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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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The Town of Normal Your Ho-Ho-Home For The Holidays

As the days shorten and the air turns crisp and cool, it means the warm glow of the Christmas holiday season is near. Snowflakes will flutter down, lights will twinkle along the streets, and Santa Claus will be coming to the Town of Normal.

Santa’s Station

Perhaps more than any other month of the year, December brings families and communities together. In the spirit of Christmas, it is a time when children see wishes fulfilled and adults can feel like children again.


Starting on the first day of December, Uptown Normal becomes the temporary residence of none other than ol’ Saint Nick himself, as Santa’s Station opens up between Uptown Station and the Children’s Discovery Museum.


“Santa’s arrival is marked by a procession through Uptown on Saturday, December 1st, kicking off from the Alamo II at 12:30pm with free treats available for all in attendance,” shares Civic Arts Manager Adam Fox. “Santa’s Station is an opportunity for families to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus throughout the month of December. Additional musical entertainment will be provided during Station hours, along with some other surprises and events. Families queue up in Uptown Station, so time spent out in the elements is kept to a minimum.” Once again, Uptown Partners is the primary sponsor of Santa’s Station with the Bloomington-Normal branch of the NAACP sponsoring several hours throughout its operation.


It’s no surprise Santa would choose the train station as his abode while in Normal, as train travel speaks to the old-fashioned Christmas feeling in all of us. Adam says that feeling is extended by N Scale of Bloomington Normal, a non-profit club that promotes N scale model railroading. “Each year, they provide a great model train that travels around the interior of Santa’s Station, which is always a nice surprise for first-time visitors, and the décor of the exterior of the station is a blend of North Pole and Train Station themes.”


Trains aren’t the only traditional form of Christmas transportation. Uptown partners will also be sponsoring free horse-drawn carriage rides through Uptown on Saturdays. Carriage rides throughout the week will also be available to book for a fee throughout the month of December.


“In a very short time, Santa’s Station has become a real tradition here in Bloomington-Normal,” Adam says. “We’re very proud of the money that Santa’s Station raises for local charities, and we couldn’t be happier to see how much this event has become part of families’ annual holiday plans.”
Jammies and Jingles
Nothing speaks of the coziness inherent in the Christmas season better than warm pajamas. On Friday, December 7th, from 6:00 to 8:00pm, the Children’s Discovery Museum will become an extension of home as adults and kids alike can don their most comfortable pajamas and make new family memories during the Jammies and Jingles event.


“Jammies and Jingles is an opportunity for families to come celebrate the holidays,” says Museum Education Manager Rachel Carpenter. “Children can play games, decorate cookies, or make gingerbread houses, and Santa is always in attendance. Games change every year, but we always have our Elves Make Shop open in the museum’s MakerSpace, where you can make a toy or write your Christmas wish list to Santa and shrink it down into an ornament.”


Most important of all is that it is a time for families to celebrate the fun and joy of Christmas together. “Family Nights are for families,” Rachel says, “so that may include mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, or friends with their children. We want everyone that is considered family to feel welcome at our events.”


Registration is required for this event. Please see the end of the article for registration information.

Breakfast With Santa
Santa is never busier than in December and on the mornings of Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th, he will be adding to his padding with a delicious catered buffet at the Normal Community Activity Center for the Breakfast With Santa event.


“Breakfast With Santa has been a Normal Parks and Recreation tradition for over 25 years,” says Parks and Recreation Assistant Director — Business and Recreation Operations James Wayne. “As we looked to expand our special event offerings for families, the Christmas holiday was a natural one. Families have attended with their ‘extended’ families for years running.”


While Breakfast With Santa is a popular way for families — especially for grandparents and their grandkids — to share the Christmas-time experience, James says the extended family aspect of it is part of what makes it so special. “It offers plenty of time for interaction amongst relatives and friends. Is there a better way to make new acquaintances than over French toast sticks and milk?”


As if eating a Christmas breakfast with Santa Claus and loved ones wasn’t enough, James says that’s just the tip of the North Pole iceberg. “One favorite for kids each year is the caroling,” he shares. “All children are encouraged to get on stage and belt out classics like ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town,’ which is a great lead-in to Santa making his appearance at our event and provides time for family photos with Saint Nick.”


Breakfast With Santa also introduced a new tradition last year — that of helping kids make their own reindeer food for them to spread on their lawns on Christmas Eve.


Registration is required for this event. Please see the end of the article for registration information.

Christmas films

A major holiday tradition is watching at least one favorite Christmas movie surrounded by friends and strangers sharing in the spirit of the season. As a part of the Normal community, the Normal Theater is happy to provide those films.


“All your holiday favorites, including It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and many more will return for their annual runs at the Normal Theater,” proclaims Adam Fox.
    Keep an eye on the marquee above the theater, the listing next to the box office, or visit normaltheater.com for a complete list of films.


“We’d also like to highlight the return of Glenn Wilson and Friends for their second annual Further Jazz Holiday concert,” Adam adds. The concert will likely take place on Friday, December 7th, so please watch for final details on Facebook and Twitter.

A time of traditions

“The Town of Normal has always taken great pride in celebrating the holidays,” James says. “From the Christmas movies to the holiday lights, the Town celebrates the season in style.”


“We know this is a time of year close to the hearts of many,” adds Adam, “and we want to make sure those family traditions are able to continue year after year.”


For information on Santa’s Station, notable musicians and groups performing in Uptown Station, or horse-drawn carriage rides, visit uptownnormal.com/event/santas-station/.


To register for Jammies and Jingles, please visit childrensdiscoverymuseum.net/164/Special-Events. Registration is $5 for members of the museum and $12 for non-members. Admission
for children under the age of two is free.


To register for Breakfast With Santa, please visit normalparks.org/347/Breakfast-with-Santa. Pre-registration is required, with a $15 per person fee and a no-food option fee
of $5 for infants 12 months and under.


For a full schedule of events at the Normal Theater, visit normaltheater.com.


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