The most wonderful time of the year has its own special meaning for those who grew up in the Queen City. The talking reindeer Pogie and Patter and the Elves at Shillito's were as integral to holiday merriment as caroling and eggnog. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden really knows how to throw a Christmas party for people and animals, and WinterFest at Kings Island provides much-needed warmth in the winter chill. Many city squares display Christmas trees bathed in lights and offer horse-drawn carriage rides or a skating rink. But only Cincinnati offers Santa rappelling down the face of a building and an ice skating rink with bumper cars. Join local author Wendy Hart Beckman for a merry jaunt through Yuletide in years gone by.