Western Springs Christmas Walk set for Saturday
Updated: December 30, 2012 6:33AM
WESTERN SPRINGS — I still remember the first time I went to a Western Springs Christmas Walk.
My daughter was just a handful of months old, her first Christmas, and I really wanted to plop her on Santa’s lap and take a photo, and the mall, with its crowds and craziness, was out of the question.
It unfolded like a cliche scene from a holiday-themed comedy film: long line; too warm inside the bank; tired, crying baby; new mom who gets anxious in busy, crowded places; baby terrified of the man in the big red suit and the long white beard, resulting in a Polaroid shot of a screaming baby being held by a very patient Santa.
Thankfully, that experience, the worst parts of which were mostly in my own head, didn’t frighten me away from enjoying the Christmas Walk in the following years (though, admittedly, I shied away from the Santa visit until my kids were old enough to request an audience themselves).
And so, I’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed a few pre-holiday hours spent each year wandering through Western Springs, visiting the shops and sampling their treats, listening to Christmas music and the whoops and hollers and excitement of kids running around getting all pumped up for the presents they’re to receive at the end of the month.
Even when the weather is bad, like the one year we endured a frozen, slushy mess falling from the sky that was less snow and more like melted snowballs being hurled from the heavens, the population turns out in force to welcome the season together.
With carriage rides and Santa visits, treats and activities in the shops, greeting friends and neighbors on the sidewalk and stopping to chat under the glow of lighted trees, the Christmas Walk is a sweet way to kick off the holiday season (much better, as far as I’m concerned, than battling crowds for deals on Black Friday).
This year, the Christmas Walk will be held from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and after you visit the shops, ride in a carriage, and give Santa your wish list, head over to the Tower Green for caroling and the lighting of the Western Springs tree.
And don’t forget to shop local for the holidays! Small Business Saturday may have taken place last weekend, but every day is a good day to shop in local businesses. I’ve been doing pretty well in past years doing most of my shopping in town, and I hope to improve on that even further this year. (I’d probably be able to do it all if we had a toy store!)
If you’re starting to realize just exactly how long the holiday break from school is going to be, and you’re wondering how your kids are going to spend their time, sign up for Christmas Capers at the Western Springs Rec Center. It runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 4, and is open to kids ages 4 through second grade, with morning and afternoon activities from sports to crafts to cooking. For older kids, the gym in the Rec Center will be open for holiday play.
You can find information about Christmas Capers and Open Gym in the Western Springs Recreation Department Winter/Spring 2013 brochure, which is easily found on the village website at http://wsprings.com. Holiday activity information is on page 5.
Readers can contact Viki Gonia by leaving a message at (708) 824-8027 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.