Partly cloudy skies during the morning giving way to a few showers late. High 51F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 40%..

Cloudy skies this evening will become partly cloudy after midnight. Slight chance of a rain shower. Low 34F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.

A trio of St. Charles Christmas Traditions characters walk through Main Street during a steady snowfall, heading to greet Christmas Eve shoppers on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017. The group of carolers, holiday characters and international historic Santas entertain Main Street shoppers through the month of December. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

Ryan Cooper dons blue lipstick as cantakerous JackFrost at St. Charles Christmas Traditions. He's accompanied by Suzy Snowflake, better known as Amber Baker. 

A trio of St. Charles Christmas Traditions characters walk through Main Street during a steady snowfall, heading to greet Christmas Eve shoppers on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017. The group of carolers, holiday characters and international historic Santas entertain Main Street shoppers through the month of December. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

There is perhaps no destination in this guide more worthy of destination status than downtown St. Charles. On its historic streets you’ll find Santas of all nations and historic periods as well as storybook characters — the Sugarplum Fairy, Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge — waiting to chat and hand out their coveted cards. (Kids like to collect them all; there are about 50 of them.) With parades, chestnuts roasting on open fires and dozens of shops waiting to sell you that perfect gift, it’s no wonder Historic St. Charles has become a holiday tradition for so many.

Ryan Cooper dons blue lipstick as cantakerous JackFrost at St. Charles Christmas Traditions. He's accompanied by Suzy Snowflake, better known as Amber Baker. 

Christmas Traditions • The festivities take place Nov. 29-Dec. 24: 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays; noon-5 Sundays. Free events include the parade at 1:30 on Saturdays and Sundays; an evening processional at 8:30 Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 4:30 Sundays; and a reading of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays at the First Missouri State Capitol Historic Site, 200 South Main Street. “A Christmas Carol” plays at 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in the 400 block of South Main Street. You can meet Santa’s reindeer from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 21-22. There are many other free events and three major ticketed events: Breakfast With Santa (Dec. 8 and 15), a Yuletide Dinner (Dec. 5, 12, 19) and Holidays Around the World, a sampling of desserts (Dec. 10).

New dining spots • Salt + Smoke has a new location on Main Street, as does the Rack House (called Tompkins by the Rack House). Baked! Bakery & Cafe, which sells keto diet-friendly cookie dough, is opening soon.

Pillows from old quilts • If your loved one has a favorite old quilt that is beyond repair, consider having it turned into a pillow by Laura Lewis Henderson. $36.99 and up at Laura’s La Petitie, 709 South Main Street, St. Charles, lauraslapetite.com

Bath bomb cubes • These botanical-infused bath bombs are made on site. Varieties include thistle with oats, jasmine with French green clay, rosemary with peppermint and eucalyptus, and more. $25 for a set of six at Provenance Soapworks, 311 South Main Street, St. Charles, provenancesoaps.com

Dog figurines • The dog lover on your list can add a touch of holiday cheer with these doggie figurines (in sweaters). They stand about 5 to 6 inches tall. $22.99 each at April’s on Main, 222 North Main Street, St. Charles, aprilsonmain.com

Funny toilet paper • For a gag gift or just a gift for someone with a great sense of humor, these embroidered toilet paper rolls are good for a chuckle. $8 at Scentchips, 612 South Main Street, St. Charles, stcharles.scentchips.com

“It’s Alive” • A mashup of Gene Wilder from “Young Frankenstein” and “Willy Wonka,” this limited-edition print by Mollie Chounard is a fun gift for those who appreciate whimsical art. $50 at Missouri Artists on Main, 315-321 South Main Street, St. Charles. moamgallery.com

“Bumpy Road” tee • For anyone who has driven — or maybe ridden in a stroller — down the brick streets and cobblestone sidewalks of St. Charles, you know the ride is not a smooth one. This “bumpy road” shirt is all in good fun. $9.99 (child size) at Main Street General Store, 143 North Main Street, St. Charles, mainstreetgeneralstore.com

Stackable, changeable rings • Qudo jewelry is a new line of jewelry — interchangeable, stackable rings and toppers — handmade in Germany. Mix and match according to your mood or outfit. Rings start at $30, toppers at $25, at European Accent, 426 South Main Street, St. Charles, europeanaccent.net

Popcorn set • Celebrate the flavors of St. Louis ... on popcorn. This set contains a bag of popcorn and seasonings for gooey butter cake, barbecue pork steak and toasted ravioli. $24.99 at Olde Town Spice Shoppe, 344 South Main Street, St. Charles, oldtownspices.com

Necklace from piano key • Missouri artist Denise C. Smith creates beautiful scrimshaw illustrations on antique ivory piano keys that can no longer be played. $99.99 at Laura’s La Petitie, 709 South Main Street, St. Charles

Holiday sleep set • Tuck in your toddler in this adorable “Believe ... Life Is Good” top and waffle-weave (ribbed) striped pants. $46 at Jake’s on Main Life is Good store, 136 South Main Street, St. Charles, jakesonmainstcharles.com

Foaming body scrub • With the softness of shea butter but cleanliness from foam, and a scent of the holidays, this Sleigh Queen scrub is a perfect gift for the queen in your life. $34 at Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium, 136 South Main Street, St. Charles, bathhousesoap.com

Llama holiday towel • This tea towel by Kellie Montana is sure to delight the llama lovers on your list. $10.99 at April's on Main, 222 North Main Street, St. Charles, aprilsonmain.com

Cryo Face Lift Machine

Doggie treats • Why should humans have all the gourmet fun. Let Fido celebrate the Blues and the Cardinals too with these sweet treats. $2.50-$7.50 each at Canine Cookies N Cream Dog Bakery, 822 South Main Street, St. Charles, caninecookiesncream.com

Soccer ball • As the popularity of English football increases here, it’s likely you have a family member who would appreciate an authentic English football. Liverpool is a popular Premier League team. $28 at the English Shop, 423 South Main Street, St. Charles, theenglishshoponline.com

Wear one, give one • These Lucy's Inspired Gabby bead bracelet sets were created to celebrate the life of Gabriella Menotti. A portion of the proceeds will go to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation in her honor. There are two bracelets in each set: one to inspire you and one to give away. $36 at Jake's on Main Life is Good store, 136 South Main Street, St. Charles, jakesonmainstcharles.com 

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