Christmas trees, musicals, and making a community

I’m taking a break from dinner preparations to get this post up.  I’m having a “Transplant to Seattle” Thanksgiving dinner today at my house, and I’m hosting a few of my co-workers and their spouses who also uprooted their lives this year and moved out here to join our team.  Being two thousand miles from home means that, if we let ourselves, we can become very insulated out here.  With no family and no “community” to speak of, it would be very easy to say that we live here, but do we live here?  Hence my holiday dinner, and the fact that my house smells like turkey and roasted potatoes and the mac and cheese (recipe to come in a later post) that’s bubbling away in the oven.

Wednesday night, Tim and I had the pleasure of seeing A Christmas Story, the musical at The 5th Avenue Theater in downtown Seattle.  We were both blown away by the production and the talent of the cast, especially the kids.  A Christmas Story is a huge part of my holiday tradition, and turning it on for as many as possible of the 24 hours that it airs is a flat-out requirement if you’re holidaying with me.  To see it brought to life in a different way, complete with musical numbers and some incredible dance sequences, was totally awesome. I was even brought to tears a few times (The Old Man and Mother really got into it over that darned leg lamp!)  I still have “Somewhere Hovering Over Indiana” in my head.

Thursday we spent a quiet Thanksgiving eating Chinese food (which I really never want again. Yuck.) and putting up our Christmas tree.  This is the first tree we’ve had in five years because Roxie is a kleptomaniac, and the very idea of a tree gave me visions of broken windows, shattered bulbs, and tiny pieces of tree everywhere, but since we keep Roxie out of our parlor room anyway, I knew I could put up a tree this year.  Plus I have a nine-foot window in that room; it just ASKS for a tree!  In my earlier post, I showed the yo-yo garland I’d made.  Yeah… about that.

So the garland was a bust.  I only made 14 feet and, to have an effective garland for my tree, I really needed double that.  Mid-decorating, I called a halt, pulled off the garland, and ran upstairs to tear it apart.  I converted into yo-yo ornament in strips of 6, and I really like them.  Plus I had my original yo-yo ornaments that I made years ago (as well as one of my angel doll ornaments) so it all tied together nicely.

Yo-yo ornamentsHere’s the tree in normal light. To be honest, this tree almost got torn down and shipped right back to the company that sold it to me.  We took it out of the box and spent hours “fluffing” it up, and it was still sparse and craggy looking.   Yeah, it kind of looked like the evergreen trees right outside my window, but I expect my Christmas trees to be full and completely unrealistically tree-like!  It wasn’t until Tim came in with some tools and bent the bottom row of branches upward to fill in all the gaps that I decided the tree could stay.  I kind of like it now, even if we will be picking glitter off our skin and out of the carpet for the next six months…

Tree skirt courtesy of my grandma!

Tree skirt courtesy of my grandma!

And lit up at night.

My glowing tree

My glowing tree

I woke up this morning to my first Pacific Northwest snowfall.  I’m a Hoosier, born and bred, so we’re from hearty stock.  It takes feet of snow to slow us down and make us take pause and stay inside.  Out here, though, they’re… more delicate when it comes to snow.  The intense hills have something to do with it, but the city pretty much grinds to a halt when there’s even a little snow.  Luckily, this was just about an inch and the roads are already clear, but look how beautiful the goat pasture is this morning! With the clouds and lighting, it looks like a vintage post card.

First snowfall of my first winter out here

First snowfall of my first fall/winter out here

And then there’s my backyard.  The dogwood tree right outside my kitchen window will be beautiful in the spring, and in the fall, when the leaves are all gone, it’s interesting to see the moss that grows on the branches.  But she comes to life when she’s covered in snow!

So that’s that – the Christmas tree is up, the food is cooking, and company will be arriving soon.  Tim needs to meet some people, and the people I work with are good people.  Interesting, caring, funny, people with opinions and voices and ridiculous stories to share.  And I’m going to have a very diverse gathering around my table today – white, black, Muslim, Christian, American, Brazilian, gay, and straight.  It’s a microcosm of the exact kind of community I want to belong to, diverse, open, and loving, so I’m happy that we’re starting one right there in my front room.



4 thoughts on “Christmas trees, musicals, and making a community

  1. There are many transplants in the Seattle area. We too used to spend the holiday with friends and co-workers because all our families lived far away. It’s a beautiful city was much culture and diversity. One can always find something to do in the city.

  2. I love your tree! Both in daylight and in the nightlights. Your mixed company is right up my alley! I tutored English as a Second Language (ESL) for many years and have friends from all over the world! I wish I lived nearby…I’d crash your party! 🙂

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