Chickadee was very excited that we found her favorite character, Scrooge, at Christmas Traditions last weekend!
Last year, we made a somewhat tentative return to St. Charles, MO, for Christmas Traditions; this year, we returned in full force!
We made sure that we were there for the Santa Parade. Actually, we were there way earlier than we needed to be, but at least we got a good parking spot!
I truly believe Main Street in St. Charles in one of the prettiest streets in the entire St. Louis metro, and never more so than at Christmas!
We did a pretty good job of finding characters…I think we ended up with 26 of 33 cards. The important thing, though, is that we found both Jack Frost and the Master of Revels, our two favorites! We were impressed by how many characters they have added representing different world cultures…it gave us an opportunity to learn something new!
Jack Frost even gave Bunny a “Blue Crew” pin, which made her day!
I had to stop and take a picture with the Mistletoe Misses, because I looked like I could join their lovely, mid-century group in the outfit I was wearing!
And, as always, I took a photo of the Fab Five by the gazebo. Not in quite the same location as usual, because one of the singing groups was performing in it, but close enough:
Sometimes, I can’t believe just how long this has been a part of our Christmas traditions…it’s definitely one of the things I look forward to the most in December!
Here are a few of Chickadee’s highlights from our visit to Christmas Traditions in St. Charles, MO, last weekend…chatting with Scrooge (her favorite Christmas legend at Christmas Traditions), holding the Christkind’s bell, and pretending to be the Sugar Plum Fairy:
After having to miss it last year, Chickadee was super excited to be back!
After a hiatus last year due to COVID-19, yesterday we made a return to Christmas Traditions in historic St. Charles, MO!
The parade was a little different this year, including the fact that it ran the opposite direction down Main Street from what we were used to. This actually made it easier to photograph because I wasn’t pointing my camera into the sun, so that was really nice. And Santa liked my Christmas skirt!
Seeing the characters is always the best part, and we saw all of our favorites…in the end, we collected 21 of 35 cards, which is only ok, but the point is, we were there.
The very best moment for me was seeing Bunny see Jack Frost again. If we had accomplished nothing else yesterday, that would have made the trip worth it. And I think he was equally glad to see her!
My annual gazebo picture was a little different this year, but again, the point is, I took it:
Of all the things COVID took away from us last year, missing our favorite family Christmas event was one of the ones that hurt the most. Even if things weren’t exactly the same as they used to be, I was so glad to be back!
Today’s “Chickadee Thursday” photo is actually from Saturday, when we visited Christmas Traditions in St. Charles, MO…it’s too cute not to share!
On Saturday, we enjoyed one of our favorite Christmas traditions…the Christmas Traditions festival in St. Charles, MO!
It was so much easier to enjoy the event this year, without my ankle being broken. (Although the day was not without a foot injury…more on that later.) For example, we actually got to see the gingerbread houses this time, and they were spectacular…it was hard to choose a favorite!
We also enjoyed our walk down beautiful, historic Main Street, which always looks so nice at Christmastime!
We saw the entirety of the Santa Parade:
And the hoopla, in its new location behind the Tourism Center:
We also attended the Land of Sweets Gumball for the first time:
And caught up with some of our favorite characters, including the Master of Revels, who we missed last year:
And of course Jack Frost, who let Bunny sit in his cart…they even pretended to run down Susie Snowflake!
We also saw one of the Seaman dogs, all dressed up for the holidays!
We collected 25 of 39 character cards, plus two of the five bonus cards, which seemed a bit slim to us, but we still had a great time!
Anyway, the only downside to the day was me stepping on a thumb tack slightly before we left. It went through the sole of my boot and into my foot, which felt great. As I was due for a tetanus shot anyway, we hit the Minute Clinic on the way home so I could get that taken care of, just in case. What a dumb thing to have happen, but I’ll take it over a broken ankle any day!
Today we made our annual trek west to St. Charles, MO, for the Christmas Traditions festival. (This is not to be confused with the trek north we made a few weeks ago to St. Charles, IL, also for Christmas-related reasons!)
The day was as beautiful as the picture looks, although it was a bit warm for our tastes. But the spring-like temperatures brought our larger crowds than we’ve ever encountered before…it was a good thing they finally decided to close Main Street to vehicular traffic, because I don’t know how all of the pedestrians would have fit on the sidewalks!
One of the best parts of going to Christmas Traditions is seeing all of our favorite characters. We’ll call this year’s attempt a “successful failure.” We saw the number one character we wanted to see (Jack Frost), and a really cool new character (Ded Moroz), but there was no Frontier Santa this year, and we didn’t see the Master of Revels, and a number of the other characters we enjoy seeing every year. In the end, we collected 31 out of 41 numbered character cards, plus one of the bonus cards, which is really not bad!
Bunny had an especially good visit with Jack Frost, the “Bob Ross of Frost” this year. He even embellished his character card with a bit of his artwork for her!
This was a challenging visit to St. Charles for me, since I’m still wearing the CAM boot. The uneven brick streets made walking more difficult than I would care to admit, and our parking space, which was practically on the other side of the Missouri River, made our walk extra long. But I was determined to have fun today, and do the things we usually do, because I hate to miss out on anything. So, even though climbing the brick steps up to the gazebo wasn’t the easiest thing ever, I even got my annual picture of the Fab Five, and I think it might be the best one yet!
And just like that, another year’s visit to Christmas Traditions is over. Even though things were a bit different this year (we were too late to see the parade, and we missed the gingerbread houses), we had a great time! I’m already looking forward to seeing what changes they might make next year…but not as much as I’m looking forward to not having to navigate the event with a broken ankle!
Choosing my “Top Five” photos of the year is one of my favorite more recent traditions. Of course, if I’m honest, the “Top Five” always turns into six, because I can never totally limit myself!
The first of my favorite photos came early in the year, at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Chinese Garden. Not only do I love the photo of the garden itself, I also love that is was covered in snow!
My next favorite photo is also from the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Climatron was lit up beautifully for the “Garden of Glass” exhibition, and I love the beautiful colors!
This picture from the Naper Settlement is beautiful to me both for the stunning green of the scenery, and for the women in period costume outside the log home:
Chickadee loves posing for pictures, and there was something special about her in her London shirt, holding an umbrella on a rainy day:
Back at the Missouri Botanical Garden for a lovely fall photo in the Japanese Garden during its 40th anniversary:
And a bonus picture of the Fab Five at St. Charles at Christmas Traditions…this is always one of my favorite spots for a family photo, and this year’s picture was especially amazing!
So there you have it…another year of my favorite photos. I can’t wait to see what kind of pictures I take next year!
Yesterday was that most magical day of the year when we went to St. Charles, MO, for the Christmas Traditions festival. I think this was one of our coldest visits to the event…some years, we’ve barely needed sweatshirts, but yesterday, we were wearing winter coats, hats and gloves! We braved the cold to see all of our favorite characters and collect their cards along the way…We ended up with 32 of 45 cards, which isn’t too bad! Every year, I hope that maybe this is the year we get them all, but I kind of doubt that will ever happen. Plus, there are Wednesday night bonus cards, so we really couldn’t ever collect all of them, since we can only make the journey to St. Charles once a year, and we would rather go during the day on the weekend.
We visited the Gingerbread Village, where, as always, I was impressed by the talent and creativity on display. I especially liked the gingerbread TARDIS!
Part of the fun is seeding the old buildings, horse-drawn carriages, and beautiful Christmas decorations:
By the time the parade rolled around, a few of us were too cold to watch, and had to head back to the car. Those that stayed enjoyed seeing ALL the characters, and taking part in the camaraderie of the crowd:
No matter how I feel about Santa, I always enjoy seeing the Santas of the world carrying in their country’s’ flags:
We didn’t take a lot of pictures with the characters, but we got the ones that mattered most, including a group shot with my favorite Santa (Frontier Santa, who I am pretty sure is exactly who Mr. Edwards met in Little House on the Prairie), and a photo with Bunny and Jack Frost, her Christmas Traditions hero:
And of course a family picture on the steps of the gazebo!
It always goes by too fast, but we’re already thinking about the fun we’ll have next year!
Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the Christmas season…the day where we drive out to St. Charles, MO, for the Christmas Traditions festival!
We started, as we do every year, with lunch. We haven’t eaten at Frankie Tocco’s since before Chickadee was born, so I figured we should go back there so she could experience that part of our family tradition. St. Louis style pizza isn’t my favorite, but Frankie Tocco’s makes it as good as it gets.
We then went through the Gingerbread Village…I really wish I could enter one of those contests someday!
For the last few years, we’ve seen most of the parade…this year, we saw the whole thing! I love seeing all of the different characters in costume, walking down the brick street, passing by all the gorgeous old buildings that are so much a part of St. Charles’ identity.
And seeing the flags of the world carried by the different Santas is always fun:
We joined the end of the parade and went down to Frontier Park, where we enjoyed a good-natured red vs. green game show, led by La Befana and Babushka:
After the parade and the character hoopla, we got down to work meeting characters and collecting cards. The children had their pictures taken with all our old favorites…the Frontier Santa, who looks like he stepped out of the pages of Little House on the Prairie, Santa Lucia, the Christmas Angel, and Bunny’s favorite, Jack Frost. He even let her hold his “BLUEkulele!”
For the first time ever, I had my picture taken with a few characters, too. The Master of Revels has been my favorite since the first time Ryan and I sat down and watched him harass festival-goers over a decade ago(!!!), and like Bunny, I’m also a fan of Jack Frost, and his pal Susie Snowflake (the one character I will take credit for introducing to Christmas Traditions several years ago). I even had the right outfit to take a picture with the frosty duo!
We managed to find 32 out of 48 characters, which is a lot, but not our best year by any stretch of the imagination. I may die of shock if we ever have a year where we collect every single card!
I love walking up and down Main Street and seeing all the buildings and decorations!
And I really love taking a picture of the children by the gazebo…I think this is one of the best photos yet!
I’m a little sad that it isn’t even December yet, and our family’s favorite Christmas tradition has already come and gone, but we had an amazing afternoon in St. Charles, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival!