Metro-East Living

Sunday briefs

Santa at Botanical Garden

Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis will present “Saturday with Santa: Christmas Carols in the Garden” from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 10. Local school and community choirs will perform at Ridgeway Center and roam the grounds. Children can give their wish lists to Santa, who will be on hand with his sleigh. Free with garden admission. Hot cider, cookies and cocoa available for purchase. For more information, visit

Shop the Holiday Boutique at PSOP

You can save big on your Christmas shopping this year at the PSOP Holiday Boutique.

Programs and Services for Older Persons will host the Holiday Boutique shopping experience Dec. 6-8 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each day. PSOP is located at 201 N. Church St. in downtown Belleville.

Shop for new and gently used items, such as jewelry, crafts, holiday decorations, kitchen items, books and so much more. Items will be marked down considerably and shelves will constantly be restocked with new items.

All proceeds will benefit PSOP Activities. For more information, contact PSOP Activities at 618-234-4410, ext. 7042.

Statehouse Christmas

Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site, the oldest surviving capitol building in Illinois, invites the public to a Christmas open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 10. Rooms will be illuminated with 250 candles and trimmed with fresh greenery, fruits and other decorations appropriate for the 1840s, when young Abraham Lincoln served there. The first 100 families will receive free ornaments. Visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable or canned items for a local food pantry. The Friends of the Old State Capitol will serve cookies and cider. The site is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. For more information, visit

Way of Lights dog walk

The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville will host Tails, Trails & Twinkles from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 4. People are invited to bring their dogs for a walk through the Way of Lights display. Activities include a Barket & Expo, featuring vendors selling pet products. Scotty, the Scott Credit Union mascot, will lead the walk at 5:30 p.m. Dogs only, and they must be on leashes. For more information, call 618-397-6700 or visit

Althoff principal talk

Dave Harris, principal at Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville since 2006, will speak at the next meeting of Belleville Area Senior Men’s Sports Group from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 9 at the PSOP Building, 201 N. Church St. in Belleville. He will discuss his campaign to bring an outdoor athletics complex and STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and mathematics) lab to campus. The public is invited. Harris is a former all-state wrestler for Belleville West and national qualifier for University of Missouri. To make a reservation, call 618-234-4410, ext. 7016.

“A Christmas Carol”

Looking Glass Playhouse in Lebanon will present “A Christmas Carol” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8-10 and 2 and 5 p.m. Dec. 11 (doors open one hour prior). Tickets cost $5 and can be purchased at (select and confirm seats) or 618-537-4962. It isn’t unusual for shows to sell out. ​The theater is at 301 W. St. Louis St.

Remembrance service​

Compassionate Friends will hold its 24th Interdenominational Remembrance Service at 2 p.m. Dec. 11 in the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital chapel, 211 S. Third St. in Belleville. It’s for families who have experienced the death of a child. A reception will follow in the Centennial Room. People are welcome to bring their child’s favorite dessert to share. No reservations necessary. For more information, call Dorothy Sarmiento at 618-977-0924.

Church cookie walk

Trinity Lutheran Church in Millstadt will sponsor a Cookie Walk from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 10. Prices are $9 for mixed or $10 for fancy homemade Christmas cookies. The church is at 503 E. Washington St. To place an order in advance, call Shirley Boehm at 618-476-1113.

“Ruthless” auditions

Looking Glass Playhouse in Lebanon will hold auditions for “Ruthless (the Musical)” at 1 p.m. Dec. 10 at the theater, 301 W. St. Louis St. in Lebanon. Candidates should be prepared to sing 16 measures of an upbeat Broadway show tune (accompanist provided); do a cold reading from the script; and learn a short dance combination. Production dates are Jan. 26-29 and Feb. 2-5. For more information, email Jason Johnson at