Pre-Christmas in Seattle

I LOVE Christmas – it’s by far my favorite holiday, and was always an incredibly magical time for my whole family. One of the best parts of the season is the anticipation of the day itself, and the preparation for the festivities. Christmas 2016 will, of course, be completely different from our Christmases in the past.

Christmas 1981, Pennington, New Jersey
Christmas 1981, Pennington, New Jersey
Christmas 2009, Newtown, Pennsylvania
Christmas 2009, Newtown, Pennsylvania

For the very first time in my life, this year’s Christmas holiday will be celebrated in a vacation rental instead of at home.  I’ll miss many of our traditional activities over the past twenty years, such as going to McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey to see the play A Christmas Carol.  And, I’ll miss all of our familiar ornaments and other decorations, which are in storage in Pennsylvania.

But there are welcome differences this year as well.  In the past, I’ve been working full time, and the kids have been the ones with the time off and traveling over the holidays.  This year, it’s the kids who are working, and I’m the one with the time off and traveling.  I like that role reversal!

Eric is arriving in Seattle on Monday, when the four of us will drive to the rented cabin in Index, Washington.  So I’m here in Seattle for a week prior to that, to spend extra time with the kids, and to prepare for Christmas week.  Here’s a picture of the cute place where I’m staying:

Lodging in Seattle - in a different season!
Lodging in Seattle – in a different season!

It’s nice and crispy cold in Seattle, which definitely helps to make it feel like Christmas!  This week, I’m shopping for gifts, wrapping them, and ensuring that we have a tree, lights, stockings, and everything else we need to decorate the cabin.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit in public that I spent $150 on Christmas decorations at Goodwill.  Can you imagine how much stuff that is at $1-$5 for each item??  That’s in addition to the artificial tree and ornaments that I bought on Amazon and had shipped here in advance!

Our tradition has been that we put the Christmas tree up on the day after Thanksgiving, so we can enjoy it for the whole month of December.  Since we didn’t get to do that this year, we set up the tree in my little apartment this week – I didn’t want to wait until we get to the cabin next week.

Christmas 2016, Seattle, Washington
Christmas 2016, Seattle, Washington

Even though it’s not the same as our typical huge live trees of the past, I love this tree just as much.  I think the secret is the lights – as long as it’s sparkling with lights, it works for me!

I’m SO glad that I came to Seattle for a pre-Christmas week!  We’re all really excited about next week, when the four of us can just relax, knowing all the preparations are complete and the kids don’t have to work.  We’ll decorate, bake, make fires, watch movies, and play in the snow.

I hope you’re all enjoying the season as much as we are!!