Christmas movies turn up on the Lifetime and Hallmark channels ahead of the holiday. Though of the two Lifetime channels we have, one is still playing a movie that involves a cheerleader who murders or a mom who murders or — as in the movie I checked right now to make sure I wasn’t exaggerating — a daughter who “plans” to murder. The formula for all of these “corny Christmas movies,” as my youngest calls them, is just about the same and there is almost always a quaint shop/store/bakery/festival at the center of the story.
When watching these movies, which I do less and less ironically with each viewing, some of the eyerolls are reserved for the impossibly adorable destinations. As holiday images started to pop up on social media and I started gathering holiday items for this column — in part because I thought Thanksgiving was this Thursday, which it is most certainly not — I started to notice something. If you love Christmas the way the people in the movies do, we have a lot of local tradition-worthy options that would fit right into the make-believe cities with names like Maple Grove or Chestnut Hill.
Before we get to those holiday locations and events, and talk about where you can meet the Edmonds Elf, you can start your Thanksgiving off with the Annual Lynnwood Turkey Trot and Food Drive to benefit the Lynnwood Food Bank. Set for Thanksgiving morning — Thursday, Nov. 28 — you can walk or run this 5k, which circles the Lynnwood Golf Course and starts and finishes at Edmonds Community College. Donations of non-perishable food items are welcome at the Turkey Trot and you can find registration for the event, which goes up by five bucks on the day of, on the Annual Lynnwood Turkey Trot and Food Drive Facebook events page.
When you’ve firmly crossed over from Thanksgiving into Christmas, which will share a date with Hanukkah this year, both Bountiful Home and Nursery and The Wooden Spoon Kitchen Shop are ready. Social media posts by both businesses show Christmas items and decor already in full swing. I have a particular fondness for Bountiful Home and Nursery just based on the incredible creaks in the floor of their incredible location – the owner let me try out the creak coming down the stairs once. I also just read the store is collecting toys for the Edmonds Toy Shop — if you bring in an item on the list posted on their Facebook page, you will get a 10% discount. On top of the great location, there are also a lot of gift options to choose from. The same goes for The Wooden Spoon Kitchen Shop, which helped Santa fill one of our stockings last year. Both could be straight out of a Christmas movie, where the very busy business woman, played by a former child actor, inherits the shop and finds her new Christmas-based life and then has to decide whether to sell it.
I usually try to get a lot of bang for my buck when it comes to the holiday. What this means for us is finding traditions that are fun and cost effective — driving through Brier’s Candy Cane lane is one, you can find it at 228th Street Southwest and 42nd Place West. Another free tradition in Edmonds is having kids drop their letters to Santa in the red mailbox outside the Log Cabin Visitors Center, 120 5th Ave. N., Edmonds. Letters that are “mailed” by Wednesday, Dec. 18 will get personal handwritten replies, with letters getting picked up by “Santa’s elves” a few times a week.
Edmonds has a lot of holiday events that lead up to the big day. Three of them — the Holiday Market, the Holiday Trolley and the Edmonds Holiday Tree Lighting — have an Edmonds Elf named Emily in common. You may remember Emily the Elf if you’ve taken a ride on the Holiday Trolley, but word has it she’s been making appearances at the Holiday Market and this year, she will be holding a meet and greet at the Edmonds Historical Museum ahead of the Edmonds Holiday Tree Lighting.
On Nov. 23 and Dec 7, 14 and 21 you can shop for unique gifts at the Holiday Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on 5th Ave between City Hall and the Edmonds Historical Museum. Per EdmondsHolidays.com, “More than 50 vendors will ensure a bustling market, bringing everything from cured meats, preserved foods and cheeses, to baked goods and sweets. Check off your shopping list — from fruit and produce to wine, jewelry, pottery, and gifts.” Starting in December, the Edmonds Holiday Trolley will overlap with the Holiday Market. This free, elf-hosted trolley service will run on four Saturdays in December, the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th. The route will head through downtown Edmonds, making stops at Walnut Street Coffee, Hazel Miller Plaza, Edmonds Bookshop, Comstock Jewelers, Calypso Restaurant and Salish Crossing. The trolley comes to each stop about every 30 minutes and you can see the route map here. Of her time on the trolley, Emily says she loves “sharing the twinkle and joy of the season with everyone who boards the trolley. Seeing the kids’ faces who still believe in the magic of the holidays and also think I’m a real live elf is so much fun.
If you’d like to meet Emily the Elf on the day of the tree lighting (let’s be honest, Emily the Elf is a Hallmark movie just waiting to happen) you can head to the Edmonds Historical Museum on Nov. 30 from 2 to 3:45 p.m. and get your picture with the Edmonds Elf for a $1 donation benefiting the museum.
The Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony is Nov. 30 from 3 to 5 p.m. and features free holiday treats, caroling, lighting of the grand Christmas tree and a visit from Santa himself. The event, which happens at Centennial Plaza, 5th Avenue North and Bell Street, will also feature some local non-profits collecting items and cash donations for kids in need. This event has that fun “walk in the middle of the blocked-off street” feeling that Halloween in Edmonds has and it is fun, albeit often a little cold, to watch the kids excitement as Santa rolls in. Plus, each time we’ve attended, we’ve run into our kids’ friends, which is an extra layer of excitement. After the tree is lit, you can have your picture taken with Santa at the Masonic Lodge from 5:15 to 7 p.m.
For more information on any of these events, you can visit EdmondsHolidays.com.
— By Jennifer Marx
Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.