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My first memory of Christmas was in 1987. I remember waking up to find that Santa had dropped off a play kitchen for my Sister and me. I was so excited to start playing. The whole time everyone was opening presents, I was ‘Cooking’. I even asked my mom watch my eggs I was working on while I went to open another present. I was in love. I don’t even remember if I asked for this present but it was amazing. This was my first memory of Christmas. To this day, I have strived to give my kids the same experience I had.
St. Paul Police Foundation
For some parents, they are still trying to give their kids this experience. They may be struggling to make ends meet or are working too many jobs and don’t have the time out and buy presents. The Saint Paul Police department is aware of this struggle in their community. They set out to do something about it with funds from their own foundation.
Holiday Lights in the Park
With the St. Paul Police Foundation, they have created Holiday Lights in the Parkas a fundraiser. This is a unique driving experience with over 60 lighted themed displays. It costs $10 a car or $8 if you buy online and runs from 5-10pm every night through January 1st. Each car is greeted by a uniformed officer at the gate. After that cars drive through the illuminated park. There is no required speed so take your time. To get the best pictures, make sure to turn off your headlights. This is great for families like mine with smaller children. Instead of going to one of the Winter Wonderlands in the cities, you can just put everyone in the car. Don’t forget the blankies and PJs. There is no need to mess with bundling up kids with mittens and hats. If you’ve timed things right, after Holiday Lights in the Park you’ll have sleeping children.
Shop with Cops
All the money collected for Holiday of Lights in the Park is going directly to the St. Paul Police Foundation. To this day, they have risen over $420,000. The foundation has some amazing programs that are giving back to the community. My personal favorite is Shop with Cops. The program invites children to come shop with uniformed police officers. They buy gifts for those in their immediate families with funds provided by the program. After shopping, the group goes back to the station and has a gift wrapping pizza party. This is a great program for those that are struggling during the holiday.
A New Tradition
If you are looking for something to do this holiday season head out to the Holiday Lights in the Park. With the money going directly to the Foundation, you will not only be brightening up your children’s holiday but those of the community as well. It has become one of our family’s newest traditions.