile on his and my daughter’s face.

Though one of the interesting changes for me is as the kids have gotten older and our own traditions change. Christmas was always me finding events for us to go enjoy. From a candlelight Christmas in Vandalia to a candlelight walk in Augusta. I was always finding different things to do with lights, etc. I would spend quite a bit of time on event sites planning out the holiday season. Those things have kind of gone away, especially with busy schedules and etc. Something I miss quite a bit.

This year is an off year for me. I am finding it hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit. My tree was just put up today but no decorations yet. I can’t even explain what is wrong, just that this year is different for me. Though I know one thing about Christmas will always remain with me and that is the Love. Love is the biggest connection I have to Christmas from that of the Christmas story to the love of family and friends. Love is the one thing that doesn’t change.

P1090425

Duquoin has a great light display with an inside thing with trees, shows, etc. My kids and wife being patient with me taking the pic.

 

In fact it is Love that makes some Christmases harder than others.   So no matter how Christmas changes for me, as long as I can feel the love it is a good Christmas.

I hope you have a great holiday season and hope you feel love this season and always

P1090338

Advertisements

Diversity in Christmas Lights

P1380267_1280x855

We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.”

Max de Pree

I enjoy Christmas lights. When the kids were younger we would go out and drive through neighborhoods looking at all the different lights people displayed. Monday night I got a special treat and was able to go with my wife to Missouri Botanical Gardens Glow night for photographers. They allowed tripods and monopods in the garden for that evening. It was wonderful. Though I would love to upgrade my camera and let my wife have my old one so when an opportunity comes up again we both can take pictures. She isn’t quite the photo buff I am but I felt like all she was doing was carrying my stuff that night and keeping me company.

Though last night I went out with the camera to find people’s homes that were displayed with wonderful lights. I had fun driving around and seeing the diversity. Though this got me thinking about diversity and lights. I was thinking how when you drive around looking at all the lights people put on their homes you realize how well that represents human diversity. You have colored lights, white lights, blue lights, simple displays, elaborate displays, and gloriously gaudy displays. I would drive by homes with just candles in the windows then others would accent framing of the house, and yet others would go all out so the people on the space station could see.

P1380161_1280x855

Diversity in the world is a basic characteristic of human society, and also the key condition for a lively and dynamic world as we see today.”

Jinato Hu

Humans are much the same you have diversity in color, culture, and language. Then you get into style, you have clothing choices, extroverts, introverts, and just well so much diversity. Sometimes you find someone like the simple candles in the windows house and other times you find the ones that boldly present themselves to the world. Also much like the lights on the homes, much of what we see is just an outside representation. We can’t see in the homes to see the inner workings and setup. We just see what is presented to us. Sometimes you get to glimpse inside the home but even that is just a small percentage of the whole house.

Could I tell you something about a person by merely looking at their Christmas light display? I’m sure some psychologist out there would say yes and then go through a list of things that the display represents about the person. Though really its just lights. It is what the person wants you to see. It says something about them indeed but it in no way gives you the depth of the home they are displayed on.

P1380252_1280x855

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?

– Bob Hope

I saw a home with a very simple display last night it was a couple lit trees and 2 pink deer. Now without knowing the individual that displayed those I could make wrong assumptions about that home. I could assume girls live there, maybe gays, or maybe it has a child that really really wanted the pink deer even though daddy really didn’t want pink deer in his yard, but he decided the smile on his child’s face was more important than what other people thought about it. The only way to know is instead of judging based on appearance is to actually talk to the people of the home. Maybe they just wanted something that would be a talking piece. 🙂

Also I noticed that the size of the home nor the neighborhood influenced the style of lights you saw. I saw in what some would call a higher rent district a Christmas monkey in the yard. Yet I saw a simple display of wreaths and lights in the older part of town. I saw homes with wonderful style and thought to their decorations and others that seemed to be put together with whatever they found on clearance last year. All still very beautiful and the people that put up the display equally as beautiful. They just wanted to share something with the rest of us and I was glad to be one of the people to enjoy that sharing.

P1380233_1280x855

Tradition: sit with husband in a room lit only by tree lights and remember that our blessings outnumber the lights. Happy Christmas to all. “ ~Betsy Cañas

Though just as there was diversity in the displays, I also saw there was also a common ideal of lighting the home for others to enjoy. The idea of sharing something with others in their own way. A common element of while being different we are all human no matter the light display and that is beautiful.

I even saw a 18 wheeler with a Christmas wreath tied to the front grill and lit up. You know what I learned about that driver from that simple display. He likes this time of year and wanted to share that. Maybe there is some reason to the wreath, maybe his child put it on there for him, I’ll never know. I do know that I appreciated seeing it and it made me smile.

P1380137_1280x855

The outdoor Christmas lights, green and red and gold and blue and twinkling, remind me that most people are that way all year round — kind, generous, friendly and with an occasional moment of ecstasy. But Christmas is the only time they dare reveal themselves.” – Harlan Miller

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. May Peace, Love, and Joy be in your hearts this season and in all seasons.

Thank you for your time. I do apologize this is my wife’s busy time of year so grammar errors will most definitely occur because she has enough to handle without her grammar impaired husband bothering her. 🙂

P1380254_1280x855

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.” ~Charles Dickens

Happy Holidays, Season greetings, Merry Christmas, and etc.

You know I don’t understand why there is an issue with any terms used for the holiday season.  Happy Holidays is appropriate given some celebrate Hannukkah, others Kwanzaa, etc plus you have new years all in this set. Various holidays happen during this time of year including those that see winter solstice as a holiday.  So I have a hard time grasping the anger, irritation, etc from Christians that want the use of Merry Christmas instead of any other greeting.  That stance first seems a bit self focused and negates the views and beliefs of anyone else celebrating during this time of year.  

On the flipside I don’t understand the issue people have with the use of Merry Christmas either. Christmas is a federal holiday. Yes it is a religious holiday but it is also a federal holiday thus for those not of the Christian faith or even those of the Christian faith that don’t observe Christmas, such as Jehovah Witnesses, it should be seen more as a term such as Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Fourth of July, etc. Just a term used in relation to a federal Holiday.  So I don’t understand the irritation from either side really.

From a business perspective I grasp the concept of wanting to utilize the term Happy Holidays or Season Greetings because you have a very wide base of customers and thus not knowing what your clientele observe it is more fitting to use Happy Holidays. Though again Merry Christmas would still be appropriate to me due to it being a federal holiday.

Though even more I’ve seen Christians in particular get mean when told happy holidays. They get snappy or in one instance I saw a lady yelling at the cashier that its Merry Christmas.  Which I think is a dispointing display from Christians.  I really don’t think Jesus would really care the term used. We cry political correctness but in the same breath we demand our way be done and forget anyone else feelings or beliefs. It doesn’t seem right.  Especially when you consider Jesus didn’t care about the religious affiliation of a person or etc.  Think the story of the Good Samaritan which is my favorite parable. 🙂

Also I don’t understand because no matter the term used the individual presenting it is wishing you well, happiness, and being nice. How do you turn ugly against a display of kindness? How do you get so caught up in your own self that you get angry over a gesture of kindness and caring.   It would be like getting angry because someone said “hi” instead of “hello”.   It is all gestures of kindness and the conveyance of joy and happiness. In fact season greetings is probably the least of the sayings to convey that. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas both are conveying a desire for you to have joy, happiness, and merriment.  Someone in turns gets irritated or pushes their own agenda.  I don’t grasp, but then again I am a bit more liberal in my views and don’t see an issue with the use of words if they are conveying some form of kindness.  I mean if they said have a crappy holiday I might draw an issue. 🙂

Just something I can’t get my head around, never could.  My dad would get so mad over the use of happy holidays and yes even he would get ugly with someone that said it.  I couldn’t understand it.

Wouldn’t it be much simplier to acknowledge the intent behind the message then the way it is worded. If we just accepted the kindness offered us without demanding it be on the terms we wanted I think the world would be a little better place. I mean if someone said Happy Hannukkah to me, I would say thank you, tell them I wasn’t jewish but then would wish them a happy Hannukkah.   Understanding, caring, love, kindness are way better then taking a hard stand on your soap box and being annoyed at people.

1 Corinthians 12:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

I hope you have an awesome and wonderful holiday season whatever holiday you may observe and a happy new year. 🙂

And thank you for taking the time to read.

Holiday Happenings in St. Louis and surrounding area

I create a list every year of stuff going on around, it is by no means comprehensive list and if you know of anything that isn’t on list that is happening in st. louis or surrounding area feel free to comment.   The top of list I tried to make on going stuff and then broke up into descending dates/weekends.  Hope this helps some people.  Have a wonderful holiday season. 🙂

on going:
St. Charles Christmas Traditions (Dates Vary)
DATE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2013 UNTIL TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2013
VENUE: ST. CHARLES, MISSOURI
CATEGORY: ANNUAL EVENTS
Every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday experience the magic of Christmas Traditions…where Christmas Past comes to life as Christmas Legends and Santas from around the world come alive. Over 30 characters join in the festivities, each wearing handcrafted clothing representing their heritage and carrying trading cards to give to visitors as a keepsake. A Santa Parade take place Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. http://www.stcharleschristmas.com
st. charles is probably one of my favorite spots to visit at least once during the holiday season with the old main street, carolers, etc.
—————
OMNIMAX Film: Jerusalem
DATE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2013 UNTIL MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014
VENUE: SAINT LOUIS SCIENCE CENTER IN FOREST PARK OMNIMAX THEATRE
CATEGORY: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
This film tells the real-life story of three young Jerusalemites and their families – Jewish, Christian and Muslim. Through their eyes, you will learn what it means to call Jerusalem home and experience celebrations and events that mark the high points of a year in the life of the city. Experience first-hand the vibrancy, beauty and rhythms of the Old City from the people who call it home. http://www.slsc.org/,
———————
OMNIMAX Film: Santa vs. the Snowman
DATE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2013 UNTIL TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2013
VENUE: SAINT LOUIS SCIENCE CENTER IN FOREST PARK OMNIMAX THEATRE
CATEGORY: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
In this film, tradition is turned on its head when an innocent and lovable Snowman discovers Santa’s Village and reaches in the workshop window to pick up a shiny, new flute. What ensues is an all-out, riotous battle for Christmas! http://www.slsc.org/,
————
Comedy-Mystery Dinner Theater: Christmas Show (Dates Vary)
DATE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2013 UNTIL TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2013
VENUE: THE LEMP MANSION RESTAURANT & INN
CATEGORY: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Every Friday and Saturday night, this lively period-piece who-done-it features a delicious dinner and audience participation. 7:00 p.m. http://www.lempmansion.com, (314) 664-8024
———–
44th Annual Way of Lights Christmas Display
DATE: Friday, November 22, 2013 until Friday, January 3, 2014
VENUE: National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
CATEGORY: Annual Events
Focusing on the birth of Jesus, this unique celebration of Christmas features a mile-and-a-half drive with over one million lights, electro-art displays, and life-size biblical statues taking visitors on a scriptural Journey to Bethlehem. Tree and wreath displays, an interactive childen’s village, camel rides and an indoor laser show add to the festivites. 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. nightly. On Family Night Tuesdays you can experience the lights aboard a horse-drawn wagon and enjoy discounts on activities. Rides start at 6:00 p.m. with rides every 1/2 hour until 9:00 p.m. Activities, restaurant & gift shop closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & New Year’s Day. http://www.snows.org/, (618) 397-6700
This year the stuffed animal is an elephant and is $12 donation to get it. 🙂
——-
28th Annual Winter Wonderland (Dates Vary)
DATE: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013 UNTIL WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1, 2014
VENUE: TILLES COUNTY PARK
CATEGORY: ANNUAL EVENTS
Slowly meander one mile through over a million twinkling holiday lights fashioned into over 30 display areas of favorite characters and festive scenes as well as a canopy of lights glistening throughout 75 acres of forest in Tilles Park in St. Louis County Sunday through Friday 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Horse-drawn carriage rides are available every night and Saturday nights are reserved for carriage rides only. Advance reservations are required for all carriage rides. Closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. http://www.stlouisco.com/ParksandRecreation/ThingsToDo/WinterWonderland,
imho the best light display in the area. We didn’t do the walk this year just because of temps, but even the drive through is beautiful.
————-
Now – Jan. 1, 2014 Lebanon’s Winter Wonderland
11119 Widicus | Lebanon, IL 62254 | 618-537-8428
This annual event is a step back in time. It is a trip to a much simpler time with scenes depicting several of the area’s attractions, wonderful childhood memories, and fantastic ideas. A trip through Lebanon’s Winter Wonderland is truly different from other attractions in the area. We don’t pretend to be the biggest, brightest, nor most technically advanced. LWW is a view of the holiday that everyone remembers! See all the hand painted scenes and wonderful reminders of a much simpler time. Colorful lights and displays of all types are ready for your enjoyment. LWW includes a wide variety of illuminated venues and a life-size Nativity Scene.
Admission: Free
————
Now – Dec. 30, 2013 Holiday Lights Fair
Du Quoin State Fairgrounds | 655 Executive Dr. | Du Quoin, IL 62832 | (618)542-8338
Three mile drive through Christmas lights display open every night! In the beautifully decorated Expo Hall there will be: live stage entertainment, craft vendors, Santa Claus, food, train rides for the kids, Kids Korner with activities, hourly drawings, model train display and more, weekends December 6-8, December 13-15 and December 20-22.
I recommend if you make the drive that you go on a fri,sat, or sunday so you can go in the expo hall which makes it a complete experience. We’ve done this a couple years now. Pretty cool
http://www.duquointourism.org/default.asp?nc=7985&id=412
Admission: $8 per car & $1 per person for tour buses
——————–
Now – Jan. 1, 2014 Holiday Light Extravaganza
American Farm Heritage Museum | Museum Avenue South of Route 127 | Greenville, IL 62246 | (618)664-3050
Nightly you can either drive through or walk to see the animated holiday scenes. On Fridays and Saturdays Hill’s Fort Cabin is open with 1800s Christmas and the American Heritage Railroad’s Polar Express is running.
Admission: Free Admission
this one is kind of unique but cool, especially if you pair it with going to vandalia for their state house candlelight tour.
————————
U.S. Bank Wild Lights
DATE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013 UNTIL SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2013
VENUE: THE SAINT LOUIS ZOO IN FOREST PARK
CATEGORY: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Walk through the Zoo’s holiday wonderland of spectacular light displays. Free parking will be provided on the Zoo’s South Parking Lot on Wells Drive. 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. http://www.stlzoo.org/, (314) 646-4771
—————
Winter Jewels (Dates Vary)
DATE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2013 UNTIL SUNDAY, JANUARY 5, 2014
VENUE: SOPHIA M. SACHS BUTTERFLY HOUSE
CATEGORY: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
For the first time in the Butterfly House’s 15-year history, Monarchs from El Bosque Nuevo, a butterfly conservation organization in Costa Rica, will populate the conservatory. The conservatory will also feature white flowers and foliage for a winter-like scene in tropical temperatures. Games and activities will allow children to learn more about the diversity of jewel-toned insects. 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (closed Mondays and Dec. 24 and 25 and Jan. 1). http://www.butterflyhouse.org, (636) 530-0076
—————-
HOLIDAY NOON
CONCERT SERIES
St. Louis, MO Wednesdays, December 4, 11, & 18, 2013
Noon – 1 pm
Old Courthouse, Broadway & Market Street, downtown St. Louis
To celebrate the holiday season the National Park Service will host holiday concerts at noon in the rotunda of the Old Courthouse three Wednesdays in December. Please come and enjoy the traditional holiday music and gaze at the authentic Victorian era decorations that adorn the Old Courthouse rotunda.
Free
———————–
Christmas Wonderland
Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Rock Spring Park
2100 College Ave.
Alton, IL 62002
Drive through Rock Spring Park to see more than 2.5 million lights adorning trees and lighting displays throughout the park. Visitors are sure to be captivated by the holiday spirit. A special walk-through night (no cars allowed) will be held the first Monday after Thanksgiving. Carriage rides will be available Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on a first-come, first served available basis (weather permitting). The cost is $30 for the first person; $5 each additional person, regardless of age. Reservations can be made for other evenings with advanced reservations (based on availability) by phoning Black Tie Carriage Company and Kris Mooney at (217) 242-1104 or Jason Clark at(217) 430-9404. General admission for Christmas Wonderland is a suggested donation of $7 for cars and small vans, or $1 per person for vehicles holding more than 10 people. For more information, call (800)258-6645 or (618) 465-6676.
———–
Now – Dec. 21, 2013 Downtown in December
Edwardsville, IL 62025 | 618-692-7538
Mark your calendar and bring your friends and family to second annual Edwardsvilles Downtown in December on December 1st  21st. Participating downtown merchants will have extended hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays until 7pm and on Saturdays until 6pm. During the extended shopping hours, there will be many activities going on downtown. Caroling will be heard along parts of Main Street and Vandalia Street. Santa will be greeting children in City Park Wednesdays from 5:30-8:30pm and on Saturdays from 1-4pm. The downtown merchants will also be in a competition for the best decorated store front window and the public will decide the winner. December 7th will be the Kick-Off to Downtown in December. Look and listen for caroling throughout the day. There will be a Winter Market from 8am-noon. Downtown merchants will be having sidewalk sales. Santa will be at City Park from 1-4pm. The Elves Workshop will be on Thursday, December 12th from 6-8pm or Saturday, December 14th from 2-4pm for ages 5-12. Drop your children off at The Wildey Theatre for some holiday fun and gift making. Children will leave with a hand full of gifts for their loved ones along with some great memories. Parents can enjoy some time alone for their own shopping. The cost is only $10 and pre-registration is required
http://www.cityofedwardsville.com/index.asp?Type=B_PR&SEC={5F565F86-4B4D-425F-B475-6018DE2E9CA4}&DE={6D76DCCB-9271-4E00-A751-39C7D9F0595E}
——————–
The Butterfingers Angel, Mary & Joseph, Herod the Nut, & The Slaughter of 12 Hit Carols in a Pear Tree (Dates Vary)
DATE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2013 UNTIL SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2013
VENUE: TOWER GROVE ABBEY
CATEGORY: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
A touching, funny, and highly imaginative retelling of the Christmas story complete with talking animals, a feminist-leaning Mary, a jealous Joseph, a fast-talking sheep, and one loud-mouthed overbearing tree. Stray Dog Theatre is also offering a holiday dinner at Tower Grove Abbey beginning at 6:30 p.m. before each Saturday performance. 8:00 p.m. (5-7, 12-14 & 19-21); 2:00 p.m. (21) http://www.straydogtheatre.com, (314) 865-1995
————————–

Weekend of dec 6th-8th:
First Annual Crestwood “Nite of Lights – Give and Glow Celebration”
DATE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013
VENUE: CITY OF CRESTWOOD, MISSOURI
CATEGORY: ANNUAL EVENTS
Explore Grant’s Trail lit up with more than 350 luminaries from Big Bend to Watson Road. The Friends of Father Dickson cemetery will showcase their new historical walking tour with bright torches lit throughout the grounds of the property along with a performance from The Community Gospel Singers. The grounds of the Sappington House will be aglow with 5 bonfires and The Barn will offer complimentary hot chocolate and spiced cider on their back porch as local carolers perform holiday music and Santa Claus is scheduled to arrive via bicycle at 6:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. http://sappinghouse.org
————-
Dec. 5, 2013 – Dec. 7, 2013 New Baden Festival of Trees
New Baden Civic Center | 100 East Birch | New Baden, IL 62265 | (618)588-4135
The New Baden Civic Center is turned into a winter wonderland, as dozens of Christmas trees are beautifully and uniquely decorated by local businesses, organizations, groups, families and individuals.
——————
The Screwtape Letters
DATE: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2013
VENUE: BLANCHE M. TOUHILL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AT UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS
CATEGORY: MUSIC
A provocative and wickedly funny theatrical adaptation of the C.W. Lewis novel about spiritual warfare from a demon’s point of view. 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. http://www.touhill.org/, (866) 516-4949
———–
A Christmas Carol
DATE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2013 UNTIL SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2013
VENUE: THE FOX THEATRE IN GRAND CENTER
CATEGORY: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
One of the most beloved holiday traditions of all time. Performance times are Thursday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. http://www.fabulousfox.com/, (314) 534-1111 or (314) 534-1678
———–
Dec. 5, 2013 – Dec. 8, 2013 Madrigal Performance
O’Fallon Township High School | O’Fallon, IL 62269 | (618)624-4500
If you aren’t in the holiday mood this amazing show will get you there. A capella holiday vocal performance, jesters, queen and king and much, much more!
——————–
CHRISTMAS IN KIMMSWICK
Kimmswick, MO December 6 – December 8, 2013
Friday: 10 am – 9 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm
Downtown Kimmswick
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas in Kimmswick. The shops will be decked out in their holiday splendor, carolers will be strolling the streets, and horse drawn carriage rides will carry you back to a time gone by. With over 25 unique shops, Kimmswick will make your holiday shopping easy and stress free.
Free
————-
Jazz for the Holidays presented by UMSL Department of Music
DATE: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2013
VENUE: BLANCHE M. TOUHILL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AT UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS
CATEGORY: MUSIC
3:00 p.m. http://www.touhill.org/
this is an awesome little experience and free. 🙂 or was last year. 😀
—————
CHRISTMAS WALK
Augusta, MO Fridays: December 6 and December 13, 2013
5 pm – 10 pm
Over 1,500 luminaries light your way through historic Augusta the first two Friday evenings of December. This annual event has more than a 25 year history and has become a tradition for the Augusta community to host. A complimentary Trolley Shuttle will take you through town to visit the many shops and antique stores, wineries and brewery, restaurants and food stands. There is Christmas caroling and a giant Christmas tree at a local church. Enjoy the challenge of gathering items from all the shops in the Holiday Scavenger Hunt and turn your answers in at the History Museum and register for prizes from local merchants. The town square features a horse drawn carriage ride around the heart of town, a toasty bon fire with Chestnuts roasting and marshmallows toasting, and Santa Claus.
Free
For more information call 636-228-4005
or visit the augusta-chamber.org website

this one is really cool to check out, you can spend a whole evening here enjoying festivities and enjoying the candles that line the roadways.
——————–
9th Annual Snowflake Festival
Fri., Dec. 6, 2013
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Glazebrook Park
1401 Stamper Ln.
Godfrey, IL 62035
Visit beautiful Glazebrook Park lit up with twinkling lights to celebrate the holiday season. Join the Godfrey Parks and Recreation Department for the 9th annual Snowflake Festival on Friday, December 6, 2013 from 6 – 8 pm at Glazebrook Park, 1401 Stamper Lane in Godfrey. Everyone is invited to attend this free old-fashioned festival complete with carolers, hot cocoa and pictures with Santa
———–
Dec. 6, 2013 – Dec. 6, 2013 Christmas in Carlyle Parade & Fireworks
Carlyle, IL 62231 | (618)594-2468
The Christmas Season in Carlyle kicks off with a parade and fireworks starting at 6:30 p.m.
——————-
Dec. 6, 2013 – Dec. 6, 2013 Miracle on Main
Main Street & Railway | Mascoutah, IL 62258 | (618)566-2244
Santa and floats parade, tree lighting, business open house, caroling, illuminated candle contest. http://www.mascoutah.com
Admission: Free Admission
—————-
ANNUAL CANDLELIGHT TOURS
Defiance, MO December 6 – December 7, 2013
December 13 – December 14, 2013
Daniel Boone Home, 1868 Highway F
Usher in the holiday season with a visit to the Boone Home & Boonesfield Village. Each building is decorated in 19th century fashion and illuminated by thousands of candles, bonfires and starlight. Period music will echo through the valley offering a simpler, more delightful holiday experience.
Admission
For more information call 636-798-2005
—————
Dec. 6, 2013 – Dec. 7, 2013 Christmas in Vandalia
Vandalia, IL 62471 | (618)283-1161
Friday night will be the “City Christmas Tree Lighting” at 5:00 p.m. on the hill on Gallatin Street. Then enjoy shopping in Downtown store, merchants will be staying open late and many will have sales/specials that evening. There will be carolers, chestnuts roasting on and open fire, fire barrels for warmth, wine tasting, Mr. & Mrs Claus and more! Also, the Rotary Club Annual Christmas Parade and Christmas Open House at the Vandalia Statehouse.
———————
Dec. 7, 2013 – Dec. 8, 2013 Country Christmas Stroll & House Tour
Throughout town and 606 Front Street | Okawville, IL 62271 | 618-243-5694
Stroll the activities throughout town – includes a craft fair, “Festival of Trees” display, and flea market/vendor show. The House Tour includes area homes and a church. Museum sites open and decorated surrey rides available(weather permitting). Breakfast with Santa will be at 9am on Saturday.
Admission: Free
—————
FRENCH CHRISTMAS
Ste. Genevieve, MO Sunday, December 8, 2013
1 pm – 6 pm
Felix Vallé House State Historic Site
This annual celebration highlights the music, customs, and decorations of an early French Colonial Christmas celebration known as “Le Reveillon.” Costumed guides will explain the early 1800’s French Christmas customs and the dining room will be filled with traditional foods, including bûche de Noël (yule log cake). Refreshments and period music will be provided.
Free
For more information call 573-883-7102
—————–
Great Rivers Choral Society: Celebrating a White Christmas
Saturday, Dec. 7 & Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, 3 p.m.
Godfrey United Methodist Church
1100 Airport Road
Godfrey, IL 62035
Some of the most memorable music of the Holiday Season comes from the era of Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers when movie musicals lit up the silver screen. Join us as the Chorus and small orchestra of talented local musicians take you back.
———–
Dec. 8, 2013 – Dec. 8, 2013 Christmas as Willoughby
Willoughby Farm | 631 Willoughby Ln. | Collinsville, IL 62234 | (618)346-7529
See a new side of Willoughby Farm: decorated for the holidays! Visitors will sip hot cider or hot chocolate and nibble on holiday sweet treats while visiting with Santa Claus in the farm house. Remember to bring your camera to snap a photo of Santa with your little one. Join un in the Bank Barn for a holiday sing-along while guests make ornaments to take home. From 1-4 p.m.
Admission: $3 per person, children ages 2 years and younger are free
———————–
Dec. 8, 2013 – Dec. 8, 2013 Millstadt Weihnachtsfest {German Christmas Festival}
St. James Parish Center | 423 West Madison (One block south of Hwy 158) | Millstadt, IL 62260 | 618-476-1812
Come to our Christmas Festival celebrating Millstadt’s German heritage! This event features an arts and crats fair, German food (bratwurst, potato pancakes, etc.) and beverages, the Holiday Cookie Walk, and musical entertainment (including German folk music provided by the Waterloo German Band). St. Nikolaus arrives in a parade at noon. Children are invited to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Admission: Free
——————
Dec. 8, 2013 – Dec. 8, 2013 A Masterworks Christmas
St. Clare Catholic Church | 1411 Cross St. | O’Fallon, IL 62269 | 618-236-0182
The Masterworks Chorale & Children’s Choruses present “A Masterworks Christmas” concert at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 8, 2013 in St. Clare Catholic Church, 1411 Cross St. in O’Fallon, Illinois. Celebrating its 40th concert season, Masterworks Chorale & Children’s Choruses are pleased to present Handel’s Messiah, part 1; new and favorite carols, a carol sing-along, and the beautiful candlelight procession. This performance will feature a full orchestra with members from the Saint Louis Symphony and guest soloists: Shannon Love, soprano Jane Rownd, mezzo-soprano Don Frazure, tenor Robert Reed, bass
—————-

FAMILY HOLIDAY EVENING
St. Charles, MO Wednesday, December 11, 2013
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Foundry Art Center, 520 N. Main Street
The Foundry Art Centre is hosting a night of family fun to celebrate the holiday season! Come on inside the Foundry Art Centre to create holiday crafts with your family to escape the winter weather and make some memories! Attendees will also be able to enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and cookies.
Free
For more information call 636-255-0270
or visit foundryartcentre.org
————

weekend of 13-15:

Dec. 11, 2013 – Dec. 12, 2013 Las Mañanitas
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows | 442 S. De Mazenod Dr. | Belleville, IL 62223 | 618-397-1210
This event celebrates the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe with Mexican decorations, serenades, dancers, flowers, and prayers beginning at 9pm and culminates with holy mass (in Spanish) at midnight. The community gathers after mass for breakfast with Mexican pastries, other foods and hot chocolate.
Admission: Free
—————-
11th Annual JingleFest
DATE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2013
VENUE: THE FAMILY ARENA
CATEGORY: ANNUAL EVENTS
Featuring Jana Kramer, Dustin Lynch and Thomas Rhett. 7:00 p.m. http://familyarena.com, (314) 534-1111
—————-
St. Louis Symphony Holiday Concert: Too Hot to Handel: A Gospel Messiah
DATE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2013 UNTIL FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013
VENUE: POWELL SYMPHONY HALL IN GRAND CENTER
CATEGORY: MUSIC
Adding a jazz and gospel twist to Handel’s Messiah, this high-energy, upbeat performance with the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON® Chorus and conductor Kevin McBeth will have you dancing in the aisles. 7:00 p.m. http://www.stlsymphony.org/, (314) 534-1700 or (800) 232-1880
————–
Dec. 13, 2013 – Dec. 15, 2013 Holiday Craft Show
Belle-Clair Fairgrounds Expo. Center | 200 S. Belt East | Belleville, IL 62220 | 618-233-0052
Handcrafted furniture, florals, jewelry, wearable art, candles and more…
Admission: $3.00 per person
————–
Ambassadors of Harmony: Sounds of the Season
DATE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 UNTIL SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2013
VENUE: BLANCHE M. TOUHILL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AT UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS
CATEGORY: MUSIC
The first half of this show is an energetic and light-hearted look at Christmas. In the second act, the chorus moves audiences with its heavenly harmonies, classic carols and sacred songs. 8:00 p.m. (13-14); 2:00 p.m. (14-15); 7:00 p.m. (15) http://www.touhill.org/, (866) 516-4949
———–
CAPITOL BY CANDLELIGHT
St. Charles, MO Friday, December 13, 2013
6 pm – 9 pm
First Missouri Capitol State Historic Site, 201-216 South Main Street
Historically dressed interpreters will lead you through the candlelit Capitol building decorated in an 1820’s style. Guests will hear tales of early statehood struggles and frontier life while touring the Capitol in this unique setting. Enjoy some homemade cookies & warm cider.
Tickets $4 for adult $2.50 for children 6-12 years old Reservations needed
For more information call 636-940-3322
————-
Alton Symphony Orchestra: “Christmas Memories”
Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013
7 p.m.
Hatheway Hall
5800 Godfrey Rd.
Godfrey, IL 62035
Join us as the Alton Symphony performs Christmas-time favories, a sing-a-long and, of course, the holiday favorite “The Nutcracker”. There will be a silent auction of holiday baskets during the intermission. Visit altonsymphony.org for more information.
———–
Yule Tube
DATE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013 UNTIL SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
VENUE: EDISON THEATRE AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
CATEGORY: MUSIC
A holiday concert featuring favorite holiday songs from television and movies. 8:00 p.m. http://www.gmcstl.org, (314) 289-4169
————-
Christmas Carols in the Garden
DATE: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
VENUE: MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
CATEGORY: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Listen to traditional and secular holiday carols from local schools and choirs inside the upper level of the Ridgway Center and roaming the Garden outdoors. 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. http://www.mobot.org/, (314) 577-9400 or (800) 642-8842
a very cool little event explore gardens etc. been fun in the past
—————
CANDLELIGHT CONCERT
St. Charles, MO Saturday, December 14, 2013
8 pm
First Missouri Capitol State Historic Site, 201-216 South Main Street
This annual concert is held in Missouri’s first Legislative chambers, lit entirely by candles, where visitors will be treated to period Christmas tunes and stories to get them in the Christmas spirit. Musical entertainment is provided by the Geoffrey Seitz and Dugout Canoe with traditional Christmas music, Contemporary Christmas music and traditional old time music.
Tickets are $8. Reservations are needed
For more information call 636-940-3322
——————-
Purina Farms Pet-acular Holiday Bazaar
DATE: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013 UNTIL SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2013
VENUE: PURINA FARMS
CATEGORY: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Enjoy shopping for unique gifts, playing games and getting your photo taken with Santa. Kids can also play in inflatable bounce houses and ride a trackless train. 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. http://www.purina.com/, (636) 938-6242
————-
December 14, 2013
At 5:00pm, the Vandalia Statehouse Christmas Open House will begin. From 5:00pm to 8:00pm, visitors can enjoy candlelight tours. The Statehouse is illuminated by more than 250 candles and is trimmed with 1800s decorations including fresh greenery, fruits and more. Statehouse staff and volunteers in period dress conduct the tours of the historical building and period music is provided
—————-
Grafton Holiday Riverwalk
Saturday, Dec. 14 – Sunday, Dec. 15
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Grafton, IL 62037
Celebrate the start of the holiday season in Grafton. Stop in the various businesses along Main Street and near the riverfront for special promotions, discounts, refreshments and entertainment. The Jersey Community High School choir will be caroling throughout the town.
—————
St. Louis Symphony Holiday Concert: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
DATE: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013 UNTIL SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2013
VENUE: POWELL SYMPHONY HALL IN GRAND CENTER
CATEGORY: MUSIC
The St. Louis Symphony performs the sounds of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas at Powell Hall for the first time ever this holiday season. The modern symphonic arrangements of Christmas songs made famous by Chip Davis include yuletide favorites like “Carol of the Bells,” “Silent Night,” “Deck the Halls” and many more. 7:00 p.m. (14); 2:00 p.m. (15) http://www.stlsymphony.org/, (314) 534-1700 or (800) 232-1880
———-
The Velveteen Rabbit
DATE: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
VENUE: THE HEAGNEY THEATRE
CATEGORY: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Based on Margery Williams’ famed literary classic, The Velveteen Rabbit tells the story of a little boy and his stuffed bunny who wonders what it means to be “real.” After years of adventure and devotion, the bunny becomes a truly beloved friend and is magically transformed into a real woodland rabbit. This holiday season share in a heartwarming musical tale that celebrates the rewards of loyalty and the wonderful, surprising power of love. Performance times are 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. http://www.repstl.org/, (314) 968-4925
————
Dec. 13, 2013 – Dec. 15, 2013 A Christmas Carol
Looking Glass Playhouse | 301 West St. Louis Street | Lebanon, IL 62254 | (618)537-4962
The classic Charles Dickens play about Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim is performed by area thespians.
—————-
Holiday Express
DATE: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013
VENUE: ST. LOUIS UNION STATION
CATEGORY: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Santa and his elves are chugging into town this year onboard the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train. You can see this holiday train, along with Santa, from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, when the train will stop at Union Station. Visitors can board the train, visit with Santa and tour the inside of three cars. Visiting the train is free. More info: http://www.kcsouthern.com
—————
Dec. 14, 2013 – Dec. 14, 2013 Christmas Spectacular
Four Points by Sheraton | 319 Fountains Pkwy. | Fairview Heights, IL 62208 | (618) 489-2040
Come join us & see Santa Claus. Games, balloon twisting, carolers, face painting, pictures of your little angel & Santa and will be available for sale.
Admission: Free
—————
Dec. 15, 2013 – Dec. 16, 2013 The Glory of Christmas
St. Matthew United Methodist Church | Belleville, IL | 618-397-5994
This musical drama includes 200 people encompassing choir, orchestra, drama troupe, horse drawn sleigh and parade of the wooden soldiers
—————
Arrival at Camp River Dubois
Saturday, Dec. 14 & Sunday, Dec. 15
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lewis & Clark State Historic Site
1 Lewis & Clark Trail
Hartford, IL 62048
Come celebrate the arrival of Lewis and Clark at Camp River Dubois. This annual event commemorates the day William Clark and the men of the detachment arrived at the confluence of the Riviere a Dubois, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The event will include members of the detachment portraying military life, re-enactors recreating the civilian population and demonstrators. Site admission is free. For more information, call (618) 251-5811 or go to http://www.campdubois.com.
————-
STORYTELLING EVENT
St. Charles, MO Sunday, December 15, 2013
Noon, 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 pm
First Missouri Capitol State Historic Site, 201-216 South Main Street
Hear the traditional story of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” told by Mrs. Claus alongside a warm glowing fire. Enjoy some warm cider and cookies and with a little luck and good timing we may even have a visit from the jolly old man himself!
Free event, reservations are not needed but are recommended.
For more information call 636-940-3322
——————

Events after the weekend of 15th:
Dec. 21, 2013 – Dec. 22, 2013 Holiday Flea Market
Belle-Clair Fairgrounds Expo. Center | 200 S. Belt East | Belleville, IL 62220 | 618-233-0052
Over 600 tables and 300-400 vendors selling old/new, indoor/outdoor and year-round antiques, collectibles and merchandise
————
The Nutcracker presented by Saint Louis Ballet (Dates Vary)
DATE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2013 UNTIL SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2013
VENUE: BLANCHE M. TOUHILL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AT UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. lOUIS
CATEGORY: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
A magical adventure abounds within the Nutcracker story. 7:00 p.m. (20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 & 29); 2:30 p.m. (21, 22, 27, 28 & 29) http://www.touhill.org/, (866) 516-4949
—————–
Dec. 22, 2013 – Dec. 22, 2013 Winter Solstice
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site | 30 Ramey St. | Collinsville, IL 62234 | (618)346-5160
Winter Solstice Observance
Admission: Free Admission
————
Dec. 27, 2013 – Dec. 27, 2013 An Evening of Acoustic Music
The Wildey Theatre | 250-254 N. Main St. | Edwardsville, IL 62025 | 618-650-3158
The Wildey Theatre and Jimmy G Productions presents An Evening of Acoustic Music featuring Happenstance, Something About Sunday and Fairside Banner. This is a opportunity to see young talent unplugged during the holiday season. Happenstance features Lindsey, Alex & Nathan playing classics to modern songs with a unique sound and dynamic vocals. Something About Sunday features Doug Morris & Harrison Gorden in a group setting with strong vocals and outstanding guitar work. Fairside Banner features Steven Stryker on vocals & Austin on guitar playing a set of covers and original songs. This is a must see show that showcases young artist in a family friendly environment.
————-
Dec. 31, 2013 – Dec. 31, 2013 A Timeless New Year Show
Lincoln Theatre | 103 East Main | Belleville, IL 62220 | (618)233-0018
This annual show featuring music and celebration is a great way to bring in the New Year.
————-

First Night Saint Louis

DATE: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
VENUE: Grand Center District
CATEGORY: Annual Events
A winter celebration featuring visual and performing arts, musicians, storytellers, dancers, magicians, actors, puppeteers and visual and media artists. The opening ceremony begins at 6:00 p.m. on the Main Stage at Grand and Lindell. Children’s fireworks at 9:00 p.m. and Grand Finale Fireworks at midnight. http://www.firstnightstl.org/, (314) 289-8121
——————–

also remember Eagle Days will be coming in January and February in alton and surrounding area. 🙂

Member of The Internet Defense League