West Seattle holidays: Youth group goes caroling in Westwood

December 17, 2014 at 10:03 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, Westwood | 1 Comment

With a week to go until Christmas Eve, a little extra holiday cheer emerges almost everywhere you look – and listen. Tonight, Shorewood Foursquare Church‘s Ignition Youth Group kept its promise to head out on a caroling journey, walking to Westwood Village, where we caught up with them:

Along with giving the gift of song, they handed out candy canes with an invitation to their church’s Christmas Eve service (one of a dozen churches listed in the “services” section of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – if yours isn’t, please get us the info ASAP!).

West Seattle holidays: Door-to-door caroling tonight

December 16, 2014 at 9:39 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

If you are in the vicinity of 45th/Andover/Dakota, you might have seen/heard carolers tonight. No, you weren’t hearing things, and here’s the proof! We got advance word from Anna (thank you!) of the plan, and caught up with them as they started their journey. She counted about 40 RSVPs, including “lots of kids,” even these two “elves”:

First caroling event we’ve heard about this year. Another one is coming up tomorrow night – a youth group from Shorewood Foursquare Church plans to head north to carol at Westwood Village around 7:30 pm.

West Seattle holiday giving: More food-drive success stories

December 16, 2014 at 9:35 am | In Holidays, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Still lots of time to expand your holiday giving to local food banks and other nonprofits – or maybe you already have, like the West Seattle neighbors who contributed to these successes:

(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW photo: Agents Michael Mallagh and Debbie Kerns)

ALMOST A TON FROM BHHSNW: The recent Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate food drive at West Seattle Thriftway (both WSB sponsors) brought in 1,860 pounds of food – almost a ton! – according to Don Bereiter, who sends out a big “thank you,” along with word that donors gave $682 for the West Seattle Food Bank as well as all that food. “It always amazes me how lucky we are to live in such a generous neighborhood.”

LETTUCE PRAY: The offseason for gardening is NOT an offseason for this food-collection program, explains Jane Taylor:

The food bank collection program Lettuce Pray collects fresh produce from home gardeners at West Seattle churches weekly during the growing season but also picks up non perishables once a month. (This past Sunday) we went to Alki UCC for the holiday food drive and were wonderfully overwhelmed with over 400 pounds of food and a great deal of TP, diapers, and other personal effects. Our thanks to Alki UCC for this hugely generous response! You can see that it took all of our engineering skills to figure out how to fit it all in Kristen’s Subaru!

For holiday-giving opportunities, check out the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.

West Seattle holidays: Clear night for Christmas Ship stop at Salty’s

December 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Last year, the Christmas Ship‘s West Seattle finale – serenading Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) – came on a night so foggy, the caroler-carrying boat seemed to emerge from nowhere. Tonight, you could see it headed here from miles away (after a performance at Manchester, sailing eastbound cross-sound, as we saw while headed down Charlestown Hill). And as the Holy Names Academy Choir sang Christmas classics, the beautiful downtown-and-beyond skyline was in full display, even the candy-cane-pattern lights atop CenturyLink Field. While the Christmas Ship won’t be back here this season (it made two stops on Saturday night), it continues sailing regional waterways – see the schedule here – until Christmas Eve-Eve.

ADDED EARLY TUESDAY: One more clip – the end of the performance, including the final song (“Jingle Bells”) and the Christmas Ship announcer’s always-festive farewell:

P.S. West Seattle’s own “Santa Al” told us he was scheduled to be “lead Santa” on tonight’s trips; check the WSB WS Holiday Guide to see where to find him here next.

West Seattle holidays: Feliz Navidad & Merry Christmas @ Denny Posada

December 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Thanks to Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark for sharing photos from what’s become a holiday tradition at Denny – fifth year! – the Posada Navideña:

On Friday evening, December 12th, Denny International Middle School hosted our annual Posada celebration. The evening was filled with great food, dancing, and fun! Thank you to all of the families and staff who came to make this such a culturally rich and memorable time!

A special thank you to all of our volunteers, including: Ms. Salcedo, Ms. Amaral, Ms. Olsen, Mr. Garcia, Ms. Brown, Ms. Bowie, Ms. Rangel, Mr. Rodriguez, Manu, Sheila, Kevin, Sommer, all of the Proyecto Saber scholars, Mirabella and the Chief Sealth dancers, and the one and only DJ Vagos!

This is the last week of school for Denny and other Seattle Public Schools pre-winter break – after a one-hour-early dismissal on Friday, no classes for two weeks.

West Seattle holidays: Christmas Ship night #1, report #2

December 13, 2014 at 10:41 pm | In Holidays, Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(Lowman Beach photos by Trileigh Tucker)
A night of lights and song on two West Seattle beaches. First – it was barely dark enough to see the star shine on the Christmas Ship as it arrived at Lowman Beach around 4:20 pm. Despite the massive Murray CSO Control Project construction setup across the street and in part of the beach park, a sizable crowd made its way to the beach just north of Lincoln Park:

While the Dickens Carolers were serenading the Lowman spectators from the Christmas Ship, Alki visitors were getting ready for the ship’s next stop. Just inland from West Seattle’s biggest beach, the Log House Museum (61st/Stevens) extended its hours to welcome visitors for “Cookies and Cider on the Porch”:

The museum also showed off gift ideas from its gift shop (open during the museum’s Thursday-Sunday hours, noon-4 pm), including the recently published “Apron Strings” cookbook:

From there, it was on to the beach, to await the Christmas Ship and the decorated boats accompanying it – some official, some unofficial. Seattle Parks and Recreation staffers and volunteers from around the department’s Southwest division organized entertainment and treats at Alki Bathhouse, for a party that started before and continued after the ship’s visit. That included bonus entertainment:

Along with those musicians from Seattle Lutheran High School, other performers included the Endolyne Children’s Choir (WSB sponsor). Inside the bathhouse, holiday treats:

And then, just after 5 pm, the Christmas Ship came into view, rounding Alki Point.

Lots of families among the spectators who lined the beach and seawall in the Bathhouse vicinity to hear the Dickens Carolers – the lineup rotates, as the Christmas Ship schedule shows – perform Christmas classics from the ship, amplified toward the shore.

(Hear a bit of the music via Instagram.) After 20 minutes, with the announcer’s cheery “Ahoy to the world!”, the boats headed off toward a downtown marina for a break (and new passengers) before the night’s next two stops. The Christmas Ship will be back in West Seattle for an encore on Monday night (December 15th), 9:15-9:35 pm, just outside Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor).

Christmas Ship celebration at Alki, report #1

December 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments


4:53 PM: Beautiful night, mostly clear sky, as a crowd gathers to await the Christmas Ship on Alki, due to arrive just after 5 pm, after serenading Lowman Beach. The party organized by Seattle Parks will continue after the ship sails on, until about 6 pm. You’re also invited to stop by the Log House Museum, just a bit inland at 61st/Stevens, with “Cookies and Cider on the Porch” (and gift-shop deals) until 6:


Watch our Twitter and/or Instagram feeds for updates – and photos/video here later tonight – hope you’re here to enjoy it in person!

5:36 PM: The Christmas Ship and its fleet have moved on, but the celebration continues until 6 pm. We’ll have more photos/video later, but first a short phone-video clip, including the walking Nativity seen here most years:

P.S. If you missed tonight’s stops, the Christmas Ship’s final West Seattle visit this year is Monday at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), 9:15 pm. Here’s the full schedule.

West Seattle holiday giving: Girl Scouts’ donations for YouthCare

December 13, 2014 at 11:27 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

That’s just some of what comprised a big donation for YouthCare, from West Seattle Girl Scouts, this past week. Rosina shares the story and photos:

On Monday, December 10th, Cadette Troops 40890 and 42780 (middle-schoolers) co-hosted the 5th Annual “Brownie Girl Scout Christmas Cookie Exchange.”

More than 70 Brownie Girl Scouts (2nd – 3rd graders) attended. They exchanged cookies, learned about some Girl Scout traditions, made some crafts, decorated and ate some cookies, and sang some songs. And at the end of the evening, we had over 80 dozen cookies, a box full of handmade Christmas cards, and a trunk load of toiletries to donate to YouthCare. YouthCare is an organization that provides shelter and services to the homeless youth in Seattle.

It was a fun evening of celebrating the holidays with sister Girl Scouts AND spreading the holiday cheer to our young neighbors in need of love and support, especially at this time of year.

Still lots of chances for you to reach out and offer holiday help, too – see the list in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide!

West Seattle holiday scene: Happy anniversary, HomeStreet Bank

December 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

HomeStreet Bank is celebrating its 1st anniversary at 40th/Alaska in The Junction, and Santa was the star of the party (pictured above, manager Melodie Van Houten with “Santa Al”). They’re just wrapping up three hours of free photos, photographed by longtime local pro Gail Ann. A decoration on the tree caught our attention:

We’re told that little Seahawks “piggy bank” is available if you stop by and show a ticket to a Seahawks home game – if you hadn’t already figured out from Melodie’s jersey (it is “Blue Friday,” after all), the ‘Hawks are big at HomeStreet – you can also get team-themed checks and cards.

P.S. Next place to see “Santa Al” – JF Henry Cooking & Dining (4445 California SW; WSB sponsor) 10 am-1 pm tomorrow (Saturday, December 13th), bring your own camera, or $5 without one.

West Seattle holiday giving: Help the Schmitz Park Elementary Student Council help foster children through Treehouse

December 11, 2014 at 12:49 pm | In Holidays, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

We’re continuing to share local holiday giving opportunities, both via the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and via spotlights like this one, received from Schmitz Park Elementary 1st-grade teacher Emily Veling and librarian Lesley Vannini, both advisers to the SPES Student Council:

Student Council members at Schmitz Park Elementary have been busy organizing, marketing, and supporting a holiday donation drive. One of our goals at Schmitz Park is serving our community, and we hope to do this by collecting new toys to help foster kids through Treehouse. These young leaders hope to help all kids have a special holiday season. So far, we have collected hundreds of gifts for our community.

Read more about the Schmitz Park Student Council effort – and see more photos – in this story on the Treehouse website. You can drop off toys for the drive at Schmitz Park (5000 SW Spokane) through next Monday (December 15th).

Reader report: Windblown holiday ‘duck-oration’ rescued

December 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 21 Comments

The big blast of wind isn’t expected until tomorrow. But we got a preview late this morning – strong gusts that among other things caused a “duck” to fly the coop. Patricia shares the story and photos:

My wife and I have a large rubber-duck collection and recently discovered an inflatable for Christmas – a rubber duck with a Santa cap. Only thing was that there was only 1 in Washington, in Puyallup. I drove down the next day to adopt it and proudly display in our yard.

Today, with the high winds, I heard a loud noise and discovered the duck was gone!!!! Had someone stolen it???

After a quick search I saw yellow through the houses. The duck had flown the coop, over our house and into the trees on our slope!! I couldn’t reach it and it was tangled in the trees. Then I noticed it… a utility truck with a cherry picker was just up the street. I scooted over to the nice gentleman and asked him the strangest question.. “Can you help me get my duck out of the trees?”

The nice man was Sean, and he turned his truck around and lined it up to the swinging duck.

In moments he had plucked it from the tangled branches and returned it to the safety of the ground. I made repeated attempts at a tip, but he wouldn’t take it, saying it was his pleasure to help.

Sean, thank you for your help in saving our runaway duck!

Patricia Throop and Angela Bennett

Be sure to get YOUR ducks in a row, to be ready for tomorrow, when the High Wind Watch will be in effect, with possible gusts to 65 mph.

West Seattle Holiday Guide 2014: Still adding events/info!

December 9, 2014 at 2:08 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

We’re still updating the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide daily/nightly, removing the events that have already happened, adding new ones that come in, so we wanted to extend another invitation: If you have an open house, holiday party, bazaar, worship service(s), concert, etc. coming up in West Seattle/White Center/South Park between now and New Year’s, and it’s not in our guide yet, but you’d like to invite the community, please send info ASAP! We do NOT require (or even need) posters/graphics/full news releases – just a line or two about what it is, when it is, where it is, and (if applicable) a web or social-media link. The best way to reach us is via e-mail, editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

West Seattle holidays: Christmas Ship celebration Saturday

December 8, 2014 at 8:17 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo from Christmas Ship’s 2012 West Seattle visit)
On Saturday night, as listed in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, the Christmas Ship makes its first two West Seattle stops – and at the second one, you’ll have extra reasons to celebrate on shore. Alki Community Center recreation-program coordinator Marc Hoffman shares the details:

On Saturday, December 13 the Seattle Parks Department and Advisory Councils of the Southwest Geo district are proud to host the annual Argosy Christmas Ship arrival at Alki Beach. Music, cookies, and hot drinks will be served at the Alki Bathhouse. Music is provided by the Endolyne Children’s Choir and Hope Lutheran Church Choir. The music starts at 4 pm and the ship arrives at 5:10 pm and will perform for 20 minutes. After the ship departs, live music continues in the Bathhouse until 6 pm. Coffee is donated by Tully’s Coffee. The entire event is free to the public. See you there!

Saturday night’s first stop for the Christmas Ship and its floating entourage will be Lowman Beach, 4:20-4:40 pm (note that access and parking are different than years past because of the construction across the street); the Dickens Carolers will be on board for that stop as well as Alki.

Happening now: Blithe Bazaar and St. Nicholas Faire, both until 7 pm

December 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

Two more West Seattle holiday events closing out a weekend brimming with them:

BLITHE BAZAAR: Until 7 pm at the Community School of West Seattle (22nd/Roxbury), you’ll find vendors including Helena from Girl Scout Troop 44283, above, with homemade bath bombs, and, below, local artist Lonjina Verdugo:

These cute owls caught our eye:

This is the Blithe Bazaar’s fifth year – first one at CSWS.

ST. NICHOLAS FAIRE: Also on until 7 pm, a unique silent auction/bake sale/holiday party/charity benefit on the lower level of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle (4105 California SW), north of The Junction:

Lights, music, and refreshments combine for a warm holiday-evening mood. You can bid on one-of-a-kind gift baskets assembled as donations – with themes from gardening to cooking to kid stuff to Seahawks:

Award-winning Maryhill Winery is on hand again, with proprietor Rich Marshall, brother of FLCWS’s pastor Rev. Ron Marshall. The event, meantime, is put together by Larraine King and daughter Elizabeth Olsen:

As detailed in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, the St. Nicholas Faire’s fundraising component means an admission charge (less if you bring a donation for the West Seattle Food Bank).

Happening now: Santa, snacks, shopping @ Holly Jolly Holiday Fest

December 7, 2014 at 2:56 pm | In Holidays, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Don’t know whether Santa lost his smartphone or picked up because he knew someone was calling in with a Christmas wish, but we caught him in the British-style phone booth in the lobby at The Sanctuary at Admiral, where the new-this-year Holly Jolly Holiday Fest continues until 4 pm, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association.

In the heart of The Sanctuary – a city landmark that was once a church – you’ll find free treats plus a mini-bazaar with local businesses/organizations including the new Seattle Farm School and WSB sponsor Mode Music Studios, which brought some students for holiday music:

You’re also invited to come talk to neighborhood reps over cookies and mulled cider. ANA is the same group that brings you Summer Concerts at Hiawatha every year as well as meeting most months (resuming in January, second Tuesday, 7 pm, at The Sanctuary) to focus on issues/concerns. They support the 4th of July Kids’ Parade, too, whose co-organizer Jackie Clough of Alki Party Treasures (WSB sponsor) was spotted chatting with Mr. Claus:

Stop by before 4 pm, 42nd and Lander, across from the northeast corner of the park adjacent to Hiawatha CC.

Happening now: Santa, carriage rides @ West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays 2014

December 7, 2014 at 11:40 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(WSB photos)
It’s partly sunny and fully cheery in The Junction right now on Hometown Holidays Sunday - above, Santa’s in the house at City Mouse (4218 SW Alaska), BYO-camera photos until 2 pm, within view of the California/Alaska pickup spot for free carriage rides:

They’re also continuing until 2 pm, as is the nearby West Seattle Farmers’ Market, where you’re invited to enjoy a free cup of hot apple cider today. After today, next up on the Junction Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB) lineup: The holiday edition of the West Seattle Art Walk next Thursday (December 11), 6-9 pm, which happens to be Shop Late Thursday, too

West Seattle Sunday: Admiral’s new ‘Holly Jolly Holiday’; carriage rides and Santa in The Junction; morning & evening bazaars; more!

December 7, 2014 at 8:44 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

(This morning’s foggy moonset – photo by Lynn Hall)

Good morning! If you haven’t already browsed our West Seattle Holiday Guide and regular calendar to see what’s up – here are the highlights, from mid-morning on into the night!

JUNCTION SANTA: DIY Santa photos (bring your camera!) at City Mouse as part of West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays, 10 am-2 pm. (4218 SW Alaska)

MULE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDES: 10 am-2 pm, also part of Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB): “Take a carriage ride down California Avenue pulled by beautiful Belgian Draft Mules. A treat the whole family and friends will enjoy. Stop off at the Farmers Market for a complimentary hot apple cider.” (California/Alaska)

PATHFINDER WREATH SALES: Also in The Junction, 10 am-2 pm, the second of three Sundays (while supplies last!) for Pathfinder K-8‘s wreath fundraiser – selling their famous wreaths made by the school community from local greenery – here’s our photo from last Sunday:

Details in our calendar listing. (California/Alaska)

SEATTLE SAMPLING: Final day of holiday studio tour, with 4 of the 10 studios in West Seattle – Brace Point Pottery, Village Green Nursery, Ceramistas Seattle, Penguina Designs. 10 am-5 pm. Detailed tour information at seattlesampling.com.

TIBBETTS CRAFT BAZAAR: Holiday craft bazaar at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor),11:30 am to 1:30 pm, including hand-sewn items, crafts, stocking stuffers, baked goods, & jewelry. (3940 41st SW)

NEW THIS YEAR – HOLLY JOLLY HOLIDAY FEST: New event in Admiral – the Holly Jolly Holiday Fest, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, noon-4 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral:

The Admiral Neighborhood Association welcomes a visit from Santa Claus on Sunday, December 7th at the Sanctuary at Admiral!

Santa’s visit will be part of our Holly Jolly Holiday Fest, a full afternoon of holiday activities including live holiday music, a gingerbread house contest, a craft bazaar, and a food drive for the West Seattle Food Bank. A photographer will be available to take portraits with Santa for a small donation, or you can bring your own camera.

If you made a gingerbread house to enter in the contest, drop it off by 10:30 am; judging starts at 11 am. Otherwise, drop by The Sanctuary noon-4 pm! (42nd/Lander)

OPEN HOUSE AT WYATT’S: Holiday Open House at Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) at Westwood Village, noon-4 pm. “Nibbles, bubbles, storewide specials.” (2600 SW Barton)

CAPERS SANTA: DIY Santa Photos at CAPERS in The Junction, with “ex-Westwood Santa.” Noon-3 pm. Bring cameras/phones, kids/friends, and a donation for the West Seattle Food Bank. (4525 California SW)

BLITHE BAZAAR: Cozy afternoon/evening of shopping and sipping, supporting West Seattle artisans. At Community School of West Seattle. 3-7 pm. (9450 22nd SW)

‘JUDY’S SCARY LITTLE CHRISTMAS’:”Matinee today at ArtsWest in The Junction, 3 pm. Buy tickets online here. (4711 California SW)

‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’: Matinee today at 3 pm for Twelfth Night Productions‘ radio play edition of the holiday show, at Kenyon Hall. Buy your ticket(s) online at brownpapertickets.com/event/917572 or an hour before showtime at the venue box office. (7904 35th SW)

CHOCOLATE *AND* SINGALONG! Admiral Sings Christmas at Admiral Congregational Church, 3:30 pm Grand Chocolate Buffet, 4 pm festive concert and singalong of favorite Christmas songs and carols. Admission free (suggested donation $10); nonperishable food donations welcomed, for local food banks. (California/Hill)

ST. NICHOLAS FAIRE: First Lutheran Church of West Seattle‘s St. Nicholas Faire, 4-7 pm, fundraiser for West Seattle Food Bank and West Seattle Helpline, admission $5/person with nonperishable food item, $15/family with food donation for each family member, or, without food donation, $10/person or $25/family. Appetizers and spiced hot cider; elegant bake sale items; silent auction with a variety of gift baskets- puzzles, games, wine, art & educational activities, gift certificates to local businesses, food -themed baskets, Seahawks and Sounders gear, etc! Plus a ring-toss game to win wine prizes and wine tasting. (4105 California SW)

HOLIDAY SCENES AS THEY HAPPEN … while we’re out and about, we’re usually updating the WSB Twitter and Instagram feeds with quick pix – so check in, and share yours too, through either of those links or editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you!

Video: Songs, jokes at 2014 West Seattle Junction Tree Lighting

December 6, 2014 at 10:05 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

The countdown and light-up came earlier than expected at tonight’s West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting. The crisply planned program moved swiftly – one performance needed to be moved back, so another was moved up, and that led to some time-filling with a little unexpected comedy. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Again this year, the Chief Sealth International High School Marching Band, directed by Marcus Pimpleton, kicked off the event:

Sealth’s band was the opening act; here’s our video of the entire event that followed:

On behalf of the sponsoring West Seattle Junction Association, for which she serves as vice president, Bakery Nouveau co-proprietor Heather Leaman greeted the crowd gathered in Junction Park Plaza:

Words of cheer ensued from emcee Josh Sutton (below left) of the West Seattle YMCA and from Dave McCoy (below right) of Emerald Water Anglers, photographed with event manager Oliver Little:

(The Y and EWA are both WSB sponsors.) As they do each year, the Endolyne Children’s Choir provided cheery carols (see them at 2:16 into our full-event video):

Things moved along so quickly, the next scheduled performer wasn’t on hand yet – so a little time had to be filled while things changed up. Emcee Sutton solicited holiday jokes from the kids standing right up by the stage:

The humor was a little grim, if creative, as you can hear for yourself for about two minutes starting at 12:40 into the full-event video (right before Jay Cates and friends’ jazzy holiday music). The tree countdown starts at 17:50 (and ended a bit early, in keeping with the night’s theme). Cates and band continued the holiday serenade, with the finale from the new ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) production “Judy’s Scary Little Christmas,” and then it was back to the Junction Holiday Party – after a moment of stopping to admire the tree.

More Hometown Holidays fun tomorrow – mule-drawn carriage rides 10 am-2 pm from California/Alaska, and a Santa meet-and-greet (BYO camera) at City Mouse (4218 SW Alaska) those same hours. See you there!

West Seattle holidays: Tree lit, Holiday Party continues in Junction

December 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments


The West Seattle Junction‘s Christmas tree is lit, as of about an hour ago. We’ll have full coverage of the celebration in a separate story, but first – The Junction’s first-ever Holiday Party late-shopping event, before/during/after the tree lighting, continues until 8 pm. The decorations in the heart of the business district have an extra-festive touch – look closely and you’ll even see little candles:

Many shops have special events – Sarah Loertscher and her jewelry are at Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor):

Dasher the holiday-cheer ambassador was sighted at CAPERS (which shared the photo):

Here’s the list of who is doing what. If you miss the chance to shop late tonight, there are two more Shop Late Thursdays, the 11th (which is also Art Walk night) and 18th. And in The Junction tomorrow, along with the regular Farmers’ Market 10 am-2 pm, you’ll also find carriage rides and a Santa meet-and-greet – details are in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.

West Seattle Rotary Children’s Shopping Spree 2014: New location, same giving

December 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm | In Holidays, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(WSB photos by Torin Record-Sand)
He sees you when you’re sleeping … he sees when you’re awake …” The all-seeing Santa can even see you when you’re smiling right behind him. So went the holiday joy this morning during the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s annual Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree – which had one big change this year:

It happened bright and early this morning at Sears in Southcenter – after many years at Sears in SODO, which closed earlier this year, requiring the Rotarians to find someplace new to bring the dozens of students who would spend the morning shopping with volunteers.

It’s a huge effort to organize – so the Rotarians are joined by many other volunteers, including other service organizations, like the Omega Psi Phi fraternity:

Participating kids also get to dine during the spree, and Southcenter’s Rainforest Café stepped up to help with that:

That’s Rotarian Dave Nichols with one of the café mascots. As always, kids went home with new wintertime wear, to be sure they’ll stay warm:

And they’ll remember warm smiles, like that of Rotarian Tara Luckie:

The club has fundraisers throughout the year to pay for the annual Shopping Spree – here’s how to donate.

And if you’re interested in checking out Rotary membership, stop by one of their weekly lunch meetings, usually noon Tuesdays at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor).

Happening now: Pancakes and photos @ West Seattle Kiwanis’s annual community breakfast

December 6, 2014 at 10:30 am | In Holidays, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Santa Claus‘s day started well before dawn – and the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle‘s annual Community Pancake Breakfast is one place you’ll find him. The breakfast continues until 11 am and diners get a free Santa photo – that includes the West Seattle High School Key Club (a Kiwanis youth project), who were with him when we got to that side of the room at the Alki Masonic Hall. A bustling room, too:

All around the room, helpers including local Boy Scouts are making sure things run smoothly. In the kitchen, Kiwanians are busy cooking pancakes and sides:

West Seattle Hi-Yu royalty is on hand, not just because it’s one of their community appearances, but also in this case, Junior Court Queen Bianca Carufel is celebrating her birthday:

Next Monday, by the way, the new Junior Court will be coronated, 7 pm at Admiral Congregational Church, and you’re invited. But first, if you haven’t had breakfast yet, get over to the Masonic Hall (40th/Edmunds – the parking lot’s being renovated so you’ll park either across Edmunds or across Fauntleroy) by 11 – proceeds help with the club’s many charity projects. (WSB is among this year’s table sponsors, along with other local businesses.) And if you miss the Kiwanians today, you’re invited to check out one of their regular weekly meetings, 6:30 pm Wednesdays at the Senior Center of West Seattle.

West Seattle Saturday: Pancakes; bazaars; Junction Tree Lighting; Santa photos (for pets too!); music; non-holiday events too!

December 6, 2014 at 7:33 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 11 Comments

(Also happening this morning: West Seattle Rotary Children’s Shopping Spree – full story to come!)

From pre-dawn until long past dark, this is the busiest day of the holiday season in West Seattle! From our Holiday Guide and Event Calendar, here are the many reasons why – along with non-holiday highlights for today/tonight:

PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Santa photos for kids up to age 10 are part of the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle‘s 67th annual pancake breakfast, on now and continuing until 11 am at Alki Masonic Hall. $10 at the door, kids under 10 eat free. **Bring unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots!!** (40th/Edmunds – note that parking is across Edmunds or across Fauntleroy)

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR AT VFW HALL: Happening at VFW Post 2713 in The Triangle, 9 am-6 pm – details on the official flyer. (3601 SW Alaska)

SEATTLE PRESCHOOL PROGRAM MEETINGS: Two today at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center regarding the in-formation, voter-approved city program – 10 am-12:30 pm, on curriculum; 2-4:30 pm, on teacher training/coaching. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

WESTSIDE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 10 am-noon, all-school open house, as previewed here on Friday. (7740 34th SW)

HOLIDAY BAZAAR AT SLHS: Seattle Lutheran High School‘s third annual Holiday Bazaar, in the gym, 10 am-3 pm; details here. (4100 SW Genesee)

HOLIDAY ARTS/CRAFTS AT WSUU: 5th annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Show in the Social Hall at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation Social Hall, 10 am-4 pm: “You are invited to our fifth annual sale of gifts by local community and WSUU artists and handcrafters. You’ll find original, one-of-a-kind gifts: felted hats, knits, jewelry, watercolor paintings, designer bags and accessories, greeting cards and stocking stuffers, edible holiday goodies, glass art, fiber art, more. Free refreshments.” (7141 California SW)

PET PHOTOS WITH SANTA, 10 am-2 pm at Pet Elements in Morgan Junction. $25, with $5 donated to Furry Faces Foundation; you’ll get a 5×7 and a digital file. (6511 California SW)

FOOD DRIVE: 10 am-2 pm, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest (WSB sponsor) Food Drive for the West Seattle Food Bank, at West Seattle Thriftway (California/Fauntleroy).

JEWELRY SHOW AT CLICK! 11 am-8 pm (continuing through the Junction Holiday Party), Sarah Loertscher is at Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) “with studio samples, one of a kind pieces and an extended selection of her jewelry line.” (4540 California SW)

SANTA AT SMALLCLOTHES: Santa Al will be at SmallClothes, bring your own camera or get a photo for $5, 11 am-2 pm. (3215 California SW)

GIVE THE GIFT OF VOLUNTEERING: 11 am-1 pm is the monthly volunteer-orientation event at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum. You’d be surprised at how many types of skills SWSHS can use – come find out how to help. (61st/Stevens)

‘SANTA PAWS’: 4th annual Santa Paws event sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Realty (WSB sponsor) – “Bring your pets in for a FREE photo with Santa! 12-4 pm in the Jefferson Square Building, 2nd floor lobby.” (4700 42nd SW)

SANTA AT CAPERS: DIY Santa Photos at CAPERS in The Junction, with “ex-Westwood Santa.” Bring cameras/phones, kids/friends, and a donation for the West Seattle Food Bank. Noon-3 pm. (4525 California SW)

COUCH FEST FILMS: Starting at 1 pm, this citywide-and-beyond not-in-theaters film festival includes three West Seattle venues. Here’s the official Seattle program, listing what’s being shown, when, and where. If you don’t have tickets already, buy the pass at your first stop. West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor) is participating at 6040 California SW, where the documentary shorts will be shown (33-minute program in all) – the other two WS sites are 6017 49th Ave SW, with the “Inappropriately Awesome” shorts (32 minutes), and the “Mixed 1″ collection will be screened at 3011 SW Cycle Court.

CHRISTMAS TEA & SILENT AUCTION … at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 2-5 pm.

More details here – and we have late word (along with the teapot photo shared by Leanne) that tickets ARE available! “The decorations are up, the tables are set, and the preparations are well underway. Tickets are still available for the fun, festive, fabulous Christmas Tea at St. John’s. The event also includes a silent auction, and the long awaited quilt raffle drawing. Event tickets are $20 per person, $10 for children age 12 and under.” (California/Hanford)

HOLIDAY PARTY IN THE JUNCTION … as part of Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB)! Multiple businesses participating. 4-8 pm, before, during, and after the Junction Tree Lighting, roam from store to store to celebrate: “Businesses throughout The Junction are each hosting events and parties on the same night, yet each doing something different. Think of it as a progressive party with drinks, nibbles, games and shopping. We’ll also be dressing up The Junction with candles to light the way. It will be enjoyable as a pre- or post- Tree Lighting Event activity but also a festive event on its own.” Details here.

12 BARS OF CHRISTMAS:, benefit pub crawl, 4 pm in The Junction – details in our calendar listing.

WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION TREE LIGHTING: 5 pm at Junction Plaza Park, presented by the West Seattle Junction Association as part of the all-season-long Hometown Holidays events: Josh Sutton of the West Seattle YMCA will emcee; you’ll also hear from Bakery Nouveau co-proprietor Heather Leaman on behalf of WSJA and from Emerald Water Anglers proprietor Dave McCoy on behalf of the merchants’ Holiday Party event, which will start at 4 pm, before the lighting, and continue until 8 pm. (Details here!) You’ll get to carol and to enjoy live performances by the Chief Sealth International High School Marching Band (starting around 4:45 pm), the Endolyne Children’s Choir, by cast members from ArtsWest‘s “Judy’s Scary Little Christmas,” and by Jay Cates. (42nd/Alaska)

EVENING SANTA PHOTOS … with Santa Al at QFC’s outdoor area across from/during the Junction Tree Lighting (42nd/Alaska), 5-6 pm, bring a can for West Seattle Food Bank. (42nd/Alaska)

HOLIDAY BEAUTY EXPO: 5-7 pm at Shanti Salon & Spa. Aveda makeup artist consultations & touchups, refreshments including champagne, complimentary bang trims and hair/skin consultations. (2138 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE MEANINGFUL MOVIES: 7 pm, “The Health Care Movie,” at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. Details here. (6400 Sylvan Way)

HOLIDAY CONCERT: Cantaré Vocal Ensemble presents Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and fresh takes on your favorite Christmas carols, 7:30 pm at Holy Rosary Church. (42nd/Genesee)

‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’: Join Twelfth Night Productions this holiday season for the radio-play edition of the much-loved holiday tale, 7:30 pm at Kenyon Hall. Buy your ticket(s) online at brownpapertickets.com/event/917572 or an hour before showtime at the venue box office. (7904 35th SW)

‘JUDY’S SCARY LITTLE CHRISTMAS’: Holiday show at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) in The Junction, 7:30 pm. Buy tickets online here. (4711 California SW)

AND THOSE ARE JUST THE HIGHLIGHTS … browse the Holiday Guide and Event Calendar for even more options. Have a great Saturday!

West Seattle holidays: Our Lady of Guadalupe decides to ‘Light Up the Night’ instead of a tree

December 5, 2014 at 10:14 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

That’s what you’ll see when you drive by Our Lady of Guadalupe at 35th/Myrtle this holiday season. This year, instead of lighting the big evergreen on the southwest side of the church, OLG decided to save some green and light up its grounds. But tonight’s lighting ceremony was just as festive, with emcee Brian Callanan (center) joining Father Jack Walmesley (right) and choir members under the tree as usual to lead caroling:

(We’ll be adding video.) The almost-full moon took the “Light Up the Night” theme seriously enough to shine over the crowd.

Battery-powered candle-style lights were distributed to add to the light – and warm hearts brought food to fill the donation sleigh inside the Parish Center:

Hot cocoa was served up too … welcome on any winter night, even with the knowledge that, as emcee Brian observed, tonight’s temperature was about twice what this night brought last year!

West Seattle holidays: Holy Rosary’s ‘Deck the Halls’ party

December 5, 2014 at 9:18 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

Instead of a red-nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus was joined tonight at Holy Rosary School by a green-suited Gator. The school’s mascot was there for the “Deck the Halls” celebration, featuring the ceremonial Christmas-tree blessing by Father John Madigan:

The school’s Christmas-tree lot (a seasonal WSB sponsor) is on the north side of the campus, raising money for the school and local charities through December 14th. Tonight’s celebration also filled the halls with holiday music:

That’s the 6th-grade choir. Instrumentalists included Brian on the dobro:

Christmas is also the season of sweets, and a tempting table of desserts was at the ready:

And a chance to mingle:

Or get that Santa photo (once the Gator moved on):

(Tonight’s photos, we’re told, will turn up here.) The spirit of the season was also celebrated with a collection of food donations.

West Seattle holidays: Junction Party & Tree Lighting tomorrow!

December 5, 2014 at 1:26 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(WSB photo)
Tomorrow’s the night that the humble official Junction Christmas Tree will start to glow from tip to … sidewalk. (And the weather will be about 30 degrees warmer than last year!) From the West Seattle Junction Association, which presents the all-season-long Hometown Holidays events, here’s the plan for Saturday’s 5 pm tree-lighting ceremony: Josh Sutton of the West Seattle YMCA will emcee; you’ll also hear from Bakery Nouveau co-proprietor Heather Leaman on behalf of WSJA and from Emerald Water Anglers proprietor Dave McCoy on behalf of the merchants’ Holiday Party event, which will start at 4 pm, before the lighting, and continue until 8 pm. (Details here!) You’ll get to carol and to enjoy live performances by the Chief Sealth International High School Marching Band (starting around 4:45 pm), the Endolyne Children’s Choir, by cast members from ArtsWest‘s “Judy’s Scary Little Christmas,” and by Jay Cates. Come on down to Junction Plaza Park at the northwest corner of 42nd/Alaska.

P.S. Tons of Junction fun on Sunday, too, including carriage rides and Santa photos – see the Hometown Holidays section on The Junction’s website and the WSB Holiday Guide for all the who/what/when/where.

P.P.S. Per our customary disclosures – WSB is a Hometown Holidays co-sponsor, and three organizations/businesses mentioned above – West Seattle Y, Emerald Water Anglers, and ArtsWest – are current WSB sponsors.

West Seattle holiday giving: Warm clothes @ Dave Newman’s State Farm office; coats @ M2S Outfitters

December 4, 2014 at 1:23 pm | In Holidays, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

As the list of what’s in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide gets longer, that includes the section with local opportunities for holiday giving. Including:

COLLECTING WARM CLOTHES: That’s State Farm agent Dave Newman (longtime WSB sponsor) standing next to two bins that he and his staff hope you will fill with warm clothes for West Seattle Helpline. Their collection drive is now officially under way, continuing until the last day of the year. You can drop off donations at their office, 3435 California SW (map), 9 am-5 pm Mondays-Fridays (9 am-noon on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve)

COLLECTING COATS: In The Triangle, Mountain to Sound Outfitters is collecting coats for a donation drive culminating in a visit by Santa on December 14th – but you can drop one (or more!) off any time before then, too, at 3602 SW Alaska (map).

West Seattle holiday updates: Junction decorations/celebrations; Festivus party; OLG’s new lighting plan…

December 2, 2014 at 9:43 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Holiday decorations are officially up in The Junction. Wreaths were added to streetlight poles this morning, and their lights are aglow tonight; garlands are decking storefronts too.

Just in time for Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB) to gear up starting later this week – that’s one of the holiday notes we’re sharing tonight:

SHOP LATE THURSDAY, HOLIDAY PARTY SATURDAY, SANTA & CARRIAGE RIDES SUNDAY: This is the first big holiday week in The Junction, with the first of three Shop Late Thursdays coming up two nights from now, 6-9 pm on December 4th. Then on Saturday, another chance to shop into the evening, with the Junction Holiday Party before and after the tree lighting – see the list of participants here (and in the West Seattle Holiday Guide), and what’ll be happening at this neighborhood-wide party 4-8 pm on Saturday. On Sunday, 10 am-2 pm in The Junction, bring your own camera for photo ops at the Santa Meet & Greet at City Mouse (4218 SW Alaska), and ride the mule-drawn carriage that will be making regular departures from California/Alaska.

FESTIVUS PARTY FRIDAY: The only official one we’ve heard of so far this season is this year’s Sustainable West Seattle/WS Tool Library gala, 5-9 pm Friday (December 5th) just a short ways across the bridge at SODO MakerSpace (1914 Occidental Ave. S.) Full details are on the SWS website.

ALSO FRIDAY, OLG ‘LIGHT UP THE NIGHT’: Something new at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s outdoor celebration of light this year, coming up 7 pm Friday at 35th/Myrtle: This year, OLG won’t be lighting up the big tree outside its church – the cost has jumped, we’re told, and the church needs to devote its resources elsewhere. But you’re still invited to a celebration of light and community, same place, near the highest spot in Seattle – there’ll be lights, just not on the big tree, and there’ll be carols and holiday cheer. Also a food drive – bring nonperishable food to fill the sleigh in the parish center across SW Myrtle from the church.

HOLIDAY EVENT PLANNED? We’re still updating the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide with new events/info at least once a day – if you have a bazaar, community party, decoration display, Santa visit, concert, performance, anything holiday-ish to which the community’s invited, please e-mail us the info ASAP! editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you – and keep checking the guide for updates (we already have a sleigh-full of new info to add later tonight).

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