Little City’s holiday season was as festive as ever in 2020 as residents and participants celebrated with concerts, themed days and a very special visit from a Chicago celebrity.

The season kicked off with Chicago Bear Charles Leno Jr. and his wife Jennifer paying a visit to the Little City campus to hand out festive “Leno Claus” T-shirts. His stop was the first of his first-ever Leno Claus’ 25 Days of Christmas Countdown campaign. And because it was the first, Leno said the experience held a special place for him and looked forward to working with Little City in the future.

“My wife put together a great game plan,” Charles said. “She is a good head coach. I’m the player, I’m just doing my job. But seriously, we are just trying to give back and spread some cheer throughout the holidays because we know how these times can be. I just wanted to thank you guys for allowing us to do this and we just wanted to do the best we can to give back.”

The T-shirts were a hit among the kids and brought smiles all around. All 36 students at the ChildBridge Center for Education had a day where they all wore their Leno Claus T-shirts for a special picture day to thank the Bear for his giving spirit. The ChildBridge Center for Education kept the holiday spirit going, doing an entire week of themed days for students to enjoy. Students and staff spent the week wearing their favorite “ugly” Christmas sweaters, dressing as their favorite winter characters and ending the week with a special Christmas concert from principal Phil Siegel.

After a school year in which students have had to endure significant changes and restrictions because of health protocols, Phil said he wanted to make sure the sense of fun and joy didn’t change during the holiday season.

“Our students and staff have done a wonderful job all year adapting to so many changes,” he said. “We wanted to show them the magic and fun of the holiday season is still here for all of us to enjoy.”

The holidays concluded with the annual Little City Concert on Dec. 22. The choir performed two live virtual concerts for everyone to enjoy. The choir performed classics from all the holidays celebrated during December.

While the preparation for the concert was different, many of the singers have performed together before and the chemistry made it easy for it all to come together.

“For the past several years, we have all looked forward to this festive annual concert,” said Executive Director Shawn Jeffers. “Although this year was a little different, it was just as remarkable. It was so uplifting to see how excited the residents got for the concert and I know it meant a lot to them to perform and spread holiday cheer.”

On behalf of everyone at Little City, we hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and have a happy new year!