The aim of this year’s Brookfield holiday celebrations are to focus on the community, both by contributing to the community and by shopping locally rather than at big box stores in other towns.  

Dual holiday celebrations by both the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Brookfield will kick off on Saturday, Dec. 5 at noon at village hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave., where local school music groups will perform while Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer circulate among the crowd, playing games and enjoying refreshments. 

In addition to concerts in the lower-level recreation hall, community members can decorate the Mitten Tree with donations of gloves, scarves and other gently used or new winter outerwear. 

Additional family-friendly activities and entertainment will take place both throughout the building as well as outside, weather permitting, all of which will be run by volunteers from local organizations.

In the main lobby of village hall residents will be able to participate in an annual tradition – decorating holiday cards for servicemen and women. While in previous years community members have written holiday cards and thank you letters to military personnel serving overseas through Operation Stars and Stripes, this year participants will be encouraged to write specifically to the 447th Military Police Company in Afghanistan, the unit in which Brookfield Patrol Officer Rafael Alvarado is currently serving. 

Each member of the unit will receive an envelope of cards and letters specifically addressed to him or her. 

“Letters and cards will continue to be collected after Christmas,” said Arlene Rovner of the village’s Recreation Department, “until at least August 2010.”

Santa flies in at 1 p.m.

The Chamber of Commerce’s lineup of events begins with the arrival, by helicopter, of Santa Claus at 1 p.m. at Jaycee/Ehlert Park, located at Elm and Shields avenues. Santa and Mrs. Claus will then make their way downtown, where they’ll stroll around and greet folks until they begin their visit with local children at “The Cottage” at Irish Times, 8869 Burlington Ave. from 2 to 5 p.m.

From 3 to 5 p.m., kids can visit up close with Santa’s reindeer at Eight Corners (Maple and Broadway avenues). Visitors will be able to take a trolley to Eight Corners from Village Hall, where activities and entertainment will end at 5:30 p.m.

After you’re done visiting with Santa or checking out the reindeer, the Chamber of Commerce recommends starting a 2009 Holiday Passport in order to encourage patronage of local businesses.

While perusing the shops and enjoying refreshments and entertainment at the businesses of Eight Corners and on Grand Boulevard, adults can get stamps from the participating 16 businesses and then submit completed passports at Tequila Mockingbird, 3733 Grand Blvd., for a drawing featuring a large-screen television as first prize.  Passports can be completed between until Dec.12 at 6 p.m. when the drawing will be held.

The day’s festivities will be brought to a close by the annual tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. at the Veterans Circle at Eight Corners, with music provided by the Helping Hand Choir.