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Hinderman: The holidays bring plenty of cheer to Orland Park

SantClaus recently set up shop upper level OrlSquare Mall. | Supplied Photo

Santa Claus recently set up shop in the upper level at Orland Square Mall. | Supplied Photo

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Updated: January 3, 2013 6:06AM



It seems with Thanksgiving behind us, it is off to the races!

Some of us may have started-finished holiday or Christmas shopping and, with the leaves upon the ground, frost on the lawn and bellies filled with turkey, the season officially is here.

You may have noticed the newspaper is thicker, filled with ads for sales, deals and other enticing events. Television commercials ring with familiar tunes and showcase vehicles adorned with oversized red bows, all in an effort to challenge you, the shopper, to consider their stores, their products.

For me, the kickoff to the season this year was the Pink Slip Dress Boutique “Nutcracker (Not So) Suite” fashion show Nov. 4 at Mokena Intermediate School. Glitz and glamor galore adorned the more than 60 models bedecked in finery from the shop.

Each show gets better and tests the imaginations of the owner, Lauren McKeague, and her dedicated parents, Jack and Debbie McKeague.

The annual Ladies Night at James and Sons Jewelers in Orland Park was on Nov. 14. As in years past, the staff welcomed all with appetizers, drinks, a photo op on the “red carpet,” manicures and massages.

This “leave-your-checkbook-at-home” event is a great nonshopping soiree (although, great deals were made that evening for those wishing to take their choices with them). While there, you could peruse aisles of wonderful baubles and create a wish list, which makes it easier for your significant other to find just the right gift.

Again this year, the “Let It Snow” promotion began Nov. 23 and runs until Sunday. Anything purchased at James and Sons during that time has the potential of being free if it snows six inches or more on Christmas Day, as recorded at O’Hare International Airport. For more information, visit www.jamesandsons.com.

Shortly thereafter, I strolled Orland Square Mall, observing the renovations (which are coming along nicely), and I happened upon Santa’s helpers building his station in the upper level at Carson’s Court. They busily were putting on the finishing touches as Santa, his reindeer and sleigh landed at the mall Nov. 17.

For children with special needs and their families, Orland Square Mall is thrilled to welcome Caring Santa for little shoppers. Caring Santa will visit Orland Square Mall from 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday. The mall is hosting this event when it is closed to help create a more sensory friendly environment. To RSVP, visit http://bit.ly/v7B7OI.

New this year to the Simon Santa Photo Experience is Pet Photo Night. Many owners view their pets as integral members of the family and are just as extravagant caring for their pets as their “human” family members.

Because some of their customers may suffer from pet allergies, Pet Photo nights are hosted after regular mall closing, and the set gets an extensive cleaning after the event to remove dander, etc.

Pet Photo Night at Orland Square Mall will be on Sunday. Photos may be entered in the Cutest Santa Photo Contest that customers can access on Facebook.

The annual tree-lighting ceremony was conducted Nov. 25 at the Orland Park Civic Center. For those who prepared an ornament, check out your artwork adorning the festive tree.

This time of year brings out cheer, good tidings and some pretty great music. Sandburg High School will host its Holiday Concert at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 15. There is considerable talent in our little community, and this event showcases some of it.

To bring us back to reality (just slightly), it is true that crimes during this season are reported. Here are some tips to keep you safe:

Know your surroundings. Be aware of what is happening around you, especially in a crowd, in a parking lot or while making purchases.

When shopping, only bring the necessary credit cards or checkbook with you. Leave any cards you won’t use at home or in a safe place.

If you stash your purchases in your car, it is best to put them in the trunk or other compartment not visible from the outside, as to not attract temptation.

Remember, the season is not about shopping, overindulging or overspending. Simple gifts can make the biggest impact of the season. Visiting a sick or lonely friend or relative, baking cookies and sharing with neighbors, or volunteering at a shelter are ways you can feel fulfilled while doing something generous.



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