Posted by: silverstar98121 | November 15, 2008

It’s Magic Time


The Tree at the Needle

The Tree at the Needle

Strangely enough, I love this time of year. Even though it is the darkest time of year. About now, the magic starts to happen. On Wednesday, there was a Tree Lighting at the Space Needle. It was a kick-off to a charity event. They’ve never had a tree in front of the Space Needle before, although it seems like a good idea. I went to the lighting, and had some hot spiced cider and cookies. 


I’m watching as slowly a lot of trees around the downtown area are starting to sport fairy lights. You know it’s coming when you see the man-lifts in the plaza. Soon the downtown will sparkle. We know how it’s done, but it’s still magic.

I saw them measuring for the train at Seattle Center. It’s a big O scale train that runs around a Christmas village. They let kids run it a couple of times around, (with adult supervision). There will be a carousel at Westlake Park and one near the seasonal ice rink at Seattle Center. It’s all old hat to me, but I still love it. 

None of the folks I run around with are the type who have the money to spend big for the season, whether they call it Christmas or Yule. And I think a lot more folks are in the same boat this year.  But it’s time to make cookies, and other goodies to give away. Time for crafts projects for gifts. The Pagan group I was involved with had a White Elephant gift exchange every Yule. We played a game where the gifts were numbered, and the first would open their gift. Then #2 could take it, or open their own gift. Number 3 could take either of the gifts, or open their own, and so on. It was hilarious to see, for instance, some big guy holding a harem costume (really happened one year). Of course, there is always (or almost always) someone who wants what you don’t, so it works out. 

So, I’ve got to get busy. I’m want to make a photo quilt and a DVD for my Dad. Video takes forever, professionals figure 1 hour per minute of video. It takes me much longer. So I need to get on that. I’ve already spent some time on it, thankfully. On then to the cookies. And a few other crafty projects. Crocheted hats, anyone? 

And Christmas music, I love Christmas music. I know, a Pagan who loves Christmas music. Not the contemporary, secular stuff, either. I like Renaissance music. And carols. I have a rather large collection, thanks to the Internet and Seattle Public Library. 

To me, I guess the magic is that at the darkest time of year, there are lights everywhere. At the coldest time of year, people reach out. That we gather with family and friends. That we are reminded to love one another. 

It occurs to me that all this is coming at summer solstice Down Under. I’d like to know what it means to you. And how do you get through the winter without a holiday to celebrate the return of the light? Because even if you are a Christian, the birth of Christ symbolizes the return of the light. Strange thoughts on a sunny morning in mid-November Seattle.


  1. me too! it’s goofy, and way out of character for me as well, but i love christmas lights… hate the shopping and rampant consumerism, but enjoy just about all the rest…

    The Girl and i started baking up tons of biscotti for gifts – and it’s wonderful fun! the kitchen gets trashed, but we have a ball. last year? near disaster when Mr. Pickles ate a whole tray of double chocolate pecan… fortunately he didn’t get sick. or beaten…

    seattle sounds like a great place to be in the dark of winter! hoping for pictures!

    • I am fortunate that Friday is so well trained that I can leave cookies in
      her reach, say “leave it” and she will. But I usually don’t tempt her.
      Mmmmm, biscotti. I love them, but the double baking is a bitch. Yes, many
      more pictures on the way after Thanksgiving, when everything gets cranked
      up.Or I could post some from last year.

  2. I’m Jewish and I love Christmas music. In fact, as a kid, I was in the school chorus proudly soloing “Twas The Night Before Christmas.” But can’t we at least wait until Thanksgiving’s past? 🙂

    • Ms. Flamingo, just for you I will cease and desist until after Thanksgiving.
      After that, all bets are off.

  3. *Sigh* I’ve never been able to get excited about Christmas time. I’ve played the part for the sake of the kids but I really could do without the cold, the dark, the snow and ice.

    The best thing, though is that after winter solstice the days will start to get longer again.

    We are going to go out and cut a Christmas tree this year and take in a few other festivities. I’ll have to work extra hard on stowing the grinch aspect of my personality. *Sigh*

  4. are making a quilt? I guess I had better start thinking of gifts even though I am not crafty. Thank you for the welcome to WordPress. I had so many problems on blogger and I’ve had that blog for almost 2 years. I took your suggestion for a photo theme for my other blog after looking at yours. It does really show photos off very well.. I see you have my old link with a snapshot..very cool. The only thing I miss is being able to put little photos on the side…Michelle..

    • Actually, you can, Michelle. Just upload the photo into the “new post” part,
      being sure you ask for a thumbnail. The copy the text from the html section
      of your post. Open “design”, select a text widget, and paste the html you
      copied into the text widget. Viola! That’s how I got the Alzheimer’s quilt
      thingy on my blog. Here’s the faq:
      P.S. I’ve been going to make this quilt for about two years now. Let’s see
      if I get it done before my dad dies. He’s only 89, he’s outlived both his
      parents now.

  5. I’m an atheist so christmas isn’t about the return of the light or anything much to do with the birth of a baby in bethlehem.

    I like all the celebrating we do at the gimcrack though, there’s lots of family stuff and we have nice trees and decorations on levels one, two and three. the kitchen at head office bakes something different every year for the staff and all the patients. there are about 12 “Gimcracks” in NSW so that’s thousands of tins of baking!!

    at home we usually eat lots of prawns and cold turkey and maybe a lobster or two followed by trifle or pavlova. don’t think we’ll buy a tree this year as the new apartment is too tiny but we will be stringing lights….

  6. Bah Humbug. I’m annoyed each year at the rampant consumerism. I’m guiltily enjoying how hard the retailers are scrambling right now to get people’s last remaining dollars. This is about the to be the worst Christmas in recent history for our local retailers, and while I’m sorry, maybe it will mean that people will gather around their houses and enjoy and appreciate what they have in each others company more and stress about presents less. Right.

    That said, it seems like people get a little nicer around this time of year. More willing to exhibit signs of patience in a long line, helping with packages, that sort of thing. And I do love the lights, but I hate untangling them so much that I don’t use them at all anymore. I think the husbeast is angling for lights this year … more power to him. I’ll bring him the hot toddies while he’s cursing the twists of lights. I’ll even hold the ladder and catch him if he falls off, but touch the fecking lights I won’t. Merry Christmas!

  7. SS, go fix my typos, willya please? Feh. Should never post before at least two cups of coffee have made it down my gullet.

    Well, I would if I could find any without my coffee.

  8. Beth- Christmas lights are time consuming. Either you spend time storing them properly, or you spend time untangling them. I can tell you from personal experience it takes less time to store them properly. So, be nice to hubby, and buy him one of these clever little devices. Or since Christmas lights are only good for 90 days anyway, if they are more than three years old, throw them away and buy new ones. Heaven knows they are cheap these days.

  9. Silverstar, you got me all tingly with the thought of Christmas getting close. I’m in the clean every thing mode right now but after your post I’m hopeful that I will get to the cookie baking part.

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