The IPL Yuletide Celebration Spreads Christmas Cheer

It’s Christmas crunch time. With only a few days left until Santa makes his way down the chimney – it’s time to start making the lists and checking them twice. Tis the season when lists abound. Gift lists. Wrapping lists. Grocery lists. Packing lists. Lists, lists and more lists.

There is a moment in all of the list making when reality hits – some things just won’t happen. There just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything and that’s okay. It’s priority time. It’s time to think about what absolutely needs to happen and what can be pushed aside.


A must-happen on my family’s list is attending the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s IPL Yuletide Celebration at Hilbert Circle Theatre. It’s one of those things that just feels like a part of Christmas. It’s like decorating the tree and doing our advent calendar. It’s something we look forward to all year long.


And for good reason. It’s awesome. From beginning to end – awesome.

And this year was no exception. From the moment we walked up to the theatre, we were giddy with excitement. The Hilbert Circle Theatre sits on Monument Circle, which in and of itself feels extremely festive this time of year. To add to the excitement we were already feeling – we saw a humongous cuddly teddy bear and Olaf before we even made our way into the building.


Once inside, the excitement continued. We oohed and ahhed over the beautifully decorated, brightly-lit Christmas tree that sits in the middle of the lobby. We roamed from Rudolph to the walking Christmas tree to the Gingerbread man (and his friends) to say hello, get a hug and have some pictures taken. And of course, we had to grab some chocolate milk and sugar cookies (in honor of Santa Claus) before making our way into the auditorium.


All of this happened before the show even began! We could have left then and been happy, but there was still so much more!

We found our seats and once the show started, we were swept up into a winter wonderland filled with immense talent.


For starters, this year’s host is the uber-talented Josh Kaufman, Indianapolis resident and the winner of the sixth season of NBC’s The Voice. The show also featured a spectacular aerial act, a graceful ballerina and dynamic perfectly in-sync twin tappers Sean and John Scott, who have performed with numerous stars like Beyoncé, Prince and Stevie Wonder.

We were excited to see the classic acts that we look forward to every year like the Tap Dancing Santas and “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and took great delight in the new acts like “Santa’s Choice” and a beautiful rendition of “All By Myself” peformed by Mrs. Claus herself.

The music of the Indianapolis Symphony orchestra combined with the voices of the performers dressed in glittery costume singing a medley of familiar popular Christmas tunes is truly delightful. And every year, when the beloved hymns that reflect the true meaning of Christmas are sang, I fight to hold back the tears as the beauty of the songs and the meaning of their words take heart.

If you have never had a chance to see the Yuletide Celebration, I highly recommend this treat for you and your entire family. And on your way out, you can stop by Santa’s Mailbox in the lobby and drop off your letters for Mr. Claus. Rumor has it, his elves fly in nightly to collect the letters and take them back to the North Pole.

A word of caution for all of you parents with very young children: After much back and forth, we did decide to take our four-year old son this year. He is the youngest of our children to have attended the Yuletide. After loading up on chocolate milk and cookies, he was just a tad bit hyper when the show started and it was hard to keep him still and quiet. Thankfully, the people around us were very understanding. When I apologized to them during intermission for all of the excitement taking place in our area, they responded with sweet words of encouragement and reminded me he was just excited – as he should be. With that said, next time, I may refrain from chocolate milk and cookies prior to the show. Remember, what goes up must come down. He was jumpy and excited during the first half and spent the second half like this……


Don’t let this picture fool you though. Nothing about this show is a snoozer, except for when you are four and have had way too much sugar. In that case, you have no choice but to sleep.

MORE INFO: IPL Yuletide Celebration runs through Friday, December 23 at Hilbert Circle Theatre, located at 45 Monument Circle, Indianapolis. Performances are available daily now through December 23 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. Visit their website to purchase tickets.

Jennifer Thompson is a stay-at-home mom of four spunky, sweet, kind and sometimes a bit wild children. She has a passion for the written word and thinks that libraries and bookstores are the coolest places ever. When not hanging out with family or writing, she can be found enjoying a good cup of coffee, running, spending quality time with friends, working on some type of project around the house, planning the family’s next trip to her favorite destination – Walloon Lake, Michigan, or very possibly – reading a book.

Jennifer enjoys writing about her parenting experience and outings with her children for Indy’s Child as a freelance writer and blogger and also keeps a personal blog,, that she has fun writing when time allows.

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