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Patch Picks Five

As the season begins, Patch rounds up five local events that are sure to keep the holiday blues away.

The holiday season is officially here. This week, most schools will enjoy Thanksgiving break starting Wednesday. Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, and follows it. Get ready for some feasting, shopping and holiday fun. Here are five events to get your season started right.

Monday, Nov 21. Gingerbread houses are a long-standing holiday tradition that first became popular in Germany after the Brothers Grimm published a certain well-known fairy tale collection that included Hansel and Gretel. The tradition was brought to the United States by early German settlers. These days, it’s nearly an art from. Check out the gingerbread house display, sponsored by , at in the upper level in the mall common area, near on Monday. The display will continue through December 4.

Tues, Nov. 22. Do your preschoolers love to hear a good story? , located at Plaza Frontenac, is holding a special Thanksgiving Book Club Story Time on Tuesday at 11:00 am. For more information, call Pottery Barn Kids at 314-983-9490.

Wed, Nov 23. Twinkling lights can help even the grumpiest Scrooge find a little holiday spirit. in Ladue is hosting its 26th annual , starting Wednesday. The attraction will remain open until Jan. 1, 2012. People of all ages are invited to enjoy more than a million twinkling lights and more than 30 different holiday displays. Winter Wonderland boasts a full mile of holiday delights. Drive your own vehicle through the park for $9 or call Metro Tix at 314-534-1111 to reserve a carriage ride. Carriage rides are available every night, and Saturday nights are reserved for carriages only. For more information, visit the St. Louis County Parks website or call the Parks department at 314-615-4386.

Thursday, Nov. 24. Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. Stay home and enjoy your family, make a delicious feast and watch the —or visit in person. The 27th annual parade begins at 8:45 on Thursday at the corner of Washington Avenue and Fourth Street in downtown St. Louis. It will also broadcast live on Channel 4’s Great Day St. Louis. And if you don't feel like cooking, to do it for you. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Friday, Nov. 25. If you’re a Black Friday bargain shopper, you probably already know that many major retailers are starting their sales at midnight this year. Heck, you might even have your planned and mapped out. While you’re at it, don’t forget to stop at Plaza Frontenac and tell Santa what you want for Christmas. Santa will arrive at the mall on Friday to visit and take photos with area kids. Santa will give a each child a free surprise gift. Holiday photo packages are available. Prices start at $22.99. If you’re too worn out after all that shopping to see Santa on Friday, don’t worry—he’ll be in town until Dec. 24.

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