When the holidays come to the Pacific Northwest, they inspire various levels of engagement. Some folks go into Santa overdrive; others just phone it in. We’ve come up with three types of Northwesterners with three distinct ideas about what constitutes appropriate holiday cheer. Check the box most like you:
The true Northwesterner
Dons snow shoes and brings handsaw and $5 cash for a Christmas tree cutting permit in the Olympic National Forest. Hikes two hours to find a Noble Fir small enough to fit inside his Prius. Reminds himself that he should call it a “holiday tree” to be sensitive to non-Christians.
Raises his own chickens for fresh eggs and bikes to his local farm for whole milk. Would never serve proce his family, so inst honey gathered b bees who feed on fire weed.
Gets his future Husky/ Cougar a GeoSafari Sea Scope ($29.99) — a 4x magnifier with flashlight and thermometer. Dad will bundle Junior off to the coast where the young’un will use it to view unsuspecting residents of tidepools, then make them subjects of his school science project.
Soundtrack for annual holiday party always includes Pearl Jam’s Christmas single and a crackly copy of “The Ventures Christmas Album” scored digging through the bins at Golden Oldies.
Takes the turkey he’s hand-raised on organic feed to The Meat Shop of Tacoma to be slaughtered. Counsels turkey on end-of-life issues before saying goodbye. Prepares side dishes from weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share of winter greens and root vegetables. Thoughtfully turns delicata squash into a main course for vegetarian guests.
Handcrafts his wreaths entirely of foraged materials. As a community service, he uses holly and ivy — invasive species he spotted growing in his neighborhood green belt and yanked out to make room for delicate native plants.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Drives to a South Sound Christmas tree farm (pickyourownchristmastree.org) with family in tow. Uses a handsaw the tree grower provides to cut down a handsomely pruned Douglas Fir. Goes pale as a snowman at hearing the price, but cheers himself up during a ride on the Santa train.
Has a moment of crisis at his local boutique grocery: Should he buy a half gallon of Twin Brook Creamery nog in old-fashioned glass bottles at $4.99 or Darigold for $3.79? Decides on cheaper version — it is an office party, after all. But he makes sure he knows what island in Indonesia the nutmeg comes from. It’ll be a nice fact to impress the boss with.
THE KIDS’ GIFTS
Gets his kid The Spooner — a cross between a snowboard and a wheelless skateboard ($39.95). It’s “street and snow approved,” the ads say. And of course, perfect for the basement on those days when dad doesn’t want to risk his Volvo by driving it to the sno-park. Bonus: Works on wet grass, too.
THE HOLIDAY MUSIC
Doesn’t know that Bing Crosby (right) is from Tacoma and embarrasses himself by announcing in public that “Whit Christmas” is so 1945. Redeems himself by showing his friends the Bing and Bowie duet of “Lit Drummer Boy” on YouTube.
THE HOLIDAY MEAL
Picks up organic turkey and hormone-free prime rib roast from Stewart’s Meat Market in Yelm. Goes to Olympia Farmers Market for produce. Prepares most of meal from scratch, but decides to save time by baking Pillsbury Crescent Rolls in a tube. Hides container deep in trash bin.
THE HOLIDAY WREATH
Answers his door to find a neighborh Boy Scout selling fresh wreaths. Sold!
The couch Santa
Googles “Christmas tree delivery Washington state” and chooses one of the firms that will deliver and set up a natural Christmas tree in his living room. Bookmarks the company’s website to arrange for tree pickup and disposal in January. Wife is out of town, so decides this is the year he’ll apply tinsel with leaf blower.
It’s 2 p.m. Christmas Eve when his wife texts him: “Get nog f/store ASAP.” Fortunately, he’s in the drive-thru at Starbucks. “One venti eggnog latte, please. And hold the espresso.”
Hands out $20 bills on Christmas, then loads the kids in the car Dec. 26, and heads to Toys R Us where he gives them 30 minutes to shop the sales.
Still has that same old Kenny G Christmas album in yer.
After noticing sign at local deli advertising holiday meals to go, he orders the priciest dinner, featuring prime rib, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, Waldorf salad and all the trimmings. Apologizes to sister-in-law about insensitive weight comment at Thanksgiving. Then asks her to pick up meal on Christmas Eve. Day ends in disaster when he thanks her for not eating it all before he got there.
While wandering around Walgreens, spots a garish neon-pink tinsel wreath on sale for $5 and snaps it up.