By Lisa Payne-Naeger
If you’re one of those people who tense up at the thought of holiday shopping, well, you’re not alone, but consider one thing. Holiday shopping can be fun, and it can be enjoyed by the entire family. In St. Louis there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the Christmas shopping experience and absorb the holiday joy by sharing the day with loved ones and maybe even petting a reindeer or two. Check out these great shopping venues.
Belleville Christkindl Market
30 Public Square
Belleville, IL 62220
Just a short drive across the river, into Illinois, is a wonderland of Christmas celebration. The town square of Belleville is ground zero for one of the area’s best traditional Christmas Festivals. This tradition dates back to the 16th century, and it’s blast for anyone who wants to take in the Christmas spirit. Modeled after German markets, you can live the tradition as you shop vendors from across the world. And while your at it, enjoy traditional German food and beverage along the way. There are activities for the kids, concerts, beautiful art. The event opened November 24, but you can enjoy the festivities until December 23. Visit Santa between shopping and dining. A good time will be had by all.
St. Charles Christmas Traditions
230 S. Main Street
St. Charles, MO 63301
St. Charles, on Main Street, is one of the region’s best places to enjoy the Christmas season. The crisp air, the aroma of chestnuts roasting, the pageantry of characters gliding up and down the street, singing carols, yes, it’s what Christmas is all about. Well, it’s at least a fabulous place to shop and enjoy the season while you prepare for the big day. Wednesday and Friday evenings, enjoy the lights and atmosphere or spend the weekends taking it all in. The shops along the street are open and welcome you with open arms. You’ll absolutely find some special gifts there for all the special people in your life. The kids can get their photos taken with Santa, checkout the Sweets Dance party on the weekends and say hello to Jack Frost and his icy friends. There’s no way to not enjoy the holidays after you’ve spent time on Main Street.
130 E. Jefferson Ave.
Kirkwood, MO 63122
In the heart of St. Louis County is the charming community of Kirkwood, Missouri. And everyone knows Kirkwood is a great place to shop for unique and special goods and services. At Christmas time, it’s and even better place to shop. At Christmas time, there is no better place to pick out your Christmas tree. Stop in at the the fresh Christmas Tree lot and bring home a pine fresh tree for decorating. The lot opens in mid November, just after Thanksgiving, and closes December 22. Stop in at the Gingerbread Shop for any number of tasty goodies and pick up a few poinsettias to decorate the house or your Christmas dinner table. The Gingerbread Shop has all kinds of great Christmas decor to put the finishing touches on your holiday decorating.