Home for the Holidays

“The more things change, the more they stay the same”… a phrase oft-repeated through the years (and long predating the Bon Jovi song.) And so, here we are with another holiday issue!

There are so many traditions we treasure and look forward to repeating each year. Now in its second year, the Community Festival of Nativities is a new tradition for Peoria, but based on a centuries-old one. My own ceramic nativity scene has been in our family for more than 35 years, through multiple moves, family pets and other life changes.

We chuckle recalling how one of the three ceramic Wise Men was accidentally “beheaded”—the result of rowdy horseplay by my two young boys—then glued back together, (almost) as good as new. I remember how their father built a simple, wooden stable to house the figurines; and later, how we’d watch The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, with its unconventional live nativity scene.

For me, and I suspect for many of you, the holiday season brings old memories back to life. I recently had a conversation about putting up a tree (or not) and the now-humorous disasters of the past: trees tipping over, semi-successful attempts to cut our own, pine needles clogging the vacuum cleaner, a pre-lit tree with half the lights burned out.

Each year we make new memories, and we have some ideas for you in this issue! Maybe you’ll visit a reindeer farm for the first time, check out the Jukebox Comedy Club, or embark on other “New Adventures in Old Peoria."

There are fantastic exhibits at the Peoria Riverfront Museum and the Doug Oberhelman Caterpillar Visitors Center—I recently toured both of them, and they are well worth your time. Hats off to the CVC tour guides, who were pleasant and informative, and to PRM CEO John Morris and staff, who are working hard to showcase the unbelievable talent here in central Illinois.

Don’t forget to shop, dine and play at our local restaurants, boutiques and entertainment venues! I learned the secret code to get into Tannins and Hops—a new stop on the traditional tour I give my daughter when she comes home for the holidays. We must support these treasures to keep them in our community. And with a thankful heart for your support of Peoria Magazines, I wish you and yours a peaceful holiday season. a&s