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Holiday Gift Guide

ROMP

Seattle Bouldering Project

CHOMP

Cooking with pumpkin

SHOP

Create your own gifts

R S E AT T L E S C H I L D . C O M

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YO UR G UID E TO A K ID - FRIENDLY CIT Y

T he

HOLIDAY issue

E T A R B CELEthe N O S A E S

MAKING HOME

Meet the winners of our very first ntest! Holiday Card Co

WHAT PARENTS ARE UT TALKING ABO

NEIGHBORS FEEDING NEIGHBORS

ZERO-WAS TE LIVING

Jo and Valerie with granddaughter Skai, 2


Park FREE for family fun at your Seattle waterfront FULL PAGE

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"I’ve never encountered a school mission, vision, and values that so closely a To join and lead the team of Villa Academy’s educators—who devote their c BERTSCHI SCHOOL • APPLY NOW! • FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE compassionate hearts and confident minds—feels like coming home." —L Their stature may be small, but their ideas are monumental.

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>>Contents

Seattle's

Seattle’sChild

Grades PK - 5th 2:06 PM

Weekly in-person and virtual tours going on now!

DR. LIZ WILLIS APPOINTED HEAD OF SCHOOL

November/December 2021 // Issue 490

WHAT PARENTS ARE TALKING ABOUT....... 7 DAD NEXT DOOR................ 11 ROMP..........................................13 CHOMP......................................17 SHOP..........................................19 FEATURE MEET THE WINNERS OF OUR HOLIDAY CARD CONTEST.................24 MAKING HOME....................29

2227 Tenth Avenue East Seattle, Washington 98102 www.bertschi.org Child_10-18-21.pdf 1 10/18/21

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As an outstanding educator, brilliant strategist, and empathetic leader, Dr. Willis was selected from an impressive pool of candidates and will succeed Julie Thenell Grasseschi, Interim Head of School, on July 1, 2022. At Villa Academy, our students thrive in their learning styles and social-emotional growth and wellbeing, and through grade-appropriate social justice curricula, they deepen their compassion and character. Discover the Whole-Child educational advantage and why you belong at Villa Academy, thevilla.org.

CMY

K

q Because many Seattle-area events have

been canceled or rescheduled amid concern over the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no Calendar in this issue.

Burke Memberships Make a T.-rrific Gift!

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burkemuseum.org/join p.29

„ Find us online at seattleschild.com Cover photo by JOSHUA HUSTON 0XX EL AT LEC ’SH C IHLI D L D 55 Nove mbe r/ D e c e mbe rMo 2 0n2t h 1 2S E ATST ET’ S


The Sammamish Montessori School In Redmond

Call 425-883-3271 for a tour.

in g N o w E n r o ll

Seattle’sChild

November/December 2021 // Issue 490 “Seattle is my town. I know this city inside and out… or so I thought until I had kids.”

• Child-centered, joyful atmosphere with strong academic focus • Experienced, Montessori-certified teachers • Preschool, kindergarten, and STEAM Enrichment • Family owned and operated since 1977 • Summer, before & after school programs • Prep Program, (starting ages 2 1/2-3)

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¡Inscripciones abiertas! Toddlers • Prek • Elementary • Middle School

Capitol Hill and Greenwood Locations

www.seattleamistadschool.org information@seattleamistadschool.org

Seattle’s Child is your guide to getting to know your city all over again. Finding things to do, places to eat, and how to get around — it’s a whole new ballgame with kids in tow. We’re interested in how parents make homes in a space-challenged urban environment, how families create community, and what parents are really talking about. Seattle’s Child reflects real Washington families and their broad range of parenting experiences. ANN BERGMAN Publisher, Founder abergman@seattleschild.com JASMIN THANKACHEN Associate Publisher jasmin@seattleschild.com BOO BILLSTEIN Art Director JILLIAN O’CONNOR Managing Editor jill@seattleschild.com JULIE HANSON Website Editor jhanson@seattleschild.com KATLEEN SNEDEKER Calendar Editor calendar@seattleschild.com

Bilingual, bicultural, biliterate!

MIKE MAHONEY Copy Editor JOSHUA HUSTON Photographer JEFF LEE, MD Columnist KATIE ANTHONY, MEG BUTTERWORTH, NILS DAHLGREN, NATASHA DILLINGER, HALLIE GOLDEN, BRETT HAMIL, DANIELLE HAYDEN, KATHERINE HEDLAND HANSEN, RENE HOLDERMAN, JASMIN THANKACHEN, ASTRID VINJE Contributors ADVERTISING AMBER ELBON Ad Production Manager amber@seattleschild.com JULANN HILL Senior Account Manager julann@seattleschild.com 206-724-2453 KRISTIN McCONNELL Account Executive kristin@seattleschild.com 360-682-3384

Seattle’sChild Seattle’s Child has provided useful information to parents since 1979. In addition to our magazine, look for our special themed publications — FamilyPages, School and SummerTime — distributed free throughout the Puget Sound area. Seattle’s Child is published every other month.

ONLINE seattleschild.com Facebook facebook.com/seattleschild Twitter @SeaChildMag Instagram @seattleschildmag MAIL c/o Postal Plus 1211 E. Denny Way, Seattle, WA 98112 VOICE 206-441-0191 TO ADVERTISE advertise@seattleschild.com MAGAZINE DISTRIBUTION distribution@seattleschild.com STORY IDEAS editor@seattleschild.com CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS calendar@seattleschild.com Deadline is first of the month, one month prior to publication. Include date, time, cost, appropriate ages, address, contact information and description.

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Don’t miss these stories on seattleschild.com

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Day Trips Where to hike, where to sled

Things to Do Find all the local holiday festivities

Pitch In How families can help and make big changes

»What Parents

„ Find more local news for families on seattleschild.com

Are Talking About Education, health, development and more

South Park neighbors work to restock the food shelves of a mutual aid station.

Got food? Share it! South Park’s mutual aid stations help make sure there’s enough for everyone by J I L L I A N O ’ C O N N O R / photo by J O S H U A H U S T O N

When COVID-19 hit and public schools shut down in March 2020, Lashanna Williams knew she had to do something to make sure the kids in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood were being nourished.

She and her family had plenty of food, so she started making breakfast for other local kids, too, making sure everyone would stay well fed and could carry the food home. “I started to make breakfast for local humans who really depended on breakfast at school, so I started cooking and people started donating money,” says Williams. “Any vehicle for butter and syrup: waffles, pancakes. That’s what they wanted,” she says, laughing. (Eventually, she made the to-go breakfasts using space offered at

Resistencia Coffee, in the center of South Park.) This initial effort led to the idea of setting up food sharing in the close-knit, friendly one-square-mile community, often cited as Seattle’s most diverse neighborhood. The idea was to establish mutual aid stations: food, outside on tables and shelves and in sheds and available for anyone — from the neighborhood or not — who was hungry or needed food. No questions asked. “We gathered about five different neighbors CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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Find support, connection, and resources for your family from the comfort of your home! Join a virtual PEPS Group and meet other expectant parents or parents with babies close in age to yours. Weekday, weeknight, and weekend options available. Flexible Pricing program fees offered on all groups.

«What Parents Are Talking About CONTINUED

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in different areas of South Park to host a mutual aid food station,” Williams says. Two stations eventually added fridges outside so the community could share perishables like fresh produce. South Park resident Shawna Murphy started the station outside her house as the food-sharing idea was first blossoming. “It started out so modestly. I literally had a little red folding table … and put it on the sidewalk, and I think the first thing I put out was a plate of apple,” says Murphy. “It just really caught on and people started bringing us things. “At that time, you couldn’t go into the food bank to choose your food,” says Murphy, who lives close to a food bank. “You were just basically getting a box.” Because people didn’t necessarily want all the items in the prepackaged boxes, whether for cultural or personal preference reasons, Murphy found that the mutual aid stations would get big additions of food on the food bank’s box pickup days. “It just kept growing and growing!” As people found out about the stations on social media and through friends, food and money donations poured in, helping the community keep the areas stocked. And there was a nice surprise when Murphy received donations from friends so that she could fill up the shed with boxes of pizza on Christmas Eve. At the mutual aid stations, there wasn’t just food but also hygiene supplies. Murphy says her own kids helped a lot with running errands and assembling period packs. And she had eager assistance from the children she hosts in her home daycare. “Every day we would go out for about a half an hour,” says Murphy. “All the kids,

you know, taking cans out, basically playing grocery store, and it was so fun.” Williams’ focus is shifting to El Mercadito, a new local farmers market in South Park. Some vendors are offering food on a sliding scale, and there is a free food section too. Currently, there are two mutual aid stations still operating in South Park. But Williams, who works as a death doula and massage therapist, says the mutual aid stations aren’t about giving, which she points out has an inherent power dynamic. They’re about sharing. “We worked really hard to be like, ‘Yo, if you eat food, this food is for you.’ ” Does Williams have advice for others who might want to set up stations? “Do it. Really, just do it,” she says. “It doesn’t matter what you start with; when it’s there, people will start to use it, and just the normalization of us taking care of each other is important.” She adds, “Kids in South Park will grow up, and they will never say once, ‘A mutual aid station? I’ve never seen one of those.’ That will be something that these humans grow up understanding happens when people need it. “And that shifts things.”

Get involved! You can set up your own mutual aid station or bring food to the stations in South Park. And there are many food banks where you can spend time making sure everyone gets enough food. (Kids can help, too.) 3 Food Lifeline: On-site volunteers

can be age 10 and up. Locations throughout Seattle. Kids can host a virtual or canned food drive. foodlifeline.org

3 Northwest Harvest: Will accept kid

volunteers who are 9 or older to help sort food. Kids can also host a virtual food drive. Multiple locations in the Seattle area. northwestharvest.org

3 University District Food Bank: Kids can

volunteer starting at age 15 if accompanied by a parent or guardian. udistrictfoodbank.org


»ToolBox

What every parent needs to have on hand

the

history and culture

of the Tulalip Tribes

When should kids get phones? Plus: A parent question about masks and speech development

P H OTO CO U RT ESY OF KA I S E R P E RM A N E N TE

by D R . S U S A N N A B L O C K of K A I S E R P E R M A N E N T E

Ah, late fall. Back to school and kids in class. We’re seeing steps in the right direction, but unfortunately it is still a complex and fluid time, with new COVID-19 variants, children under 12 years old not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and low vaccination rates in some areas. The good news is kids are back in school and we know how to keep them in class and in person — masking, vaccination if eligible, frequent testing and staying home when sick. Get the flu shot as well: It’s that season. I share everyone’s frustration, worry and, frankly, fatigue. Let’s keep on being strong and staying the course. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us to find joy in small things, flexibility and the value of getting outside. Thank you so much for your questions. (Got a question for Dr. Block? Send it to jhanson@seattleschild.com.)

COVID masks and speech Q: Do masks affect speech and language development? This is a thoughtful question we never would have considered a few years ago. While we are all looking forward to a time when face masks are not needed, the priority now is to stay safe, reduce the transmission of COVID-19, and keep schools

open. Babies and toddlers have now spent a good percent of their life in the pandemic and young children interact with caregivers and preschool teachers wearing masks. Language development begins early. Starting at birth, babies observe their loved ones’ faces and listen to caregivers. While there is still much to be learned, there are no current studies that suggest using a mask negatively impacts speech and language development. While not exactly the same, language development in visually impaired children has been studied extensively. Language skills in sighted and unsighted children develop at the same rate. Young children and babies at home get lots of mask-free time with their immediate families. The more words a baby hears, the better their language and communication skills will be. Continue to talk, sing, read and play peekaboo with your baby. Minimize screen time so that your child can focus on your face and words. If you have questions about your child’s language development, talk to your primary care provider.

Kids and phones: the eternal debate Q: What’s the right age to let your child have a phone? This is a big topic in our house. Tweens back in school want more freedom and this leads to conversations about phones. The right time to get a phone will be different for every family, with factors including the age of your child, if they have unsupervised time and if they walk or bus to school or activities. Think about how children of different

CRAFT EVENTS AND MORE! Visit our website for info.

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CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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Spruce Street School

«ToolBox CONTINUED

Spruce Street School is a K-5 elementary school that serves a wide-range of learners. Our dedicated faculty is highly skilled at meeting each student where they are, knowing when a student needs to be challenged and when they need to be supported. Our multiage classrooms promote leadership and celebrate diversity of all kinds. Students graduate from our program knowing who they are as learners and are active community members who excel at critical thinking and collaborating.

Downtown Seattle

SOUNDVIEW SCHOOL

now accepting applications

www.soundview.org (425) 778-8572 a small, independent school in Lynnwood, WA

Logical + Imaginative + Intense + Verbal + Observant + Hands-on Gifted children exhibit these characteristics every day. Even so, many gifted students, especially children of color, remain overlooked in class. Not so at Seattle Country Day School. We offer our students an environment where they can ask questions, create, and grow intellectually and emotionally. See if SCDS is right for your child. Reach out today to admissions@seattlecountryday.org. Seattle Country Day School For gifted children, K–8 Rooted in inquiry. Dedicated to equity. seattlecountryday.org/admissions 10 10

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ages use phones. A recent study shows that about 36% of elementary school students have smartphones. They tend to use them more for videos, games and photos, rather than for communication. Cellphone use and “need” increase in middle and high school, when more kids are using phones for communication, but they often use social media to communicate rather than texts or calls. Approximately 69% of middle school and 89% of high school students have cellphones. No surprise there. When to give your child a phone really depends on each family situation. The truth is, I am torn. There are some very good arguments for cellphones and safety. Families of children with underlying medical conditions are more comfortable if their child is easy to reach. Children who are starting to exert independence, such as walking to school, connecting with friends, or staying home alone for short periods benefit from the safety and security of having a cellphone, especially because many of us no longer have landlines. There are big downsides to cellphones, particularly smartphones. I worry about the endless connection to social media leading to distraction during school or during homework. The pressure to respond in the moment can disrupt sleep. Exposure to unrealistic body image, unhealthy activities and online bullying are concerns. What is a family to do? There’s not a clear right or wrong here. The truth is, at some point, kids will get phones. It’s our job, ultimately, to help our kids become smart media consumers. Here are a few suggestions. Discuss how to be safe online: Have open and ongoing conversations, starting at an early age, about being safe online. Teach children not to share any personal or identifying information online. Create a family use media plan: Agree as a family to rules around screen time and phone use. Place limits on the phone: Many families have a “walking phone,” only used when the child is out on their own. Make your smartphone into a “dumb phone”: Disable the phone so it can be used for calls and texts but not social media or internet. Check the phone at night: Put the phone away at an agreed time so sleep and homework are not disrupted.


„ Read all of Jeff Lee’s columns on seattleschild.com

»DadNextDoor

A little encouragement from across the fence by J E F F L E E , M D

God bless us, every one Let’s give all kids strong policy, not flimsy toys under the tree I love the holidays. I love stealing skin off a roast turkey right when it comes out of the oven. I love driving home with a tree tied to the roof of our car. I love humming “Deck the Halls” while I spread frosting on our bûche de Noël. And because I love the holidays so much, I think I have the right to say something: The spirit of Christmas is in serious trouble. I know, you’ve heard it all before: “It’s too materialistic.” “The stores hang decorations right after Halloween.” “Black Friday is like the Hunger Games.” We all know it’s true, but we feel powerless to change it. Every year, our kids write down their wish lists, we pull out our credit cards, and we log on to Amazon or drive to the mall and search for a parking spot for half an hour. After Christmas dinner, with boxes, ribbons and wrapping paper strewn across the floor, and half of the plastic crap we bought for our kids already broken, we stare at the mess and wonder: “Is this really what Christmas is about?” Sometimes we try to kindle the Christmas spirit by spreading joy to those in need. Our clinic often sponsors struggling families who can’t afford to buy presents for their children. The kids fill out wish lists, we buy what’s on them, and on Christmas morning they

wake up to a tree surrounded by presents. It makes us feel good. I’m sure the kids are super-excited. I’m sure their parents are relieved and grateful. And yet, I have to wonder what happens next month, when all of their plastic crap is broken, too, and it’s rent day again. This year, about one in seven American children will spend the holidays in poverty. That’s more than 10 million kids who may lack not only presents, but enough food to eat, or a roof over their heads. That’s horrifying, but it could have been even worse. In the last round of emergency COVID relief, Congress authorized a temporary child tax credit that sent checks to families with children all over the country, and it lifted 3 million kids out of poverty. Yes, it turns out that you can reduce child poverty by giving money to families with children. Who knew? And research shows that when you reduce child poverty, you reduce crime and you raise productivity and income. Everybody wins. For a while, it looked like this idea was going to take off with a bipartisan tailwind. After all, it was pro-family and anti-poverty, and that appealed to both the right and the left. One of the first leaders to publicly champion this approach was Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah — hardly a bleeding-heart liberal. And yet, now that the idea has found its way into an actual budget proposal, CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

EXPLORE YOUR WATERFRONT Park FREE for family fun at your Seattle waterfront Get up to 3 hours free parking in Pike Garage with purchase on waterfront

SeattleWaterfront.org

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HOLIDAY FUN

«DadNextDoor CONTINUED

THANKSGIVING - NEW YEAR’S

it’s being crushed under a wave of partisan attacks: “No more handouts.” “Why should they get something for nothing?” “Some people work for a living.” “If they couldn’t afford children, they shouldn’t have had any.” “If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

AKE CHELAN WINE VALL EY IN THE L

Celebrate the magic of the holiday season in Lake Chelan.

P L A N Y O UR FAMI LY ’ S N E W E S T TR A DI TI ON AT

S M A LLTOWN HOLI D AY S. C OM

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Oh, sorry, that last one wasn’t cable news. That was Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Oddly, a lot of these outraged Americans are probably the same ones who donate generously at work and at church so that poor kids won’t wake up on Christmas morning to an empty tree. And yet a child tax credit that would reduce childhood poverty by 50%, that would cost each American citizen only 40 cents a day, that would pay for itself many times over with greater productivity, more tax revenue, lower crime and less need for social services — somehow they see that as a bridge too far. Here, in one of the richest countries in the world, what must a child do to “earn” the right not to be poor? How should they prove themselves worthy of help? Or are we simply comfortable with the idea that the bad fortune they were born into is none of our concern? Except, of course, at Christmas. I know that the politics are complicated. I know that there isn’t consensus on the economics. I know that nobody wants to be guilt-tripped when they’re just trying to enjoy a nice holiday with their family. But I also know this: In this supposed season of generosity and hope, some of us will enjoy an embarrassing surplus of blessings, while others are just trying to survive. They call this the season of giving, but a gift that disappears overnight changes nothing. We can do better than that. This year, let’s turn our giving into a New Year’s resolution. Let’s turn it into public policy. Let’s resolve to give our kids — every one of them — a fighting chance. ABOUT OUR COLUMNIST

Jeff Lee spends Black Friday cowering under a blanket in Seattle.


5 things to do

„ Subscribe to the Romp newsletter seattleschild.com/newsletter

Right under your nose!

A hangout for wizards and witches

A trip to Olympic National Park

At long last, The Splintered Wand in Ballard has cast a date for its grand opening. The meticulously decorated, three-story “Wizard Pub, Wand Shop and Spell Builder” is scheduled to open up for magical folk young and old on Nov. 2, and will offer the opportunity to concoct a personalized potion, with kiddie mixtures and adult libations too, and the option to add ingredients that are smoking and color-changing. (Yes, you can get fitted for a wand as well.) — Jillian O’Connor 5135 Ballard Ave. NW, facebook.com/TheSplinteredWand

»Romp Things to do with kids

The amazing thing about Olympic National Park is its diversity, plus how utterly removed it feels from city life. For a late fall or early winter visit, load up warm clothes, rain gear and snacks — and prepare to be amazed. Also, prepare for a 2-to-3-hour journey from Seattle.

1 Life’s a beach! Drive from Queets northward to see the highway hug the coastline, showcasing numerous beaches of the unspoiled, stunningly beautiful variety: Ocean Shores this is not.

2 See a wealth of rainforests There are several within the park, but best-known is the Hoh, a great introduction to this unusual ecosystem.

3 Have a peak experience Enjoy the mountain views from Hurricane Ridge. Check first to make sure the road is open. On the move at Seattle Bouldering Project’s Poplar location.

4 Take a hike!

Rock on, little climbers! Kids climb to their hearts’ content at Seattle Bouldering Project story and photos by N A T A S H A D I L L I N G E R

The rainy season is upon us again! Local playgrounds form the bulk of my family’s outings these days, and my climbing-obsessed toddler shaves years off my life when he scales the tallest structures —

made slippery by rain. My kids and I wanted to test out a drier option for the upcoming month, so we headed to Seattle Bouldering Project’s Poplar location and took advantage of its proximity to the International

District’s wealth of food and drink offerings. I had filled out a waiver before our visit, so check-in at the climbing gym was painless. There’s no age limit to climb and rental shoes are free for your first visit, which felt like a great way to introduce young climbers to the sport. We folded up our stroller and had a quick safety briefing, CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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There are too many to list. Just know that if you don’t get out of the car, you’re not getting the full Olympic National Park experience.

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Get cozy If time and money allow, spend a night there. The beautiful Quinault and Kalaloch lodges are open yearround; Kalaloch also has beachfront cabins. — Julie Hanson

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«Romp CONTINUED

which covered things like how to follow a color-coded route and how to fall safely. The facility has two levels. The top level features taller walls that include a climb-over option when you reach the top, while the bottom level has the

most kid-friendly spaces. My young children were absolutely delighted by the Willy Wonka-esque bright colors decorating the walls. (Adding to the effect, some of the holds for climbing even come in whimsical shapes like octopuses and turtle shells.) Turning left past the cubbies at the base of the stairs, we found a fairly quiet space that featured a fortlike area at the

top of shorter walls. My 5-yearold quickly scaled the easiest route to the top and egged her younger brother on. He took his time, deliberately testing out holds while I spotted him from below, but eventually made it to the top with a proud smile. In the center of the fort is a chimney-shaped space that has extra-easy holds for descending — or for little ones who need uniform shapes.

Celebrate Handmade HOLIDAY FUN

Glassblowing Parties & Events Gifts & Experiences

Just as my kids started to get tired, we realized there was another set of walls with a fort area around the corner. This one had some overhangs, a larger space underneath that resembled a cave, and even a slide for a quick descent! All told, we spent about 90 minutes climbing (with short water breaks mixed in) before everyone started to get hungry. After walking to takeout at Pho Bac Sup Shop and dining outside at Wisteria Park, we headed back to our car full, happy and exhausted. I’m happy to report that everyone took a long nap that afternoon, so we’ll be back for a repeat soon! Locations: Poplar: 900 Poplar Place S. Fremont: 3535 Interlake Ave. N. Upper Walls: 3625 Interlake Ave. N. Hours: Poplar and Fremont: 6 am-10 pm Monday through Friday, 7 am-10 pm Saturday and Sunday. Upper Walls: open daily, 9 am-9 pm

Downtown Seattle Open 7 days a week seattleglassblowing.com

Cost: Day pass: $18 for adults, $14 for youth. Rental climbing shoes are $4 (free for first-time visitors).

q seattleboulderingproject.com

Kym ’s

Journey to Poulsbo’s Little Norway K

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Serving the Seattle area for over 36 years. We’ve moved! Now in Phinney Ridge, just a half mile north of Woodland Park Zoo!

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Call or text first for more info: 206-361-5974 Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Sundays

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You can hop on a ferry and experience a very Norge Christmas. December highlights in Poulsbo include horse-drawn carriage rides, a lighted boat parade, a carousel and a holiday bazaar, all set amidst the whimsical Scandinavian architecture and charming shops in this Kitsap Peninsula town. Julefest on Dec. 4 includes visits from Father Christmas, Vikings and a traditional Lucia Bride, making it feel like you’re suddenly very, very far from Seattle Center. — Jillian O’Connor

S P L IN TER ED WA N D: JOSH UA H U STO N, P OU L S BO : S H I LO H @ VI S I TP OU L S BO.CO M

Escape from Seattle!


Festive holiday fun

All aboard the Yuletide Express! Holiday trains keep chugging along in 2021 story and photo by NATASHA DILLINGER

After years of reading bedtime masterpieces like Kevin Lewis’ Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo and ogling the trains passing the beach at Carkeek Park, my kids have become quite trainobsessed. When the Northwest Railway Museum’s Santa Train transformed into the Yuletide Express in 2020, it felt like the right time to splurge on one of the remaining holiday activities. Once on the train, we adults enjoyed seeing the old train cars parked along the rails and peekaboo views of Snoqualmie Falls. But after a while, the kids

started to get a little restless. Then I turned around, glanced through the window at the back of our beautifully decorated car and spotted Jolly Old Saint Nick making his way toward us. My highly practical daughter, then 4, reminded me loudly with a roll of her eyes, “Santa Claus is just for pretend, Mommy!” Despite her lack of faith, when I asked her later about her favorite part of the ride, she replied without hesitation that it was seeing Santa Claus. Wearing a mask with a very realistic bearded mouth on it, Santa delighted both my kids in our short visit. Since my young kids have short attention spans, the Yuletide Express was the perfect length for a pandemic outing — with just the right amount of holiday magic.

The Yuletide Express is a perfect pandemic outing for young kids.

If you go

Get your ticket Yuletide Express boards at Snoqualmie Depot: 38625 SE King St., Snoqualmie. Santa Limited boards at North Depot: 205 E. McClellan St., North Bend; trainmuseum.org Duration: The Yuletide Express is 25 minutes in 2021. (Trains run Nov. 27-28 and Dec. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19.) Santa Limited ride (Dec. 11-12 and 18-19) is a two-hour excursion. Purchase tickets in advance at trainmuseum.org. Activities: Families on the Santa Limited enjoy a two-hour round-

trip ride between North Bend and the Railway History Campus, touring the train shed exhibit hall and receiving a small gift from Santa in the restored Chapel Car. On the Yuletide Express, families take a short ride to Snoqualmie Falls and back while Santa cruises the aisles, delivering a small gift to each child on the train. Prepackaged cookies are provided for kids. Other COVID protocols: Proof of vaccination is required for all visitors 12 and older. Masks are required for everyone 5 and older, including crew, and requested for age 2 and up. Cost: $25 per person for everyone age 2 and up.

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TICKETS | MoPOP.ORG THE EARLIER YOU BUY, THE MORE YOU CAN SAVE. ’ SHCI L H ID L D 15 15 Nove mbe r/ D e c e mbe rMo 2 0n 2t1h 2 S0XX E AT S TELAT E ’TSL EC


Holiday fun

Nov. 26 to Jan. 2. q co.pierce. wa.us/1253/ Fantasy-Lights

Electric sparkle The magic of the holidays, in lights Seeing the holiday lights is one tried and true (and safe) way to feel festive during a pandemic — oohing and aahing and enjoying warm, tasty treats with a crowd without ever having to venture indoors. So, keep your masks handy and enjoy! Here are some upcoming displays in and around Seattle. (Remember to book ahead online.)

Zoolights illuminates Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma with 700,000 dazzling

The family favorite holiday tradition is back! Departing Kirkland, Renton, and Seattle select nights November 26 –December 23

Tickets at ArgosyCruises.com ZOOL I G H TS: KATI E COTTE RI L L

HOLIDAY FUN

At Woodland Park Zoo’s WildLanterns in Seattle, watch out for light-up jellyfish, tigers and bears. (Oh, my!) The revamped display is in its second year. Runs Nov. 12 to Jan. 30. q zoo.org

The Lights of Christmas in Stanwood continues as a drive-thru event this year. Highlights: Hot mini doughnuts, kettle corn and costumed characters. Runs Nov. 26 to Jan. 8. q thelightsofchristmas.com

The new holiday event DAZZLE is described as “a lighting spectacular” that “will thrill the senses of the entire family.” It’s a Maple Valley walk-thru wonderland Walking through a wonderland at with LED lights Zoolights at Point and music that Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. started in 2020, at the height of the pandemic. This year, look for a creation LED lights. Look out for light station. DAZZLE starts on Dec. 2. tunnels, the baby tapir, the flame q dazzlenw.com tree and Sasquatch! Runs Nov. Festive fairgrounds. This year, 26 to Jan. 2. q pdza.org Holiday Magic will be a walkFantasy Lights at Spanaway thru event with whimsical light Park was ready for the pandemic displays (and food stands) at the as the state’s largest drive-thru Fairgrounds in Puyallup. Runs light display. The illuminated Dec. 10 to Dec. 31. trail runs alongside scenic q thefair.com Spanaway Lake. Runs from — Jillian O’Connor

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Holiday eats

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Looking for latkes? Latkes are a Hanukkah must, but making the potato pancakes can be very time-consuming and messy. If you want the latkes but not the work, Schmaltzy’s Delicatessen in Ballard has you covered. This deli specializes in latke press sandwiches, which definitely aren’t kosher; the sandwiches feature pastrami, lox and even Cuban-style pork between the latkes. — Jillian O’Connor 928 NW Leary Way; schmaltzysdeli.com

»Chomp Eating with kids

Whether it’s canned or fresh, pumpkin is tasty in everyday meals from oatmeal to salads to curries. Inset: Nikki Gepner.

More than just pie Pumpkin: The harvest food you should be eating well beyond Thanksgiving by A S T R I D V I N J E

Pumpkin has long been a staple ingredient for fall desserts, but did you know there’s more to this humble gourd than meets the eye? Packed with vitamins and nutrients, this superfood is an

excellent way to bring variety to your family’s diet year-round. Nikki Gepner, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Woodinville, loves to praise the many benefits of pumpkin. Besides containing the immune-

boosting vitamins A and C, Gepner explains, pumpkin is also high in lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene, which all contribute to eye health. Pumpkin contains plenty of fiber and potassium, both of which are hearthealthy nutrients. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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New in town

Spice up your life Imagine choosing between sambusas, cassava, peanut stew, kabuli pilau, pancit, plantains, ngombe ya sauce, fried rice and tilapia! You’ll find them all at Spice Bridge Global Food Hall at Tukwila Village. Part of the Food Innovation Network’s Food Business Incubator program, Spice Bridge brings together restaurateurs — immigrant women and women of color — showcasing traditional and fusion foods from all over the world. Enjoy dishes from Senegal, Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Ethiopia. Outdoor dining and takeout available. — Jasmin Thankachen

14200 Tukwila International Blvd., Suite 141, Tukwila; foodinnovation network.org/food-hall

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cubed for dishes that require a starchy vegetable. Pumpkin can be used as a substitute for ingredients like sweet potatoes, bananas or applesauce, making it perfect for rolls, breads and muffins. The seeds can also be used to liven up a salad or garnish a dish. “You can really change it up very easily, depending on what flavors you want,” she says. “It’s

HOLIDAY FUN

“The seeds have a lot of zinc,” she explains, “which is great for the immune system and healing wounds. And they’re also a source of protein.” Beyond the health benefits, this superfood is quite versatile to cook with, delicious in

almost any kind of dish from soups to stir-fries and curries to chilies. And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, families have a chance to do more with pumpkin than just the traditional pumpkin pie. Gepner suggests roasting the pumpkin in an oven first to make removing the skin easier. After that, the flesh can be puréed for chilies and soups, or

really versatile that way.” The pumpkin’s versatility means it’s easy to incorporate this ingredient into different dishes for your kids. But Gepner recommends taking a relaxed approach to introducing children to any new flavors. “Have it available,” she advises, “but don’t add pressure to eat it. That really improves how much kids feel safe trying new things, and how much they can enjoy it later on.” Gepner also cautions against focusing on eating only one type of food. It’s still necessary to have diversity in your diet. “In terms of color, it’s important to eat a whole rainbow throughout the week,” she says. “It helps you get a wider variety of nutrients. “You also want to make sure you have a source of protein, a source of fat and a source of fiber in each meal.” And that’s where pumpkin can really shine: as a complementary food to things you already eat. Whether it’s canned or fresh, you can stock up on this orange superfood and get ready to use it for everyday meals from oatmeal to salads to curries.

Try Nikki’s recipe!

Red Thai Curry 2 tablespoons coconut oil ½ sweet onion, thickly sliced 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-size pieces 1 can coconut milk 2 tablespoons red curry paste 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (optional) 1 red bell pepper, sliced 1 cup green beans, sliced in half 1 tablespoon fish sauce 1 lime, juiced 1 bunch Thai basil, chopped Dried red chili flakes, to taste 1. Add oil to a large pot or wok. Heat on medium-high. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. 2. Remove onion from the pot; set aside. Add chicken to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 10 minutes or until browned on each side. 3. Add onions to chicken, then stir in coconut milk, curry paste and coconut sugar. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Timed online tickets are required

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PRESENTED BY

4. Increase heat to medium and add vegetables, fish sauce and lime juice; cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 5. Serve with chopped basil and add red chili flakes to taste. Serve on top of cooked chunks of pumpkin (or rice or quinoa). — Nikki Gepner

COOK I N G W I TH P U M P KI N : SH U T TER STO CK , L ATKE SAN DW I CH : S CH M A LTZYS DE L I .CO M , TH E A RY CA M B ODI A N FO ODS : TH E A RY N GE T H, N I KK I GE PN ER : COU RTE SY OF N I K KI G EP NER

Makes 4 servings Ready in 35 to 45 minutes


„ More shopping local on seattleschild.com

Q&A

Where do you love to shop around the city? Melinda Wooding Mom of three in Madison Park

My favorite shop for any Hispanic food and general groceries and produce is La Esperanza Mercado y Carniceria on Beacon Hill. They have the best authentic carne asada! A huge plus is their large selection of the yummiest pan de dulce, baked fresh daily. My kids love it!

»Shop

Things we love

Stocking stuffers with humor If there are any kids ages 3 to 14 who don’t love Finger Meerkats or a Possum in a Peanut, we have yet to meet them. If you want the goofiest

Lively + locally made

trinkets for a holiday present, Archie McPhee in Wallingford has everything from Finger Bats to Finger Racoons and Finger Possums, too. Another kid favorite is the Handicorn: It’s a unicorn head plus hooves for your fingers. 1300 N. 45th St.; mcphee.com

Tiffany Jay of Squirrelly helps kids make fall leaf prints with acrylic paint in a class on the Wunderkind patio.

Gloriously gluten-free

Making gifts with heart These two local art studios help kids carefully craft their holiday presents by D A N I E L L E H A Y D E N / photos by J O S H U A H U S T O N

With online shopping more popular now than ever and brick-andmortar retail stores recovering this year, we may forget that there is an additional option for gifts: This holiday season, you

might consider creating your own presents. Squirrelly Art Studio “I love that art can be stress-relieving, self-esteem building and fun for all kids, no

matter their age or skill level. The best projects are those that make every young artist feel successful,” says Tiffany Jay, owner and art facilitator at Squirrelly Art Studio + Gift Workshop, which currently operates on the patio at Wunderkind, a LEGO cafe and child-amusement center in North Seattle’s Bryant neighborhood. (Squirrelly will move to a hybrid CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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Find holiday baking ideas that are glutenand dairy-free and vegan-friendly in Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple: A New Way to Bake Gluten-Free by Aran Goyoaga. The local mom of two shares more than 100 sweet and savory recipes for the everyday cook, in addition to holiday season favorites like rugelach, linzertorte and hot cross buns. — Jasmin Thankachen

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«Shop CONTINUED

model in mid-November, with some indoor time, spaced out and masked, with windows open, but outdoor classes will still be offered.) The studio offers art camps and classes year-round to kids, usually for ages 6 to 12, taught by

a group of artists. (Most classes were being held outside this fall.) The children experiment with everything from watercolors to acrylics and oil paint to ceramics and jewelry making, as well as woodworking, sewing, dyeing fabrics and baking cakes. (For busy parents, before- and aftercare is also offered.) This holiday season,

Squirrelly has some special projects planned. While the specifics are still a surprise for guests, Jay hints that holiday workshop attendees will be concocting their own bath and body products, making one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and painting something very special for the kitchen. “Gift making is my most favorite art activity to do with kids

because it’s amazing to see them overflowing with pride and generosity,” she says. “It’s empowering for them to create truly lovely gifts for their loved ones, and so exciting that they take it home wrapped and ready to give — a real surprise that they create all on their own.”

HOLIDAY FUN

Emerald City Fired Arts Emerald City Fired Arts in the Mount Baker neighborhood allows people of all ages to create pottery, mosaics or glass fusion pieces at classes, camps or workshops, or if they just happen to walk in with the intention to create. For the holidays (and year-round), artists provide instruction, materials and supplies — along with granting unlimited time for people to complete pieces. You can make something on-site or take advantage of their Pottery To Go option: you choose a piece, work on it at home with the store’s glaze brushes, stencils and more, and then bring it back to be fired up in their kiln for pickup the next week. Parents also have the option of renting out the space to work on things in private, or for a fun party with friends. Owner Maidrine Chen believes that everyone is an artist regardless of skill or background, and hopes to encourage everyone to just relax, enjoy the moment and find the artist within. “People often ask me, ‘Am I an artist? I can’t paint … I don’t know what to do. I never learned,’” she says. But, she adds, “Art is a part of our lives. If we search inside ourselves, everyone is an artist.” One of Chen’s favorite things about Emerald City is seeing families come in to work on a project together, such as an occasion when four generations came into the space to make art and the youngest family member was two months old. The eldest? 92. Chen also loves hearing the many heartwarming stories about whom visitors are making gifts for, and the reasons why. “People come in to explore themselves. But it’s also a place where we can build a bridge and make connections with others. That’s the main thing.” q Squirrelly Art Studio + Gift Workshop: At Wunderkind, 3318 NE 55th St.; squirrellyworkshop.com

q Emerald City Fired Arts: 3333 Rainier Ave. S., emeraldcityfiredarts.com

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Book Corner

Enchanting stories for a heartwarming season Here are some charming yet poignant holiday reads to share with friends and loved ones as chilly winds approach. — Rene Holderman, children’s book buyer at Third Place Books

The Snowflake by Benji Davies The Snowflake is a delightful tale that draws parallels between a snowflake’s journey and a little girl’s path as they work out where they fit in the world. This wonderfully illustrated book will transport readers to a snowy wonderland as they follow Noelle and the snowflake.

Binny’s Diwali by Thrity Umrigar; illustrated by Nidhi Chanani

The Christmas Mitzvah by Jeff Gottesfeld; illustrated by Michelle Laurentia Agatha

The People Remember by Ibi Zoboi; illustrated by Loveis Wise

Binny’s Diwali is about how Binny does her best to describe the magic of Diwali, India’s annual holiday festival of lights, to her classmates. It’s a story that both introduces young readers to Diwali and demonstrates the vulnerability of presenting a part of your identity to an audience.

The Christmas Mitzvah is the heartwarming story of how friends and loved ones blend their Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations into a festive symphony that emphasizes being with the people who matter most. Inspired by a true story, this book shows readers that celebrations are about the people we choose to spend them with.

In The People Remember, Ibi Zoboi weaves the principles of Kwanzaa with Black history in America. With poetic text and stunning illustrations, young readers are introduced to Kwanzaa and its place in African-American history, and how cultures can endure adversity, why that is important today, and why it matters to celebrate.

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holiday

GIFT guide

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Seattle Aquarium

1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59 seattleaquarium.org A visit to the Seattle Aquarium is more than just a simple outing — it’s a unique experience that allows you to connect with our marine environment like never before. This season, we invite you to share that experience with your friends and family by giving them the gift of a Seattle Aquarium membership. Take advantage of our holiday promotion: 10% off the price of membership gift certificates, through December 31. You’ll spread the joy of the Aquarium and make an important contribution to our work in conserving our world’s one ocean.

Kids Discovery Museum 301 Ravine Lane NE Bainbridge Island kidimu.org

Give the gift of play! A gift certificate to KiDiMu can be used toward admission, membership, or STEM boxes to enjoy KiDiMu from home. A day pass for four is just $32, and a family membership is $125 for a year of unlimited museum access for play and exploration. Located just steps from the Bainbridge ferry, KiDiMu is the premier Kitsap County children’s museum. Order your gift certificate at kidimu.org!

Swansons Nursery

9701 15th Ave. NW, Seattle • 206-782-2543 swansonsnursery.com • garden@swansonsnursery.com Swansons Nursery is the perfect place to bring your family for a magical holiday outing. We’re decked out with thousands of glowing lights, holiday photo-ops, and even a dinosaurthemed model train village! Our full-service, tree-shopping experience means picking the perfect tree is easy and fun. We suspend the trees just off the ground in our cozy greenhouse so you can spin them to your heart’s delight and easily see them from every angle. Relax and let us do all the work: we’ll shake, wrap and load your tree onto your car. Visiting Swansons is a holiday dream come true.


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

KidsQuest Children’s Museum 1116 108th Ave. NE, Bellevue kidsquestmuseum.org/museumstore

Give the gift of play at KidsQuest and join us all year long! Purchase a gift card that can be used for memberships, daily admission, or to shop in our Explore Store. Our memberships feature year-round special events, discounts, plus member-only hours. For a one-of-a-kind gift this holiday season, turn your child’s artwork into a custom coaster set made on our 3D laser printer. Create memories for the whole family in the museum, at events and while you play. Love of learning starts here!

Robot vs Sloth

1535 1st Ave., Seattle robotvsloth.com Located in Pike Place Market, Robot vs Sloth features art and gifts by 40 (mostly local) artists. A variety of “awww”-inspiring art is sold on vinyl stickers, washi tape, socks, ornaments, enamel pins, greeting cards, clothing and more! This Sloth and Unicorn T-shirt is available in youth, toddler, baby and adult sizes. Designed by Seattle artist La Ru, and screen-printed locally by Gorilla Screen Printing on a super soft tee. Shop online and in-store at Robot vs Sloth.

Cirque du Soleil Alegría

Opens January 18 • Under the Big Top at Redmond’s Marymoor Park cirquedusoleil.com/alegria Don’t miss the family pack offer with up to 30% off tickets. A Cirque du Soleil show experience makes for a memorable Christmas gift. Beloved by fans around the world, Alegría is returning to the Big Top once more to share its timeless story of resilience and hope. The classic power struggle of old-meets-new has been reinterpreted through today’s lens. Carried by an intangible wind of change, an emerging movement strives to shake the established order, instilling hope and renewal to bring light and harmony to their world. With its joyful spirit, Alegría is a vital, energizing force driven by a thirst for a brighter world.

Chrysanthemum

4820 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle chrysanthemumkids.com Located in the heart of Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood, Chrysanthemum offers affordable, gently used kids’ clothing, shoes, and toys, plus new, ethically produced clothing and toys. Give secondhand from a large selection of vintage and gently used resale items, or explore new gift options from high-quality brands. This shop has something for all ages: open-ended wooden toys, art supplies, science kits, baby must-haves, and a large curated selection of new puzzles and books. There is treasure in every corner!


Meet the winners o

FROM OUR F


of our Holiday Card Contest

FAMILY TO YOURS This year, we asked Seattle’s Child readers to send us their ideas for a holiday card photo with our photographer. There were so many inspiring accounts about how families love to spend the winter holidays, truly reflecting the hope and optimism of the season.

A happy, high-energy holiday season This Brier family has hustle — and lots to do! — this time of year, but still finds a way to be together by K A T I E A N T H O N Y

You know those families in minivan commercials? That’s the Dalys. Angela, a paraeducator in Edmonds, and Reg, who works at AT&T when he’s not coaching his kids’ soccer teams (Team Extreme and the Ruby Mingos), juggle some wild schedules for their kids. Third-grader Claire does dance and gymnastics; sixth-grader Grace plays

volleyball, basketball and trumpet; and seventh-grader Max loves mountain biking, saxophone and flute. And oldest son Sean and Goldendoodle Scotty recently moved to Seattle to be closer to the family. Yeah, this family’s got hustle. “Truth be told, I need to get out of the four walls of my house,” says Angela, relatably. “I get ants in my pants.” The Dalys CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

photos by J O S H U A H U S T O N

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< The

Dalys

New beginnings, new traditions

Two grandmothers are looking ahead to a happy season of new experiences for their toddler / by M E G B U T T E R W O R T H

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explore the best Christmas lights (a recent favorite: Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park) and sip hot cocoa while they watch lighted boats glide across Lake Washington. Closer to home, in Brier, they pop on Santa hats and deliver cookies to their neighbors — also their sometime adversaries. “We had to do a gingerbread house battle with our neighbors,” says Angela. Reg shakes his head about the house. “It was a ginger-fail.” Grace decorates cookies while Max hits the local sledding hill (when possible), and Claire decides which gift she’ll open on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day finds Angela, Reg, Sean, Max, Grace, Claire, Grandma and Scotty at home, watching Elf or White Christmas, and eating a ”roast beast” for dinner. The secret to a perfect Daly Christmas? “Just being together,” says Angela. Adds Reg, “Just being close. That’s what it’s all about.”

Jo and Valerie admit that they don’t have any holiday traditions… yet. For them, the 2021 holiday season represents an opportunity for new beginnings and new traditions. “We’re starting all over,” says Jo. Grandmothers to 2-yearold Skai, whom they have been raising since birth, Jo and Valerie can’t wait to introduce her to the magic of the season this year. Not only will she be old enough to be aware of the festivities and even take part in some, but she, Valerie and Jo will be much healthier. In 2020, all three spent the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas recovering from COVID. “We’ll make a gingerbread house,” says Valerie, who has memories of doing the same

with her mother. What else is on their to-do list? Trips to Candy Cane Lane, Swansons to see the reindeer, small family gatherings and just driving around admiring neighborhood lights while sipping on hot chocolate. Both agree Skai will love the lights and the music the most. “It’s really exciting because she’s only 2, and we get to introduce her to all of the joys of the holiday season. The Christmas spirit. We’re just at the beginning of that,” says Jo. Originally from New York, Jo and Valerie hope to one day treat Skai to a New York City Christmas, and take her to Rockefeller Center and to admire the window displays at Saks Fifth Avenue. For now, though, they are excited to enjoy this season together. Opportunities await the new family!

They’re blended and blessed New family celebrates goal-setting, aiming at making the world a better place for all / by A S T R I D V I N J E For Jessica and Brandon Castleberry, the holidays represent more than presents and decorations. It’s a time for togetherness and self-reflection for themselves and for their sons, Aidyn and Jaxon Frederico, ages 12 and 8, and Conor Castleberry, age 4. For the Castleberry/Frederico family, holiday activities like baking cookies and decorating the house offer fun opportunities for them to bond. And for this blended family, that bonding time is a top priority. “The family is the root,” explains Jessica. “It’s what’s

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important to us.” But it’s not just family time that makes the holiday season special for the Edmonds family. The holidays are also their time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the upcoming year. “We ask ourselves, what does each individual person want to work on for the coming year?” says Jessica. “We really like to focus the goal-making on something personal, or we focus on something that’s going to help us become more bonded as a family.” She describes her three kids as “extremely active boys who


Time-honored celebrations

Combining traditions from Bolivia and Burien, they’re awaiting a fourth family member / by H A L L I E G O L D E N The winter holidays for Loren and Derek Erickson and their 13-month-old daughter, Isabel, have involved incorporating traditions — from as close as Burien to as far as Bolivia. On Christmas Day the family will don their matching PJs. (Derek has even followed in his uncle’s footsteps and started dressing up as Santa Claus each year.) But as a first-generation American, Loren has incorporated some of her favorite Bolivian traditions into her growing

all have completely different personalities.” “My husband and I encourage each one to stand out in their own way,” she says. When Jessica and Brandon wed, Jessica already had two sons of her own. With Conor’s birth, they became a family of five. Beyond family bonding, the Castleberry/Frederico family also focuses on how to make the world a better place. “We have a lot of discussion about how things that are going on in the world impact our family,” Jessica says. And she often stresses to her kids how doing one good thing for one person can create change for a lot more people. It’s this philosophy of paying it forward that allows the Castleberry/Frederico family to truly embody the spirit of the holidays.

family’s celebrations. (They’re expecting a baby boy in March.) “My husband and I grew up in very different backgrounds,” says Loren. “So now as we’ve started our own family, we’ve made a point, not just around the holidays, to pull from all the great things that our families did for us and have incorporated them into our lives.” Throughout December, she and her husband bake humintas, special corn tamales. For Christmas Eve, they follow the recipe passed down from Loren’s

great-great-grandmother for Picana soup — with a twist. They don’t include the meat in their version of the dish, a Christmas Eve tradition in Bolivia. The Bainbridge Island family wraps up the holiday season by setting out their boots and hay on the night of January 5, and then enjoying the small gifts left for them by Los Reyes Magos (the Three Kings) the following day. “It’s really special to us to get to incorporate the things that were so meaningful to us as kids, and share them with our kids.”

First tamales, then the slopes! Texas and Northwest traditions combine for a magical Christmas / by N I L S D A H L G R E N Melinda Wooding grew up in Texas. Christmas traditions in her large Mexican-American family revolved around food and get-togethers. She remembers with fondness the anticipation of the holiday season — and large gatherings in noisy kitchens, with everyone preparing meals together. Everyone pitched in. “Even the little kids got involved rolling the dough,” Melinda recalls. The highlight was always Christmas Eve: Everyone came together to form an assembly line in order to create the tamales and empanadas to be enjoyed the following day. Pumpkin empanadas with piloncillo (unrefined pure cane sugar) and cinnamon sticks are her favorite. She met her husband Peter in

Idaho, and the couple settled near his family in Seattle. They are now a family of five and their Christmas traditions have grown alongside their children, Nolan, Lily and Eli. They trek up to Snoqualmie to cut down their own Christmas tree. They invite family friends over for a winter bonfire and treats. Peter’s contribution to the holiday festivities has been skiing: Everyone hits the slopes on Christmas Day, avoiding long lines at the lifts and enjoying

time together. For the Woodings, it’s powder over presents. Whether they wake up at home or near the slopes on December 25th, Melinda makes sure that tamales and empanadas are still a big part of the day. It’s her way of connecting the kids to their heritage and re-creating a little bit of her Texas childhood right here in the Pacific Northwest.


M O R E O F O U R FAV O R I T E H O L I D A Y T R A D I T I O N S

A creative spin on Hanukkah This family’s Menorasaurus Rex puts the roar in menorah / by J I L L I A N O ’ C O N N O R

What has nine holes, big teeth and looks like it’s about to gobble up all the Hanukkah candles? If you said the Menorasaurus Rex, you’re correct. For Danielle Price and her husband, Michael, their beloved homemade dinosaur-themed Hanukkah menorah (hanukkiyah) is just one more way they make the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights fun

for their two sons, Binyamin and Dov. Danielle’s past crafty themes have included “Llamakkah” and “Thanksgivukkah.” In 2021, Hanukkah starts the night of Nov. 28. According to Dov, the best part of Hanukkah is “spinning the dreidel — and getting all the gelt (chocolate coins)!” Danielle says that Hanukkah is a minor holiday in the Jewish tradition, but she

doesn’t mind adding fanfare, like the shiny dinosaur Hanukkah menorah, if it helps her kids join in on the seasonal fun. “I know that when I was growing up, Christmas was everywhere and I didn’t always feel like I could participate,” she says. “Hanukkah is a really great way for us to be part of the holiday spirit around us.” From Seattle’s Child December 2018

Combining old and new customs They’re celebrating Kwanzaa, winter solstice and Christmas, and focusing on a commitment to social justice / by K A T H E R I N E H E D L A N D H A N S E N

Lindsay Hill and Matt Halvorson enjoy family Christmas traditions like decorating the tree and making favorite meals, but they’ve also created new customs around winter solstice and Kwanzaa reflecting their commitment to social justice and creating a strong community for their two sons. “We’re holding onto the best parts of our own childhood traditions and

incorporating new things into the traditions we grew up with,” Lindsay says. Along with making cookies for Santa, they also incorporate meaningful rituals around their community activism, which they point out runs throughout the year. Their family also celebrates winter solstice, and a few years ago, they began celebrating Kwanzaa, making a point during the seven-day celebration to talk with their children about its themes,

newport healthcare Empowering Lives. Restoring Families.

newport healthcare Empowering Lives. Restoring Families.

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such as collective work and responsibility, unity and self-determination. “We focus on joy and strength and the power in our community,” Lindsay says. “It feels like a better way to end the year — honoring your family and reflecting on your commitments to making the world a better place and being the best version of yourself in the year ahead.” From Seattle’s Child December 2017


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»MakingHome

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Living big in small and unique spaces

Stephanie Wall keeps packaging waste out of the house she shares with husband Zach and kids Wesley and Klara.

Home sweet zero-waste home A family with small kids commits to a low-trash lifestyle by H A L L I E G O L D E N / photos by J O S H U A H U S T O N

Stephanie Wall’s home in Shoreline doesn’t have plastic toothbrushes or disposable diapers or a refrigerator lined with one-time-use tubs of storebought food, all of which you might see in

a typical home with young kids. Instead there are bamboo toothbrushes, reusable cloth diapers and a freezer stocked with canning jars filled with homemade purées and vegetable broth. That’s because she and her husband, Zach, along with their two children, Wesley, 4, and Klara, 2, practice zero-waste living. Wall, who is co-founder and chief of staff of the nonprofit group Seattle Zero Waste,

explains the lifestyle is about reducing waste. (Her family only has enough garbage to put out a medium trash container a handful of times a year.) But the practice is also very much centered on being a thoughtful consumer. “It actually starts outside of the home,” she says. “So, refusing things that we don’t need outside of the home, and really thinking CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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about what we consume, what we purchase, because obviously most things come in packaging.” For Wall and her family, that has meant buying secondhand first. It’s also meant taking the family to the local farmers market every Saturday to stock their kitchen and to introduce her children to the farmers. (During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wall’s husband has gone alone.) Their family has also made sure to support local businesses, and when something is broken, rather than throwing it away, they get it repaired. Wall gives the example of recently taking her couch seat cushion to an upholstery store so they could fix its broken zipper. “Once you start really trying to reduce waste in all ways, not just packaging, you start

Stephanie and Zach are teaching Wesley and Klara about the zero-waste lifestyle now, while they’re young.

supporting local businesses and the repair economies,” she says. In the kitchen, they skip reusable plastics and instead use stainless steel and glass containers, as well as silicone Stasher bags. When the holidays come around, Wall says, her family and friends have been very good about giving gifts that fit into their lifestyle, including

things that are reusable or upcycled (creatively reused), and using reusable fabric gift bags. In the past, her mother-in-law has given each family unit towels to draw on and exchange with each other. Wall also has asked loved ones for no-waste gifts that can be used or experienced, such as bath bombs or theater tickets. She has been living the

It ’s so much more than a gift Washington State Heirloom Birth Certificate

A portion of the proceeds from each birth certificate helps children grow, thrive and learn in safe and loving environments. This official birth certificate is personally signed by the Governor and State Registrar.

zero-waste lifestyle for more than a decade, ever since she discovered Bea Johnson’s blog Zero Waste Home. Wall was raised in a home where her father owned a small business, and her mother made a lot of her outfits and cooked. Not being wasteful was very much a part of their daily life. Once she read about Johnson’s lifestyle, she says, “Everything kind of clicked and made sense.” Her lifestyle also has a lot to do with the environment and trying to make a small difference when it comes to keeping things out of landfills. Her family takes along their own reusable cloth or mesh produce bags, instead of taking plastic bags from a store or stand. There are times when food from the farmers market or CSA comes in plastic bags, so she makes sure to reuse them, lining the few tiny trash cans they have around the house with the bags. When Wall and her husband had kids, she says, they had to make some adjustments, but after practicing the zero-waste lifestyle for so long, it was a natural switch. Today, she makes sure to talk with her children about their family’s lifestyle so they understand it and can incorporate the habits into their own lives when they’re older. But it’s already clear that they’re getting it. On a recent adventure on his scooter, Wesley announced he would be making a trip to a Buy Nothing pickup, and then on to the local Goodwill.

Wall’s tips

Certificate is 8 1/2 x 11 and includes the name, date and place of birth, as well as the name and birthplace of the parent(s).

Making the switch to a zero-waste lifestyle

Framable keepsake For each $40 purchase of an Heirloom Birth Certificate, $25 is tax deductible.

q Do an initial trash audit. Make sure to not just look at your landfill trash, but also your recycling and compost.

q Find a community. There are many sustainability groups, both on- and offline, and being a part of them can help with making the switch.

q Just start somewhere. The same

To find out more information on Children’s Trust and child abuse prevention in Washington State visit https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/about/ government-community/communityengagement or visit Department of Health to order your own Heirloom Birth Certificate. 30 30

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starting point is not going to be right for everyone, so whether it’s in the bathroom, the kitchen or the laundry room, Wall suggests families just pick a place and make the initial change to produce less waste.

q Start small. Swap out one of your

habits for a more sustainable version and try it. Once it feels more natural, make another small change.

q Talk with your children. No matter how old they are, make sure your children are an active part of this process.


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ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2022-2023 SCHOOL YEAR Join us for our Open House! Come meet our faculty and staff, learn about our curriculum, and explore our various programs, sports, clubs, and activities.

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