Thanksgiving is over, so it’s time to start tracking the jolly man in the red suit and white beard as he makes his way to the burbs.

You may have seen his appearances in the Macy’s parade in New York and in the Chicago parade, but after a brief rest and Skyping to Mrs. Claus, he is getting ready for his appearance in Riverside at the village’s annual Holiday Stroll, which is in its 38th year on Friday, Nov. 30.

Giving his reindeers a rest, he will arrive in Riverside aboard a fire truck and proceed down East Burlington Street at approximately 5:45 p.m. to Centennial Park for the tree-lighting ceremony. Then it’s off to Riverside Bank, where he will greet one and all for picture-taking and listing to the wishes of the little ones.

While Santa is busy, there will be plenty for everyone to do with more than 36 businesses opening their doors to spread holiday cheer. There will be music, a magic show, pony rides and a petting zoo at the Riverside Garage. While you’re there, you can see the train display, a yearly favorite.

Stop at Soul Amici Express in the train station where you can visit with former Chicago Bears wide receiver, Rashied Davis. Don’t forget to hit Jeff’s Auto on East Quincy Street to see wood-carving artistry using a chain saw. It’s amazing.

And what would Christmas be without a star from Higgins Glass across the street on Quincy Street? Take the trolley which will go from downtown Riverside to the businesses on Harlem Avenue. This event has grown and has become better each year.

After a short rest, Santa gears up for his next stop in Brookfield on Saturday, Dec. 1. His mode of transportation will be helicopter, with his estimated time of arrival at 1 p.m. at Jaycee/Ehlert Park. He will settle in at Irish Times on Burlington Avenue to visit with good little girls and boys. A trolley will be available to go through the business districts. Activities, refreshments and entertainment will continue through the afternoon with the tree-lighting taking place at 6 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Circle.

Now I know that the girls and boys in the Landmark area have been good and won’t be getting coal in their stockings, because I saw a train with coal cars going down the tracks and heading east, away from Riverside and Brookfield – and didn’t look as if it had any coal left. But still be good, for goodness’ sake!