Winter in Seattle is wonderful. Mark and I drove into town recently to do some Christmas shopping, and we were strongly reminded of how beautiful the Pacific NW can be. It was a clear, sunny day (rare for Seattle!) and we could see the Olymics in the West, Mt. Rainier to the South-East, and the Cascades to due East. This time last year we had very little snow in the mountains, so it's especially good see them covered in their winter blankets. The lakes sparkled in the sunshine, and we could see the Space Needle with it's special light display. Overall, it was quite an impressive sight.
Nevertheless, our real purpose was not sight-seeing, but rather the pursuit of valuable and important (ha! ha!) gifts for others. The Christmas list this year, including all his family, my family, and our collective friends got up to 34 people. Granted, many of those people just get little token gifts, but it is still quite an undertaking to get it all done. Don't get me wrong, I love to find those special little treats for people. We walked up and down the ave looking for the quirky, the amusing, and the surprising. I know many people get upset about the consumerism of Christmas, but I just can't help enjoying the giving part of things. Once you get to be an adult, the giving gets to be much more fun than the getting. Finding that perfect present, making up a nice little parcel for someone far away, or getting little, silly things for stocking is so much fun. Even after our trip to Seattle, I still have ten or twelve things left on my list. I don't mind though because it just means another chance at the hunt.