Santa is off! He’s very excited to come visit all of you! He wanted me to share some of his favorite moments from this season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Santa told me some side splitting jokes the other night over a cup of hot chocolate, and I just would like to share the cheer and joy with you!
1. What do snowmen eat for breakfast? – Snowflakes!
2. What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? - Frostbite
3. What’s red and white and gives presents to good little fish on Christmas? – Sandy Claws
4. What’s the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary alphabet? - The Christmas alphabet has NOEL!
Tell these to your family to get them rolling! Santa is a funny guy, and he’s looking forward to visiting you! His spirits are high, he is as jolly as can be, looking forward to Christmas Day!
Veselé Vánoce! This is “Merry Christmas” in Czech. In the Czech Republic, Christmas is celebrated a little differently with the main celebration being dinner on Christmas Eve. An old tradition is to fast before the feast in hopes to see a vision of “the golden pig” before the meal; this means good luck! Another important superstition of Christmas Eve dinner, which demonstrates the power of family and togetherness, is that no one can get up during the meal, this will bring bad luck and death to the family, instead everyone rises simultaneously. Many families after dinner, proceed to their church and participate in midnight mass.
There are different celebrations all around the world, what are your family traditions?
The history of our beloved Christmas Tree began with our ancient ancestors. Many ancient people began decorating their homes with evergreen boughs, believing that it kept out witches, evil spirits, and illness. Typically the boughs were hung above entry ways and windows. Other communities used these boughs as decoration symbolizing the festivities, for example the Romans celebrated the winter solstice as a sign that there would soon be green, abundant crops growing in the farms. To mark this occasion the Romans used the evergreens as a symbol and decoration. Another group, known as the Celts, would decorate their homes in this fashion, believing it to be a symbol of everlasting life.
As for the Christmas Tree we know today, this tradition was started in Germany. Devout Christians would bring trees into their homes and decorate them. It is said that the Protestant Reformer of the 16th, Martin Luther, is the one who began the tradition of lighting the tree. The story says that Martin Luther, walking home one winter evening, looked up and was breath-taken by the stars shining through the surrounding evergreens. He wanted to recreated the scene, so the moment he got home he began wiring candles to the Christmas Tree.
For awhile, the idea of a tree decorated inside someone’s house was very odd. The Americans found the tree tradition very odd of the German settlers of Pennsylvania. Then, in 1846, the German Prince Albert and his wife Queen Victoria were illustrated in London News standing around their household Christmas Tree. Due to the high acceptance of the Queen, it immediately became fashionable throughout England and the Eastern Coast of America to have a Christmas Tree.
If you want to treat your family this year to some fantastic live performances around the area, I have a diverse yet family-friendly list of theatre performances! Whether you like dance, musicals, drama, or watching rare talents, I know you’ll be able to find something delightful on this list!
Seattle’s favorite holiday performance would have to be The Nutcracker. Presenting Stowell and Sendak’s spin off of the ever classic Tchaikovsky ballet. Featuring over 200 dancers, gigantic moving sets, and as always, fabulous costumes! It is sure to be an enchanting night for all!
Playing at Seattle’s McCaw Hall, matinee times available. Running through December 29th.
There is no way anyone can beat Mrs. Claus’s drinking chocolate! Three times a day, she provides us, and the big man, with her rich and decadent drinking chocolate. It helps to keep us elves going with a spark! Especially this time of year, getting busy before the big day! Recently I took a trip down to your neck of the woods (the northwest) and had a wonderful experience trying all the exceptional boutique chocolate shops’ variations of hot chocolate! Here’s a list of my top 3 favorites:
Located in 3 places, one location right across from Santa’s Cabin in U-Village, each place hand-crafting each cup of hot chocolate. It is rich, frothy, and so good with their whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top! Fran’s doesn’t only specialize in hot chocolate, indulge in their most famous Smoked Sea Salt Caramels when you’re there too! They are great to eat, take home, and make fabulous gifts!
This wonderful, cozy gem of a chocolate shop is located in between the bustling neighborhoods of Ballard and Phinney Ridge. They have numerous options of drinking chocolate, some with spice and some with nice, others have different amounts of cocoa, and they also have take-home packaging!
This chocolate shop has only a few different styles of drinking chocolate, and a few syrups for flavor, but excellently done! The secret I found here is to ask for all bittersweet, it is so incredibly delicious! And their whip cream has just the slightest almond flavor, yum yum! So enjoy their cozy atmosphere, and take a look at all the creative truffles they sell! Maybe try one.
Make a day out of trying one (or all) of these locations, walk around the unique neighborhoods they are located in. Check out the surrounding shops for one-of-a-kind gifts this year, or go at night and walk through the neighborhoods to admire the Christmas lights.
(Image Courtesy of Pintrest – Ana Facio)