Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pacific NW Holidays: I Dream Of

Today I'm thrilled to share a post from one of my new Seattle friends, whom I never would have met without blogging.  Jeanne from I Dream Of is here today to share her wonderful Seattle traditions with all of us.  Jeanne is a long time Seattle native and definitely "in the know" about all things Seattle - not to mention having great style and taste - so this is a post you don't want to miss!  Enjoy...

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Northwest Holiday Traditions: Ships and Shopping

Here in Seattle, where a Wet Christmas is far more likely than a White Christmas, we have our own bright and shining tradition--The Christmas Ships.

For the last 61 years, a flotilla of ships have sailed to the waterfront communities around Puget Sound--45 in all. Ship-board carolers sing to crowds of people who gather around bonfires on the shores. Christmas Ships parties are a tradition in the waterfront neighborhoods up and down the Sound and are always some of my favorite events of the season.




When the ships sail into our neighborhood, we can see their bright lights and hear the carolers as we walk out our door toward the beach at Madison Park on the shores of Lake Washington. We hold hands, said hi to neighbors and sing along. When flotilla sails on to their next stop, we make our way down the street to an annual party at a neighbors and spent time with friends who we just don't see enough of during the year. Our own kind of Northwest magic.






 
The treasure hunt that is Christmas shopping is another one of my favorite things about the holidays. Finding just the right gift to match everyone on my list is like putting together an elaborate puzzle.  And Seattle offers something for everyone - if you like shopping the big stores, the Flagship Nordstrom store has been in business since 1901, and sticks to a holiday tradition of not decorating until after Thanksgiving, which I love. 




But I think the best treasures can be found in the smaller shops around the city, from Pike Place Market, where you'll find Watson Kennedy and, a few blocks away, Great Jones Home. My all time favorite, though, for Christmas shopping -- for myself and for others --has to be in my own backyard of Madison Valley, home to Pam Robinson's Red Ticking. 









Granted, I'm biased because Pam is one of my dear friends, but the way she dresses up her store every year, the unique items she finds to complement her year round-stash of Christmas treasures...it just never seems like the holiday season until I pay Pam a visit.

This year, I got a sneak peak at The Ticking decor - homemade paper chains. I can't wait to see how it all comes together. 




Thanks Barbara, for asking me to share what I love about Christmas in the Northwest. I hope that you and your family create some of your own lasting traditions this year and that you feel that much more at home hear after celebrating with friends, neighbors and loved ones. 



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Wow - I don't know where to begin!  
The shopper in me wants to head to Red Ticking TODAY, but I am waiting until Jeanne and I can go together, so that I can get a guided tour.  :)  Thanks so much Jeanne for such a beautiful review of what makes the holidays in Seattle extra special for you!

Photo Notes:
The Christmas Ship photos are both from the Seattle Times -- the third not so good one is Jeanne's.  The Waiting for Santa photo is from the Seattle PI.  The Red Ticking Photos are all from a previous holiday season at the Ticking and an after-hours party Pam had for a few girlfriends, including Jeanne. The paper chain photo is from this season. 

7 comments:

Robyn said...

I just love the parade of lighted ships! I visit Pike Place Market whenever I can. Lovely post, Jeanne!

Meghan @ Wishful Thinking said...

So jealous of the Christmas ships! I wish we had something similar here in London! And what a beautiful store!

5th and State said...

now that looks fantastic. will need to think about seattle as a christmas destination.
xo
debra

michele said...

what a lovely tradition. have never visited your fair city so love getting a taste right here.

smiles to you both.

michele

designchic said...

I love Jeanne's blog and what a wonderful tradition - love the parade!!

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