Christmas display in Chestnut Hill shop

A Christmas display in a Chestnut Hill shop.

by Ruth R. Russell

Santa Claus is looking forward to his visits to Chestnut Hill this year, he told the Local recently.

Why is that?

“Everyone is so warm and welcoming here. The community is so hospitable,” said the jolly old man.

In fact, he has already been here. Santa attended the annual Circle of Trees event last Friday evening at Woodmere Art Museum.

He will be back in Chestnut Hill on Sunday afternoons, December 8, 15 and 22, greeting children and hearing their gift wishes. Several musicians will accompany him in his stroll along Germantown Avenue.

However, this is just a small part of the gala holiday festival that will take place in the Hill this year, according to Peggy Miller and Kate O’Neill, both deputy directors of the Chestnut Hill Business Association (CHBA).

“More lights, more music and more cheer up and down the Avenue,” O’Neill stressed.

“All the stores and the Avenue will be more beautifully decorated than ever before,” said Miller.

This is the place to shop for holiday gifts, the women believe. Stores will be open for Stag and Doe Nights until 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, December 4, 11 and 18, and on Sunday afternoons, December 7, 14 and 21.

New Pop-Up Shops will be appearing. Besides the returning Pennsylvania Horticultural Shop, there will be others including From Bali to Bala, Bohemian Pink, Pennsylvania General Store, Onice, Hillsely Hood and Over Under.

“To find them, just browse up the down the Avenue,” O’Neill suggested.

Chestnut Hill bakeries are also stepping up to make this a special time. Night Kitchen will offer holiday cookie decorating on Saturdays, December 7 and 14, at 2 p.m., although there will be no Dickens Tea — last year’s theme — in the afternoon.

Starting on November 29 and continuing through the holiday season, Bredenbeck’s Bakery Café will offer Gingerbread House Decorating for parents and kids. Adults will be invited to try their skills on Stag and Doe Nights from 7 to 9 p.m., while kids will be welcome on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m.

Sponsors of the holiday festival include Chestnut Hill Business Association, Chestnut Hill Hospital, Chestnut Hill Business Improvement District, Woodmere Art Museum, Elfant Wissahickon Realtors, Morris Arboretum, Valley Green Bank and Philadelphia Magazine.

The holiday season is celebrated with various events throughout the Chestnut Hill area. Chestnut Hill Community Association will have its popular Holiday House Tour on Saturday, December 7, Morris Arboretum will be running its wonderful Holiday Garden Railway until January 5, Woodmere Art Museum is presenting two exhibits that recall holidays past and Friends of the Wissahickon will help adults and kids design their own greenery wreaths.

New this year is a Chestnut Hill parade to celebrate the holidays and community on Saturday morning, December 14, along Germantown Avenue.

And there’s more. Look for stories on holiday happenings in this section. For additional information, call the CHBA at 215-247-6696 or visit

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