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Steve Patzer, of St. Charles, decorates his house with Christmas lights Monday. His three daughters are coming home for the holiday, along with some spouses and even three grandchildren. He says he began decorating the house to surprise the girls when they would come home from college, and he's been keeping the tradition going every year since.

Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

Over 1,600 runners started the Rotary 5K Santa run on Saturday by running the first block at Campbell Street and Vail Avenue in Arlington Heights.

George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

Irene Tripkos, left, Infant Toddler Specialist of District 62 Early Learning program, gets ready to start the class at the DesPlaines Public Library as Melissa Westphal and her 1 year old daughter Madeline, right, play with 1 year old Kensie Jewitt as her mother, Patty, looks on.

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

A pair of birds float over the Fox River just South of Boy Scout Island. I was able to get this picture as I leaned out of the window of the Despicable Me 2 blimp as it headed over St. Charles earlier this summer. This picture was published in the weekly Perspective column in the print edition.

Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

This time of year it is very common to see large flocks of birds flying together. I saw this group on Warrenville Road in Naperville recently. I don't know what type of bird it is, but they could be seen resting as a group in the trees, then flying up together at once and going over to another group of trees. I find it interesting to see them fill the sky and swoop in unison to their next destination. This picture was published in the weekly Perspective column in the print edition.

Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

While waiting for a train to pull into the Bartlett Metra station to illustrate a story on local Santa John Sullivan's comprehensive website listing of all area Polar Express train appearances, I could't help but noticing this odd juxtapositioning of characters begging for a hip shot. This picture was published in the weekly Perspective column in the print edition.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Mary Gartner, of Darian, takes photos of more than 3,000 poinsettias in the greenhouse at Cantigny Park during their annual open house to show off several varieties of poinsettia plants grown onsite.

Mark Black | Staff Photographer

Khalen Young, 14, of Hoffman Estates, holds the Hoffman Estates Junior Midget team trophy while seated with Clevontae Jackson, left, and JJ Daniels, as the team waits to find out who they will be playing in the Pop Warner finals in Florida.

JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

Amy Schram, of Elgin, helps her daughter Molly, 2 & 1/2, color an ornament during story time at the Barnes & Noble in the Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee Tuesday.

Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Joanne Sale rescues a cat named Charlie from a fire in her sister's house on Ohio Street near Lisle Tuesday evening.

Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

Seventh graders Stephanie Rivas, right, Julia Sulicka and Anna Lee, pick out pajamas as students from Carl Sandbug Middle School select toys and clothing from Target in Mundelein on Tuesday a needy Mundelein family. The Community Service Club raised $333 to help the family for the holidays.

Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Carl Sandbug Middle School seventh graders Shannon Lampi, right, and Jocelyn Gill, look for a coat at Target in Mundelein on Tuesday to help a needy Mundelein family.

Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Carter Magnussan, 3, with a little help from his teacher Chris Gillis, gives Shirley Bouchez from Sunrise Senior Center, a high-five during their visit to Arbor View Elementary in Glen Ellyn on Wednesday.

Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

Geneva electric department lineman Keith Benson hangs ornaments made by local children on the city's Christmas tree in front of the old court house building on Third Street on Thursday. The tree was decorated in prep for the annual Christmas Walk and House Tour festivities this weekend.

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Rolling Meadows Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony welcomed Santa with his pal Jackson Maloney, 3, of Rolling Meadows who was first to greet him with his wish list.

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Former principal of Twin Groves Middle School, Heather Friziellie, receives a hug from sixth-grader Kira Sullivan after a program at the school celebrating the school winning a Blue Ribbon School award from the U.S. Dept. of Education on Thursday in Buffalo Grove.

George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

Getting reacquainted are Lyle Hancock, of Wheeling, and Joe Triolo, of Waukegan. Both are Pearl Harbor survivors, along with Ed Block, of LaGrange, that were in attendance at Friday's ceremony honoring the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor at the Oakton Place in Des Plaines.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Items that have been collected for disaster relief for the Washington tornado victims sit at the bottom of a 20-foot Christmas tree Friday at Shodeen headquarters in Geneva. They will be delivered to the Washington area this coming Wednesday.

Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Austin McPherson, 1, of Bartlett, clings to his dad Phil's leg as he shys away from Santa as his mom looks on at the tree lighting ceremony in Bartlett on Friday.

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

4-year-old Kenny Murphy, of Lake Zurich, sits on top of the shoulders of his dad John, while waiting to see Santa at Wauconda's Holiday Walk on Main Street Saturday.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Five-year-old Heather Miller, of Batavia, helps juggle scarves during the Breakfast with Santa program at the Eastside Community Center Saturday in Batavia.

Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Gallery Image

Mike Fox, district chief with the North Maine Fire Protection District, gives a high-five to Neko Rias, 4, of Chicago, being carried by Jim Utinans, engineer with Des Plaines Fire Department, through a Gauntlet of Honor made up of police officers and fire department personal into Santa's Winter Wonderland at the Donald E. Stephens Rosemont Convention and Banquet Center on Saturday in Rosemont.

George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

Brownies Isabella Lucarelli, left, and Anna McCarthy, both 8, sing "Jingle Bells" during the Lincolnshire Holiday Tree Lighting on Sunday in the Village Green shopping center. The Lincolnshire Community Association's holiday event featured the arrival of Santa, musical performances, free food and drink culminating in the tree lighting.

Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Jessica Post, 5, of Norridge, colors a Christmas tree as she waits for the arrival of Santa Claus during Santa's Flight to Schaumburg Sunday at the Schaumburg Regional Airport. The holiday event was sponsored by the Schaumburg Park District and the Northwest Flyers. The air was filled with excitement as 300 visitors waited for the arrival of Santa Claus by helicopter.

Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Gallery posted: 12/8/2013 7:59 PM

About this Gallery

This edition of The Week in Pictures features kids shopping for families in need, people decorating for the holiday season, and hundreds and hundreds of Santas running.
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