Christmas is my favorite time of year and my sleepy coastal town of Seaside Oregon has its own unique Holiday flavor.
It all begins Thanksgiving weekend with the myriad of neon fish swimming in a sea of festive colored lights wired into a banner stretching from side to side high above Main Street as lighted starfish lend a soft amber glow to fresh evergreen wreaths mounted on each lamp post lining Broadway Avenue.
Sprinkle in the familiar sound of Bing Crosby singing White Christmas, and children riding their favorite horse (or reindeer) on the merry-go-round at the Carousel Mall; add to that the thirty foot Christmas tree high atop the Shiloh Inn at the corner of Broadway and the Promenade, (a beacon to those lonely fishermen who might not be home for Christmas).
So, what makes Christmas in Seaside special?
It isn’t snow; it is the soft mist of a winter rain touching the wonder and excitement of a child’s face, gazing at treasures through windows of quaint little shops. It isn’t trees covered in white along the boulevard; it is the winter roar of waves, at high tide, rolling a relentless assault against the sand along the Promenade as those brave enough to venture out pull their collars up and lean into the wind. It isn’t the smell of winter pines along a mountain road; it is the smell of fresh salt air mingled with the squawk of seagulls flying overhead. It isn’t sunshine through broken clouds on an ice cold morning; it is Tillamook Head shrouded in a foggy mist against a gray black sky while the old lighthouse, on a rock six miles out, conjures up images of a time long since passed.
As I look through my balcony window at my sleepy little coastal town, set against the backdrop of the mighty Pacific Ocean, I offer a melancholy smile and thank God for all the blessings I don’t deserve.
I love Christmas time . . . in Seaside.