It doesn’t take much to light up a child’s face, but it’s even better when there’s a good cause behind it: The FRIENDS OF THE KIRKWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY is bringing back its ‘Letter from Santa’ tradition this year to raise money for the library. For only $6, Santa’s elves will ensure that a child (or an adult!) receives a personalized letter from Kris Kringle. Order forms, which will inquire about things like the child’s favorite class, a recent accomplishment and the family pet, are available for download at content_uploads/Santa.pdf. Letters received by Dec. 7 will be postmarked at the North Pole. Requests received after that date will be postmarked locally. All letters must be received by Dec. 17.

The first-ever ‘Jewish and Muslim Day of Service’ will be held this year on Christmas Day. The JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL OF ST. LOUIS, the ISLAMIC FOUNDATION OF GREATER ST. LOUIS and the NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN are sponsoring this large-scale service project that will affect more than 20 agencies who need volunteers for Christmas. Having the volunteers onsite (at places like the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery and Gateway 180) means that members of the Christian community will be able to take the day off to spend with their families. Still, members of all faiths are welcome to participate. For details, call 442-3894 or sign up online at stljewishmuslimdayofservice. org.

Best-selling author KIM EDWARDS, who penned The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, will be in St. Louis for a book-signing and discussion of her latest work, The Lake of Dreams. Her appearance at St. Louis County Library headquarters is scheduled for Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.

Calling themselves the ‘Trifecta of Motherhood,’ three local moms are sharing their humorous parenting experiences with the release of three new books: ELLIE GROSSMAN’s Mishegas of Motherhood: Raising Children to Leave the Nest…As Long as They Come Home for Dinner (mishegasofmotherhood. com) is a collection of parenting essays (think Erma Bombeck with a Jewish twist). Meanwhile, S.O.S. from Suburbia (sosfromsuburbia.vpweb.c om) is the offering from PAM WILSON, who gives readers her take on surviving the craziness of the suburbs. And LAURA RAY’s book, Brain Dead in the Burbs and Cooking Your Way Back to Sanity (, follows the wacky life of a working mom.

Grammy Award-winning group LOS LOBOS is coming to The Sheldon on Feb. 26. Tickets to An Evening with Los Lobos are now available ( Best known for their wildly popular cover of the Ritchie Valens classic, La Bamba, Los Lobos has a new release, Tin Can Trust.

Local accountant KYLE DODWELL was recently featured on the HGTV hit show, My First Place. The show followed Dodwell, a CPA with accounting firm BROWN SMITH WALLACE, and his girlfriend as they decided between a home in an urban neighborhood and one in the suburbs. A rerun of the episode is scheduled for Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Saint Louis University School of Medicine’s DR. BETSY TUTTLE-NEWHALL is the new president of the Association of Women Surgeons, an organization that encourages more women to specialize in surgery and assume leadership roles. Tuttle- Newhall, a professor of surgery and division chief of abdominal transplants at SLU, was installed at the association’s annual meeting in San Francisco last month.

Renowned SLU biochemist DR. WILLIAM SLY is the recipient of yet another distinction: He’s been honored with the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2011 Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences. The award recognizes outstanding clinical or lab research related to health and disease that has contributed to the substance of medicine.