Promoting Crestwood, Missouri, with enthusiasm!

I Heart Crestwood

Christmas in Crestwood is a 501(c)3 organization serving Crestwood, Missouri.

Established in 2014, we started with just five volunteers and two events. 2015 saw expanded growth in volunteers, sponsors, and participants. 2016 major sponsors continued to grow and bigger, bolder events were added. 2017 saw further expansion of contributors, supporters, and participants as well as additional recognition throughout the community. 2018 was the fifth anniversary of Christmas in Crestwood and it was welcomed with growing enthusiasm.

2019 was our biggest year and included a venue change, expanded participation, and new events and activities including the well-received winter wonderland event. We also underwent a reorganizing and expanding of our mission to “connecting Crestwood businesses and area residents through the true spirit of Christmas year-round!” Our founding mission, established in 2014, limited our focus to Christmastime. That was a great start, but we love our community all year and we believe we can make a difference all year, thus we expanded our scope to make a difference year-round.

2020 had setbacks and challenges due to COVID-19 hampering some of our original goals, but volunteers thought outside the “gift” box to develop safe and fun events and activities and spread Crestwood spirit all the way through to the end of the year.

2021, while slowly bouncing back from the effects of COVID-19, still held several unknowns and we proceeded cautiously. The 2021 Celebration was also overshadowed by the sudden death of our Founder and Director, Sue Bremehr. However, all of the volunteers leaned in and kept the Celebration on track and maybe even made it shine just a little bit brighter.

In 2022, our goal is to return to our winter wonderland kids workshop indoor event and build a program to meet and exceed the grandeur we achieved in 2019.

Follow the 2022 Jollification link in the right-hand navigation for an overview of our plans in 2022 and how to find details as they become available.



Join the Fun. Enjoy the Community.

We invite Crestwood and St. Louis to become a part of the celebration all year.

We encourage everyone to Shop Crestwood and see the amazing and diverse offerings found within our Community.


Do you think you would like to volunteer?

We welcome anyone who wants to volunteer to make our programs and events the best they can be. We also welcome any Crestwood business or organization who would like to sponsor and support our mission to promote Crestwood with enthusiasm! Click the Contact Us tab above to connect with us.

Established in 2014

Santa, Sue, and Mary

Christmas in Crestwood began as just an idea... a group of residents brainstorming beautification ideas, noted that they would need to wait until Spring to start their projects. But someone uttered, “Why wait?” Then wheels started turning and plans were set in motion for the Christmas Tree to be Crestwood’s Winter flower.


2014 begins with just five volunteers and two events — the Crestwood Holiday Tree Decorating Contest and the main event called Crestwood’s Favorite Santa is Coming to Town! event (which later changed to the Santa is Coming to Crestwood! event.
  • Started the tradition of decorating City Hall and leaving the decorations up until after New Year’s Day
  • Handmade holiday decorations were crafted by Crestwood Elementary school students
  • The first and only major sponsor was Environmental Heating and Cooling
  • After years of providing a home for the original Crestwood Mall Santa, Spectrum Eyeglass Repair joined with Christmas in Crestwood to bring Santa to City Hall
  • Approximately 90 children and 200 adults participated in Santa is Coming to Crestwood! Special thanks went to Spectrum Eyeglass Repair and Crestwood Walgreens for sponsoring photo packages.
  • Proceeds from photos with Santa went to Toys for School Kids, and toys were collected for them as well
  • Businesses provided contents for 100 goody bags for children
  • 48 Crestwood businesses displayed a holiday tree for the Crestwood Holiday Tree Decorating Contest
  • Weekly gift basket drawings for rating decorated trees value $100-$300

2015 sees expanded growth in volunteers, sponsors, and participants. Its two main events continued for a second year — the Crestwood Holiday Tree Decorating Contest and Santa is Coming to Crestwood! event. In addition:
  • On July 24th, Santa visits City Hall and Mayor Roby to invite Crestwood children to the 2015 Christmas in Crestwood Celebration
  • In addition to more than tripling our number of volunteers, graphic artist, Paula Kapfer (Spicy Graphics), joined as a volunteer and created our logo, new look, and all our printed material
  • Banners designed by Paula and sponsored by Beautify Crestwood are hung on light poles along Watson and Sappington Roads
  • Along with Environmental Heating and Cooling, three more major sponsors were added: Streib Company, Crestwood Walgreens, and OfficeMax
  • Walgreens starts attaching our Santa is Coming to Crestwood! flyers to prescriptions when they are picked up
  • Approximately 140 children and 300 adults participated in Santa is Coming to Crestwood!
  • Handmade decorations were crafted by Crestwood Elementary School and Long Elementary School students
  • A food collection for the Prince of Peace community food pantry is added to the Santa event
  • Pauline Books & Media donates a children’s gift basket to the Santa is Coming to Crestwood! event
  • 69 Crestwood businesses displayed a holiday tree for the Crestwood Holiday Tree Decorating Contest
  • Christmas in Crestwood Director, Sue Bremehr, was named Citizen of the Year by the Crestwood/Sunset Hills Chamber of Commerce for Christmas in Crestwood’s work in promoting Crestwood businesses
  • Grand prize was added to the Crestwood Holiday Tree Decorating Contest — visit all 69 participating businesses, rate the tree, and get a manager signature on a special form to be entered into a prize drawing with a value of $1,890
  • Weekly gift basket drawings for rating trees value $600-$700 per basket
  • Worked with City Hall to establish a Business Holiday Guide on the City of Crestwood website
  • “Your House Looks Great!” door hangers are hung on residences decorated for the holidays

2016 major sponsors continue to grow and bigger, bolder events are added. Along with the traditional Crestwood Holiday Tree Decoration Contest and the Santa is Coming to Crestwood! event, new sponsors and volunteers helped us add the Classic Santa Car Cruise, the Car Show and Fireworks, and the “Your House Looks Great!” Door Hanger Blitz. In addition:
  • Entrance and exit banners were displayed at the four main entrances/exits to Crestwood
  • Vicki Palmer begins coordinating the Santa is Coming to Crestwood! event
  • Approximately 175 children and 400 adults participate in Santa is Coming to Crestwood!
  • Handmade holiday decorations are crafted by Crestwood Elementary School and Long Elementary School students and area private schools students (Holy Cross Academy, Christ Community Lutheran School, and St. Justin Martyr)
  • The Classic Santa Car Cruise is created (organized by Rosann Shannon) and added to the Santa is Coming to Crestwood! event
  • 96 Crestwood businesses displayed a holiday tree for the Crestwood Holiday Tree Decorating Contest and home-based businesses were invited to display their trees at Whitecliff Community Center
  • Weekly gift basket drawings for rating decorated trees value $600-$700 per basket, and for visiting and rating trees for at least 50 participating businesses, the grand prize basket value reaches $2,500
  • City Hall expanded the Business Holiday Guide on the City of Crestwood website
  • Despite a change in plans due to inclement weather, additional volunteers helped distribute over 1,000 “Your House Looks Great!” door hangers
  • Jason Gallahue, owner of Fairway Automotive, partnered with us to establish the first Car Show and Fireworks Display for a kickoff weekend the first Saturday in December which included Santa being chauffeured around Crestwood by Bob and Anne Goodwillie in a Willy’s Jeepster greeting and gifting children along the route
  • Coffee and Cupcakes with Christmas in Crestwood was held on April 8th
  • Christmas in Crestwood sponsored Cocktails and Community Volunteer Fair on July 25th at The Barn Restaurant which included several Crestwood non-profits; Karen Mott, The Barn proprietor, and Chef Tim provided complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
  • Pastor lunches with the Crestwood Mayor are established to connect area churches with helping support citizen needs in Crestwood

2017 sees further expansion of contributors, supporters, and participants as well as some recognition throughout the community. The number of events also increases to include the Holiday Tree Decorating Contest and the Crestwood Holiday Lights House Decorating Contest, the Santa is Coming to Crestwood! event, the Classic Santa Car Cruise, the Door Hanger Blitz (which lists our events), the Car Show and Fireworks (launched from St. Elizabeth’s of Hungary Church ball field), and a Holiday Guide on the City’s website. In addition:
  • On January 24, the City of Crestwood presented Christmas in Crestwood with a Proclamation
  • In May, Christmas in Crestwood receives the MuniAward for Citizen Engagement and Civic Spirit from the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis
  • Mayor Gregg Roby and the Board of Alderman proclaim December 2, 2017 to be “Santa Ted Day” in the City of Crestwood
  • Added new logos designed by Paula Kapfer (Spicy Graphics) for each Christmas in Crestwood event
  • Approximately 200 children participated in Santa is Coming to Crestwood!
  • Handmade holiday decorations are crafted by Crestwood Elementary School and Long Elementary School students and area private schools students (Holy Cross Academy, Christ Community Lutheran School, and St. Justin Martyr)
  • The Classic Santa Car Cruise greeted and gifted children along a published route and Santa led the way in a Will’s Jeepster followed by a string of amaizing vehicles
  • 103 Crestwood businesses displayed a holiday tree for the Crestwood Holiday Tree Decorating Contest
  • Weekly gift basket drawings for rating decorated trees value $750-$1,200, and by visiting 50 of the participating businesses to find the secret word tacked on the ballot box, the top 10 contestant (based on the greatest number of entries) are entered into a grand prize drawing valued at $3,175
  • 42 houses participated in the first Holiday Lights House Decorating Contest with over 1,000 votes cast
  • “Your House Looks Great!” Door Hanger Blitz morphs into door hangers that list our events; Boy Scouts help distribute door hangers to ALL Crestwood residents
  • Christmas in Crestwood purchased an advertising insert in the South County Times which was distributed to 5,625 residences and which listed all of the events and donors as well as all the businesses participating in the Crestwood Holiday Tree Decorating Contest
  • Home-based businesses are included in the Crestwood Holiday Tree Decorating Contest and displayed at Whitecliff Community Center
  • Christmas in Crestwood purchases new decorations for City Hall

2018 was the fifth anniversary of Christmas in Crestwood and is welcomed with growing enthusiasm. Events include Holiday Tree Decorating Contest and the Crestwood Holiday Lights House Decorating Contest, the Santa is Coming to Crestwood! event, the Classic Santa Car Cruise, the third annual Car Show, fireworks, Christmas In Crestwood Radio, Christmas Madrigal Concert with the Greenleaf Singers at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, and a Holiday Guide on the City’s website. In addition:
  • The Barn Restaurant hosted our first Business Mingle with a Christmas Jingle on July 25th to connect Crestwood businesses to each other and to City Staff
  • The group Crestwood Churches Care is formed as local pastors come together to support Crestwood residents and leaders
  • The kick-off event in December at City Hall was packed as children and families enjoyed activities and snacks while they waited for photos with Santa
  • 42 volunteers cames together to make the kick-off event and December activities a success
  • Handmade holiday decorations are crafted by Crestwood Elementary School and Long Elementary School students and area private schools students (Holy Cross Academy, Christ Community Lutheran School, and St. Justin Martyr)
  • The Classic Santa Car Cruise made its way from St. Elizabeth through Ward 3 along Lodge Pole Lane to its destination at Fairway Automotive
  • A fireworks display by Brilliant Skies Fireworks and fully-sponsored by Streib Company is launched from St. Elizabeth’s of Hungary Church ball field
  • Houses across Crestwood participated in the Holiday Lights House Decorating Contest (divided by Ward) and finalists from each Ward were posted on Facebook for the final overall voting
  • Over 100 Crestwood businesses participate in the Crestwood Holiday Tree Decorating Contest in 11 categories, and top finalists were posted on Facebook for the People’s Choice award
  • Weekly gift basket drawings for rating decorated trees value $810-$836, and by visiting 60 of the participating businesses to find the secret word tacked on the ballot box, the top 10 contestant (based on the greatest number of entries) are entered into a grand prize drawing valued at $5,627 — in honor of Christmas In Crestwood’s five-year anniversary we aimed for a $5,000 prize value
  • New this year: Christmas in Crestwood Radio hosted by the St. Louis Classic Rock Preservation Society launches for the first time and is heard by people in 29 states including Washington D.C. and in 13 countries/regions around the world including Brazil, Chile, England, France, Germany, Israel, Russia, and Spain — 31 businesses and City officials participated by requesting five Christmas/Holiday songs, and as the songs played on the internet radio station, the requester’s logo appeared on the station list
  • Lynn Teller and Angela Sebben start us on our journey in the 21st-century technology
  • Christmas In Crestwood donates funds for a major equipment purchase to the Crestwood Fire Department enabling the launch of their new Project Lifesaver program

2019 was our biggest year and included a venue change, expanded participation, and new events and activities. Events include Crestwood Business Holiday Decorating Contest and the Crestwood Holiday Lights House Decorating Contest, the Santa is Coming to Crestwood! event, the Classic Santa Car Cruise with Santa Stops, fireworks, Christmas In Crestwood Radio, and Christmas Madrigal Concert with the Greenleaf Singers at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. In addition:
  • On July 25th, The Barn Restaurant hosted our Business Mingle with a Christmas Jingle to connect Crestwood business to each other and have a chance to converse with City officials in a relaxed and festive atmosphere
  • Due to the water main break and flooding of City Hall on August 10, the traditional kick-off events were relocated to St. Elizabeth’s of Hungary Catholic Church (across the street) — the biggest challenge was to be able to fill the new space which was multiple times larger
  • In addition to collecting for Toys for School Kids and the Prince of Peace food pantry, we also collected for Project Livesaver
  • Due to the fact that event decorations needed to come down quickly after the event, holiday decorations were only provided by St. Elizabeth’s Home School group
  • We were able to publish news of the events and the venue change to over 76,000 households thanks to the support of the Times Newspaper and Grabber School of Hair Design
  • The kick-off event included photos with Santa, a “Main Street” of business-sponsored family activities, “Santa’s Workshop” full of activities and crafts for kids, and areas with games, face painting, and balloon animals; outdoors there was a bounce house and food trucks
  • The Classic Santa Car Cruise wheeled its way through the nearby neighborhood with “Santa Stops” near Rayburn and Spellman Parks
  • The traditional tree decorating contest transformed into the Crestwood Business Holiday Decorating Contest went “high-tech” for the first time using an on-line voting mechanism accessed using QR codes — business patrons were given the opportunity to rate overall decorations, not just trees this year, and 105 businesses participated
  • A fireworks display by Brilliant Skies Fireworks and fully-sponsored by Streib Company is launched from St. Elizabeth’s of Hungary Church ball field
  • This year we introduced a scavenger hunt where clues were released on our Facebook page and the City’s website for twelve days — each clue led the participant to a business in Crestwood where they needed to accomplish a task (like counting the number of elephants or snapping a photo), and once they completed all the clues, they submitted their answers and were entered into a drawing for a grand prize worth $3,000
  • Christmas in Crestwood Radio continues and is heard by people in 23 states including Washington, D.C. and in 11 countries around the world — the internet radio station is home to nine different stations and on average, during the month, Christmas in Crestwood Radio ranked fifth in popularity this year

2020 has setbacks and challenges due to COVID-19, but volunteers think outside the “gift” box to develop safe and fun events and activities and spread Crestwood spirit all the way to the end of the year. Events included:
  • A Children’s Essay Writing Contest with the theme “My Favorite Holiday Tradition/Experience,”. There were three age categories. The K-3rd Grade category won a bowling pizza party at Crestwood Bowl and free concretes from Crestwood Culver’s. The 4th-6th Grade category won a 10-Race package from Victory Raceway plus a $50 gift certificate to Crestwood Applebee’s. The 7th-12th grade category won a 10-Race package from Victory Raceway plus a $50 gift certificate to Crestwood Imo’s. The judges for the Essay Contest were the City Administrator, the Mayor, and the Aldermen.
  • The Where’s Santa? Photographic Scavenger Hunt encouraged participants to explore Crestwood in the most COVID-friendly way. Each Thursday beginning November 12th, Clue Photos were provided. The object was to review the Clue, figure out where Santa was in the image, go to the location, replicate the clue with the participant replacing Santa, and submit the new photo as the contest entry. There were 47 Clue Photos in total, representative of Crestwood’s incorporation as a Village in 1947. Participants were encouraged to be creative, too, and many of them dressed up in costumes. A singular prize was giving to the Most Creative Team (as judges by Jollification Specialists and Santa himself). For every Clue that was successfully found, participants earned an entry into a prize drawing. For finding all 47 Clues there was a Grand Prize package of good and services from Crestwood business (valued at $3,000). Everyone who found at least 24 Clues qualified for the Basic Prize package (valued at $870) of goods and services from Crestwood businesses.
  • The Shop Crestwood for the Holidays receipt contest encouraged area residents to shop local and keep their holiday dollars within Crestwood. For every $200 in receipts, participants earned a chance into a prize drawing worth over $1,600.
  • We also expanded the Shop Crestwood contest with a special “Dine Crestwood” contest, to specifically help keep our restaurants floating during harder times related to COVID. Any $5 or more receipt to any Crestwood restaurant also counted towards the specific Dine Crestwood prize.
  • The Classic Santa Car Parade (combining the traditional car cruise with the Santa is Coming to Crestwood! events) had a 2.5-mile route through Crestwood neighborhoods both north and south of Watson Road and west of Sappington Road. The route crossed Watson Road twice (at Greenwood and Sturdy) as it made it’s loop out and back to St. Raymond-St. Elizabeth Church.
  • The Goody Bag Exchange Food Drive provided a goody bags filled with donations from Crestwood businesses to every child who donated at least five non-perishable items. We collected over 2,500 items, which were all donated to the pantry at Crestwood’s First Baptist Church. Most of the total was collected on December 5th, but some of it was collected at the Crestwood Culver’s and America’s Best Contact & Eyeglasses location in Crestwood. America’s Best also continued their food collected several months into 2021.
  • Once again, a fireworks display by Brilliant Skies Fireworks and fully-sponsored by Streib Company is launched from the St. Raymond-St. Elizabeth Church ball field. There were also many additional places to view the display and several nearby parking lots were full including City, Crestwood Elementary, Kohl s, Watson Plaza (where the Shop-n-Save was), and Crestwood Commons (Schnuck s).
  • Christmas in Crestwood Radio filled the internet airwaves once again from December 1st through December 31st. Hosted by the St. Louis Classic Rock Preservation Society, Crestwood businesses, organizations, and City officials submitted their holiday music picks to build the playlist. The station is one of nine stations operating at www.StLouisClassicRock.com, 24/7 and commercial-free, and replaces the Route 66 station during the month of December. During the 2020 listening season, CinC Radio was heard in 33 states and 17 countries! And those who listened were able to see the names/logos of the businesses or organization who requested the song which also linked to their own website (if applicable).
  • 2020 was also the first year Christmas in Crestwood had its own website (www.ChristmasInCrestwood.org). The website domain was donated by John and Angela Sebben. Angela built and maintained it. The website serves as a repository of event and contest information and is a great boost beyond just using our Facebook page to spread information.
Jollification SpecialistsEveryone Can Be a Jollification Specialist!

Christmas in Crestwood would not be possible without the generous support of Crestwood businesses as well as each and every one of our dedicated and faithful volunteers spreading Crestwood spirit year-round.


Volunteer

We welcome anyone who wants to volunteer to make our programs and events the best they can be. We also welcome any Crestwood business or organization who would like to sponsor and support our mission to promote Crestwood with enthusiasm! Fill out the volunteer form below so that we can call upon you for upcoming programs and events.


Sponsor

Do you want to contribute to Christmas in Crestwood in a significant way? Do you have an idea for a program or event you’d like to sponsor? Please feel free to contact us. Fill out the email form below.


Name:

E-mail:

Phone: (optional)

Please tell us your ideas or how you would like to contribute to Christmas in Crestwood or our mission.


Sue BremehrSue A. Bremehr
Aug. 27, 1957 – Sep. 21, 2021

Christmas in Crestwood began in 2014 as just an idea... a group of residents brainstorming beautification ideas, noted that they would need to wait until Spring to start their projects. But Sue Bremehr uttered, “Why wait?” Then wheels started turning and plans were set in motion for the Christmas Tree to be Crestwood’s Winter flower.

Our beautiful Sue brought together so many throughout Crestwood and the region. Her heart is forever enshrined in all the lives she touched. Her smile is forever emblazoned in our memories. Her spirit will forever flourish throughout Crestwood. Sue is and will always be loved by so many. Bless the bounty that is Sue. She will be our light and guidance in our mission and through our year-end celebration, for we will not let her down.

On December 4, 2021, Christmas in Crestwood celebrated Santa Coming to Crestwood with our standard fair... the Santa Car Cruise, the Goody Bag Food Drive, food trucks, and fireworks. One this day, we also celebrated Sue. Just prior to the fireworks display, Regina Massie read the following message written by Angela Sebben in reflection shortly after Sue was called home.


Sue’s Stone Soup is Crestwood

A few days after Sue was called home to Heaven, a conversation Angela had with her mother led her to read the story of Stone Soup, an old folktale for which there are many variations. At first Angela was just curious about what her mom was describing, but as Angela read a bedtime version of the story she found online, she began to remember it from my childhood, though she couldn’t recall when or where she heard or read it.

The short version is that a weary Traveler came upon a poor village filled with people who did not like to share and kept to themselves. Knocking on the door of a home, the Traveler was told about the poor village, and that probably no house who would have any food to spare. So, instead the Traveler offered for the homeowner to share in some of his stone soup. Curious, the homeowner invited the Traveler in (for she was hungry, too) and watched as the Traveler placed a large stone (which he had picked up from the ground) into a pot of water and set it to boil.

When the water was boiling, the Traveled carefully tasted the soup and said it was almost done, but that it would be better if they had a little salt and butter to add to it. The homeowner, retrieved some butter and salt from the pantry and gave it to the Traveler. When the woman’s husband came home with vegetables from their garden, the Traveler explained the stone soup would be even better with some carrots and potatoes, and the hungry husband gave the Traveler some to add to the pot.

The smell of the soup began to drift outside of the home and neighbors became curious. One by one they came to see and the Traveler continued to explain how the stone soup would be better with another ingredient, and another ingredient, and another. And the hungry neighbors were pleased to contribute their small portion to make the stone soup better.

After the stone soup and all of its ingredients had been cooking for a while and the crowd of neighbors had grown, the Traveler tasted the soup and it was perfect. Then the Traveler served a bowl of the delicious soup to everyone. The neighbors all wanted to know where they could get their own “magic” stone, thinking the stone the Traveler had used was all used up. It was then that the Traveler pulled the stone from the pot to reveal that it was still whole. All the neighbors in the village then realized the magic was not in the stone but in how they came together with their small contributions to make a delicious soup that nourished so many.

Okay, that wasn’t so short, and we can give you the complete soup recipe later, but after reading the story of the stone soup, it stuck with Angela for a couple days and she wondered why. Why could she not get this simple story out of her head. And then she understood. And Sue was the key.

God sent Sue to Crestwood. She is the Traveler. She had the ability to pick up a stone — an idea — and turn it into nourishment for her neighbors — her community. We can just hear Sue’s voice, “This is a good idea, but if we had this or that, or if we could find someone to help with this or that, wouldn’t that be so much better?” And once she posed the question, someone would step up, and it would become something good in the community.

That is truly the origin of Christmas in Crestwood. Each year we have more and more residents and businesses participating in our events and activities and in our Community. Sue knew that was what made our Community strong. Sue knew that connecting businesses and residents would make Crestwood resilient and a happier place to live. But she wasn’t done yet. She had only just begun her soup. And those who Sue touched — even for a brief moment — are ready to step up to keep gathering ingredients and making Crestwood’s stone soup delicious and sustaining.

Sue believed in nourishment. Healthy, hearty, soul-filling nourishment. All those who loved her will try their best to continue to nourish the Crestwood community. All of the Jollification Specialists are stepping up to fulfill Christmas in Crestwood’s vision. During this upcoming Celebration season and into the future, we hope more and more neighbors find the ingredient they can contribute to Crestwood’s rich, diverse, and savory stone soup.

Sue, we pledge to do our best, to make you proud, to help keep Christmas in Crestwood a growing and thriving organization, and to light up Crestwood with color and cheer for years to come.