Well friends, as you’ve probably deduced from previous columns, I’m one of the most starry-eyed, pathetic, and incurable romantics that ever came down the pike. So, that being the case, our grand and glorious month-long, winter festival — from Thanksgiving through New Years — is my favorite time of year, igniting my dreams and spirit like no other season.
Ready or not, it’s time to think about a few presents for that special someone — or all those special someones — because there are only 11 days until Christmas. I would certainly encourage you to support our local businesses, but clearly understand that these small merchants simply can’t compete with the huge selections offered in the malls and Seattle’s retail core.
Of course, in the last decade, brick and mortar shopping has been seriously crippled by Amazon. Granted, it’s much easier to order our gifts from the living-room couch instead of fighting with the hectic crowds and traffic jams. (Internet shopping has become so ubiquitous, entire shopping malls have closed and, trust me on this one, nothing is quite as eerie and desolate as a deserted mall.) But let me encourage you to get out of the house long enough to at least stroll through Southcenter. The music, colorful flash, and even the crowds are such a vital rush.
For some reason, I can’t fully surrender to the holidays unless it’s cold outside. (Christmas in New Orleans or San Diego just doesn’t cut it; I mean, who-the-hell wants to go swimming on New Years?) Similarly, I find the controlled climate of malls are rather disappointing because I like the idea of a few swirling snowflakes as you dart from store to store, Jack Frost nipping at your nose. In this respect, I guess I prefer downtown Seattle, dancing through the chill and slush between Macy’s and Nordstrom.
May I suggest you share the experience with someone you love. And with your significant someone, share a few chestnuts “roasted on an open fire” outside the Olympic Hotel — or whatever it’s called now. Then hand-in-hand and soul-to-soul, amble through the twinkling lights on the naked trees along Fifth Avenue. You might ride the merry-go-round in Westlake and enjoy the window displays in Macy’s or the grand pianist in Nordstrom. Always leave enough time to snuggle in the rear booth of some secluded, intimate little lounge away from the hustle and bustle outside. (“Oliver’s” in the Mayflower Hotel might be just your kind of place.) There, over a hot buttered rum or a coffee nudge, share a kiss or two and gaze warmly into one another’s eyes, while Bing Crosby croons “White Christmas.”
Is that romantic enough for you?
Cheers! And a merry Christmas to all!