Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our "Black Friday" Traditions...

do not consist of getting up before the chickens and waiting in long lines to shop. For as many years as I can remember, we have gone to downtown Seattle to see the Christmas decorations. The Fairmont Olympic hotel ( which used to be the Four Seasons Olympic) is a very special place for us. It's where we got engaged; where we spent our wedding night; where we've celebrated birthdays, Mother's day, or just gone for a weekend getaway. Every year, the hotel is host to a huge gala fundraiser (which we don't attend!) auctioning off gorgeous, professionally decorated Christmas trees. The proceeds from the auction benefit Seattle Children's Hospital.  They're only on display the weekend after Thanksgiving before they're whisked away to their new homes.
I'm very into the red and lime green color combo right now so this one caught my eye. Each one of these trees is so detailed , words don't do them justice. Of course this one with a chocolate dipped strawberry was one of my faves!
Even once the trees are gone, the hotel remains a magical wonderland: 
One of the traditions we love the most is visiting the "Teddy Bear Suite". The hotel decorates one of their junior suites with, as you can guess...teddy bears, and its open to the public to view:
Here are some of the bear friends all comfy on a beautiful bed, surrounded by the spirit of Christmas. After the Fairmont, we usually head over to the Seattle Sheraton which hosts the annual gingerbread house village...giant gingerbread houses decorated by their pastry chefs with amazing themes. The line this year was waaay long and we decided not to wait but maybe another day during the season.  From downtown, we headed over to another area we love, University Village, near the University of Washington, which is an outdoor shopping center that's beautifully decorated. Seattle weather being what it is, I didn't take a lot of pics here because of the rain but guess who we found? Not Santa but his helpers!
Waiting for the boss man to kick things off. A few years ago, our own hometown started its own holiday celebration called "Snowflake Lane" ( well it's called that until 12/26 and then the week between Christmas and New Year's it's called "Celebration Lane") where every night live toy soldier drummers appear to perform to a music and light show complete with "snow"...the fake kind...we've had enough of the real stuff! Giant drum shaped stands line the road on both sides in front of the mall with lighted snowflakes on top.

Remember I'm short! So this pic was an "up shot"
Every night there are other toy soldiers walking around on stilts handing out candy, as well as Sugar Plum Fairies and other Winter Wonderland guests. Isn't this a lovely couple?

Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, and a giant polar bear and Christmas Mouse also made an appearance. It was a great day, just focused on soaking in all the seasonal fun.


liz at liz's paper loft said...

what a fabulous tradition! thanks for sharing...I've always wanted to go to I know where to visit!

liz :o)

Diane said...

WOW, I ♥ family traditions Ÿ Gorgeous pics Ü

LuLu Kellogg said...

How wonderful! I loved all these pictures.

On Thanksgiving and Black Friday we always stay in our jammies all day long and watch movies with the fireplace going. Heaven!


Anonymous said...

beautiful trees!!!
imagine if that choc-berry was real
putting us in a sweet coma for days

thanks for sharing all the beautiful picures
last year i played really low key
but this year i feel a surge of
holiday cheer coming on :)

by the way ~ i just sold my first card on etsy ~ woohoo!!!


Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

Too fun! We're not Black Friday shoppers either. I'd rather bask in the glow of the fest from the day before!

Michelle L. said...

Oh, wow, what great pictures - bringing back memories! The Olympic Hotel was always the place of all places for milestone events. Thanks for the blast from the past.

Netty said...

Wonderful pictures, thank you for sharing. Annette x

Lorilee said...

What a lovely way to begin the Christmas season!

Holly Lefevre said...

Magical...what a way to start the season!

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