Where to Get Your Christmas Tree In and Around Lake Oswego

The annual hunt for the perfect Christmas tree is well underway and farms are posting shorter seasons due to limited availability. The growth cycle for Christmas trees is anywhere from 7-12 years from seedling to harvest so many farms are playing catchup. In many cases they are providing pre-cut trees to fill in the gaps.

Below you’ll find a roundup of Christmas tree lots and farms in and around Lake Oswego.  I’ve tried to list the restrictions here but best to call ahead and/or check their Facebook page for the latest updates. 

Boy Scout Troop 127. Local Boy Scouts have been selling trees as a fundraiser since 1947, starting at the local Piggly Wiggly before moving to George Rogers Park. Once again, Scouts will be on hand in their 75th year of operation Address: George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street, Lake Oswego
Hours: Wednesday – Friday, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Other: Scouts make a fresh cut, bale if wanted, carry it to the car and tie it on. Wreaths, garland by the foot, free cookies and hot chocolate

Parsons Farms. The family that brings us local produce also brings us trees. Pre-cut and close-in makes this spot very convenient.
Address: Lake Bible Church (Tree Lot), 4565 Carman Drive, Lake Oswego
Hours: Monday-Friday, 12:00(ish)p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.,
Sunday: 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Varieties: Noble, Douglas, and Nordmann Fir.
Other: Handmade fresh wreaths, fresh cut greens, pine cones, and centerpieces also available.

Stroupe Christmas Tree Farm. Pre-cut trees will be available at the S&H Landscape location as the family waits for the u-cut trees across the way to grow taller. Holiday décor also available.
Address:  20200 SW Stafford Road
Varieties: Douglas, Grand, Nordmann and Noble
Cost: Check online and/or call S & H: 503.638.1011
Other: Handmade wreaths and swags

Little Z Christmas Tree Farm. This boutique family farm prides itself on quality and service with the slogan, “You choose. We cut.”
Address: 842 Rosemont Rd., West Linn. 503.453.0573 (about 4 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours:  Hours are Saturdays (December 10 and 17) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sundays (December 4, 11 and 18) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with a full crew on hand to help you. Varieties: U-cut Noble, Douglas, Fraiser, Nordmann, Shasta Fir
Cost: Price varies, but ranges from $15 -$20/foot depending on the size.
Other: Cash or check only.

Lee Farms. Talk about tradition! The Lees have been farming in Tualatin since 1869 over seven generations with three generations currently involved in the family farm. Since the tree supply is limited this year, u-cut trees are available on a first-come, first-served basis—no pre-tagging or pre-purchasing except on pre-cut trees. There is also a 7-foot minimum on u-cut to preserve their field trees. Address: 21975 SW 65th Avenue, Tualatin. (about 4 miles from Lake Oswego). 503.638.1869.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Varieties: Fresh cut and u-cut Noble, Grand, Nordmann and Douglas
Cost: Price varies. Check website. 
Other: They will cut, shake, bale and load your tree free of charge. Will also install Davis Tree Stand. Also available: wreaths, garlands, swags, centerpieces, custom wreath and centerpiece orders, ornaments, decorations. Visit the bakery for donuts and espresso and place an order for a Christmas pie.

Frog Pond Farm. Get your pre-cut tree, garland and wreaths here along with a lot of other holiday cheer. Address: 2995 SW Advance Road, Wilsonville. 503.475.5997 Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily through December 23 Varieties: Douglas Fir, Noble and Nordmann Cost: Prices vary depending on variety and size so check online. Other: Santa will be on hand, sometimes joined by Mrs. Claus so check online for the schedule. And the farm animals are always around for visiting.

Sleighbells. This is a one-stop shop for Christmas with a gift shop packed with holiday décor and Santa on hand from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday until the weekend before Christmas as well as Monday and Tuesday, December 19 and 20 for photo opps ($10 fee).
Address: 23855 SW 195th Place, Sherwood. 503.625.6052 (10½ miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: 7 days a week, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for trees; gift shop stays open until 5:00 p.m.
Varieties: Noble/Nordmann and Douglas/Grand Fir
Cost: Prices vary so check online.

Merrywood Farm. Given the 10-year growth cycle of their most popular u-cut trees, Merrywood is also offering pre-cut trees to supplement their selection. Address: 12328 South Casto Rd., Oregon City. 503. 307.2495 (20 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: Open Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and weekdays from  10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. while supplies last.
Varieties: Normally The Keysers grow 10 varieties of trees including Noble, Nordmann, Grand, White Fir, White Pine and Douglas but many are playing catchup this year. Cost: Check online.
Other: Complimentary hot cider. Twine and hand saws are provided but no baler. Free pony rides for the kids on weekends.

Mt. Hood Tree Farm. Head here on a clear day and get a view of Mt. Hood as an added bonus.
Address: 17472 S. Harding Road, Oregon City
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from December 3 through December 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Varieties: Douglas, Grand, Noble, and Nordmann. Some pre-cut.
Cost: Check online or call ahead: 503.932.7967.
Other: They’ll provide help cutting, transporting and loading your tree. Saws, baler and shaker available.  Check and cash only.

Furrow Farm. These trees are celebrities–they’ve appeared in multiple Christmas episodes of Grimm.
Address: 25877 NW Union Rd, Hillsboro (20 miles from Lake Oswego) 503.647.5288
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Varieties: Noble, Nordmann, Grand, Douglas
Cost: All trees are $11/foot except for Douglas Fir which are $9/foot
Other: Enjoy free tractor rides on the weekends. Mistletoe, wreaths, garland and tree stands also available.

Plumper Pumpkin Patch and Tree Farm. If you love everything pumpkin this time of year, head over here to grab a pumpkin donut along with your tree. They have u-pick, u-pick they cut, and pre-cut.
Address: 11435 NW Old Cornelius Pass Road, Portland (about a half hour away from Lake Oswego) 503.645.9561
Hours: Fridays through Sundays until December 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Varieties: Noble, Grand, Nordmann, Blue Spruce and Douglas Fir Cost: $10/ft for Douglas Fir; others $12/foot. Check online. Credit cards accepted
Other: Saws provided. Baler. Visit the store for hot drinks and pumpkin donuts, garland, wreaths and mistletoe. Warm up by the fire pits and buy a kit to make s’mores. Feed the animals and visit with Santa December 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Historic Kirchem Farm. This picturesque farm is open for business this year December 4, 10 and 11 subject to tree availability. Pre-cut trees are available too. Address: 19723 S Bakers Ferry Rd, Oregon City Hours: Varieties: Douglas Fir, Grand, Nordmann and Norway Spruce Cost: Douglas Fir-$35 up to 6 feet. Check online for others.

Note: Ron’s Christmas Tree Farm is estimated to be sold out by the time of this posting as he only had about 35 trees for this year. The property has been sold so this was Ron’s last holiday season.

If you have any Christmas tree recommendations, please leave them here! And be sure to subscribe to 52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego to receive weekly updates. Just click the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column.

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What We Are Loving in Lake Oswego This December

‘Tis the season for shopping and gifting and baking and caroling and card-sending and traveling and visiting…but also ‘tis the season to be holidaying and there are lots of opportunities to revel in the season during the month of December in Lake Oswego. Take a look:

ELF THE MUSICAL. This hilarious fish-out-of-water musical follows Buddy the Elf in search of his father. Faced with the harsh reality that his dad is on the naughty list, Buddy wins over his birth family and helps New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. Runs November 4 through December 18. Tickets online : $42/Adults; $40/Seniors; $25/Students. 368 S. State Street.

TINSELTOWN TROLLEY. While all the rides are sold out for this year’s lineup, I’m listing it here to show you the variety of activities Lake Oswego has to offer and to remind you to be one of the early birds next year to register for this yuletide delight complete with holiday lights, sweet treats, carols and a special visit from a North Pole guest.

REINDEER MAGIC. There are a few tickets left for the afternoon session (morning session is sold out) where you and your kids can enjoy the festive atmosphere at Lake Oswego’s Dennis’ 7 Dees complete with reindeer, Santa and fun activities. Tickets are $9 or $25 which includes a picture with Santa and two digital download prints. Vendor activities are extra. Sunday, December 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 1090 McVey Avenue.

OSWEGO HERITAGE COUNCIL ANNUAL HOLIDAY MARKETPLACE. Find something unique, handmade and local at this annual event featuring local craftsmen, artists and author, Riley Costello (my daughter). Wednesday, December 7 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 398 10th Street.

HOLIDAY SIP AND SHOP. Combine two of your favorite things–sipping holiday beverages and shopping at some of our downtown merchants. Enter a raffle after visiting each vendor including Grapevine, Mapel, glassybaby, Lucky Me, Wishbone Home and Design and our downtown office, Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty at 310 N. State Street, #102. Wednesday, December 7 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

ELF JR. Back by popular demand, Elf Jr is a one-hour condensed, author-approved version of the full-length musical tailored to the talent of young actors and young audiences. The story follows Buddy, a young orphan, who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. Performances on December 10 and December 17 at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Tickets are available online: Adults/$15; Youth/$12. 368 S. State Street.

PEPPERMINT BEAR – THE TAMING OF THE SHOE. The Peppermint Bear show is a Lakewood Theatre Company classic that families have enjoyed for years. This year’s version centers around a problem with Santa’s toy-making machinery right during crunch time with Christmas right around the corner. Performances on December 10 and 11 at 11:00 a.m.; December 17 and 18 at 11:00 a.m. and December 20-23 at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Tickets are available online: Adults $15; Youth $12. Side Door Stage, Lakewood Center, 368 S. State Street.

WEST LINN HOLIDAY PARADE. Get out your ugly holiday sweaters and get lost in the like-minded crowd in the annual West Linn Ugly Sweater Parade. Saturday, December 10 at 10:00 a.m. Starts at 10th and Willamette Falls Drive. Register online.

CHRISTMAS SHIPS PARADE. While the Christmas Ships Trolley is already sold out, you can still catch the festive sight by showing up at one of the Lake Oswego viewing spots when the combined fleets make their way to our shores. Saturday, December 17. Ships usually start showing up around 6:00 p.m. at viewing points: Foothills Park, 199 Foothills Drive, Roehr Park, 350 Oswego Pointe Drive, and George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street. 503.675.2549.

PENNY’S PUPPETS PRESENTS THE GINGERBREAD MAN. Enjoy a special presentation of Penny’s Puppets with this holiday show followed by holiday crafts and play time for ages 0-5. Parent participation required. Register online. Residents $22/ Non-Residents $33. December 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at Christ Church Parish, 1060 Chandler Road.

THE CHANCE FOR SNOW. Yes, we have had white Christmases before so dream on! It could happen and that would be just one more thing we love about Lake Oswego in December.

Stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego. Subscribe to this blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column and receive weekly updates.

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Holiday Shopping in Lake Oswego

ADORN. This Portland based shop features brands like Emerson Fry, Good America, Splendid and Tart Collections. You’ll find everything from jackets to jumpsuits along with accessories like jewelry, masks and shoes. Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 369 First Street. 503.303.5614.

DREAM CLOUD BOHEMIAN MARKET. Walking into this store feels like walking into a cloud—everything is soft and dreamy. You can also feel good about shopping here as the collections hail from independent and small-batch artisans who focus on sustainability and ethical faire trade practices. Watch their Instagram updates for holiday surprises! Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 :00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 364 1st Street, 503.477.9798. https://www.instagram.com/dreamcloudbohemianmarket/

MAPEL BOUTIQUE. This locally owned boutique carries national brands like Z Supply, 7 for All Mankind and as well as local favorites like Ford & Wyatt, The Great PNW and Saressa Designs. Mixed in there are fun and festive discoveries to make your holiday shopping much merrier. You’ll find holiday glasses, holiday-themed tees, spongellés, and Smith and Sinclair cocktail gummies.  Check them out online or visit their store at 390 N. State Street, Suite 124. Hours Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 503.670.1756.  Check their Instagram for updates. https://www.instagram.com/mapelboutique/

LUCKY ME. This store gets its name from the expression shoppers say when they visit. It’s filled to the brim with lots of bling and holiday décor including ornaments, tea towels and stockings. Speaking of stockings, consider this stocking stuffer central with bottle toppers, fashion emergency kits and colorful socks, just to mention a few. Their usual PJ Salvage offerings make wonderful cozy gifts and on December 2, Pajama Friday, you can save 25% off any pajama purchase. Be sure to visit them the day after Thanksgiving for their Black Friday specials which will last all weekend! And remember, they offer gift wrapping too—saves you one more step ! Hours: Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. 385 First Street, Suite 115. 503.636.9595.

RAIN SPARK GALLERY. This seasonal art gallery returns this year in a new location at 180 A Avenue in downtown Lake Oswego. Explore the varied collections of art created in ceramics, metal, fiber, glass, paper, paint, photography and more. You’ll find unique gifts for family and friends and if you’re lucky, decorative and functional works of art for yourself and your home. Don’t miss some of the special events the gallery has planned:

November 20 – Oregon Food bank Day – 20% of all sales given to Oregon Food Bank

December 1 – First Thursday Reception from 4:00 p.m to 6:00 p.m

December 4 – Oregon Humane Society Day – 20% of all sales go to Oregon Humane Society

December 9 and 20 – Stein Distillery Tasting from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving and open Christmas Eve from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

R. BLOOM’S. You’ll find a great selection of holiday decor at this Lake Oswego establishment including an entire wall of Christopher Radko ornaments. Let yourself browse and you’ll find lots to tempt you for yourself and others including Hot Skwash, Faceplant pajamas, JingleNog and Ditz Design Animals. Oh, and they deliver flowers too, beautiful arrangements for your holiday celebrations. Hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 267 A Avenue, 503.636.5876.

HOLIDAY MARKETPLACE. Stop by the Arts Council of Lake Oswego’s Holiday Marketplace for a unique gift for yourself or someone on your list. Select from fine art, ceramics, jewelry, handmade one-of-a-kind items, and wonderful prints and cards, among many other fine gifts and home goods from over 30 local and regional artists. Marketplace is open NOW through Saturday, December 24. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 380 A Avenue, Suite, A, Lake Oswego, OR. For more information, visit the website at http://www.artscouncillo.org or call 503-675-3738.

GRAPEVINE. Name dropping is encouraged here. That’s why you’ll find fashions by Frank and Eileen, Hammitt, Rails, Vince, and Michael Stars just to mention a few. Check their social media pages for new arrivals and DM them if you want them to hold something for you. Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 310 N. State Street, #112, 503.635.6009

GLASSYBABY. Glassybaby sells hand-blown votive holders “for people that love to give kindness.” Each come with a story. With names like Strength, Intuition and Lifesaver, I imagine there is a votive that would speak to the friends and family on your list. A portion of all sales go towards the glassybaby foundation to support causes close to glassybaby’s mission: organizations that promote hope and healing. Hours: Monday through Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 390 N. State Street, 503.804.5415

CHICO’S. Whether you’re looking for holiday red, all that shimmers or comfy and cozy, Chico’s has it. Lake Oswego managed to garner one of the 600 locations of this franchise and the location seems to be a good match—Chico’s was one of the original Lake View Village tenants. The company prides itself on personal stylists who work with you to select the right style with the right fit. Share a little with one of their stylists about your recipient—what colors does she like…are there certain styles she gravitates towards…is machine washable a requirement…and let her go to work for you, letting you look good when she opens her gift. Hours: Monday through Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.,Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 385 1st Street, #119, 503.675.6655.

WISHBONE HOME DESIGN. Dress up your home for the holidays with seasonal décor that includes elegant ornaments, festive pillows, boxwood and eucalyptus wreaths and holiday candles. Gift items include jewelry, candlesticks, frames and gift cards. Pick up a little decorating advice while you’re at it from the experts on hand. Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 385 1st Street, 503.636.1229.

CITY HOME. This is one of those places that makes shopping fun with its blend of vintage, repurposed and reclaimed furnishings and decorative home pieces, now in its new, expanded location at the corner of State Street and A Avenue. Hostess gifts include holiday soy candles in scents like gingerbread. For all those pet lovers out there, a “Reserved for the dog” or “Reserved for the cat” pillow might be the perfect gift. Other finds include ornaments, vases and a host of furniture and wall art to choose from. Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 390 N. State Street, Suite 120, 503.519.7712.

THE GROVE.  It pays to stop in regularly at this neighborhood spot as new merchandise with local makers and exclusive lines are always arriving. You’ll find candles, jewelry, art, books, clothing and more home décor, much of it seasonal. Don’t miss the Holiday Open House on Thursday, December 8 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and fill out your wish list so your special someones can get you what you want! Be sure to check their Facebook page for updates.  Hours: Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 4473 Lakeview Boulevard, 503.697.9999.

PAPER CAPER. From stocking stuffers to hostess gifts, you can check a lot of people off your list at this store. Vintage holiday lights, a book of Kid Jokes, holiday crackers, holiday-scented candles (Gingerbread and vanilla sound yummy?) and a collection of the whimsical Maileg toys are just some of the treasures you’ll find in addition to their wide selection of greeting cards and wrapping paper. Speaking of wrapping paper, they provide that service during this busy holiday season. Hours: 10:o0 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.  16829 65th Avenue, 503.620.9460.

HEARTSPUN PRINTABLES. This Etsy shop, run by my wife and daughter, offers printable greeting cards and is currently featuring a special Lake Oswego-themed holiday collection. The cards are instant downloads, so you only pay once and the file is yours to print as many times as you want! For only $2.75 per card, that’s a deal! Check them out at heartspun printables

WAITING FOR DECEMBER. My daughter, Riley Costello, is not only a partner on my real estate team but is also an author and has released a holiday book that makes a perfect gift for any romance lovers on your list. You can buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or iBooks or purchase an autographed copy at the Oswego Heritage Council’s Holiday Marketplace on December 7 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at 398 Tenth Street.  

If a new home is on your holiday shopping list, well, I can help with that! I’ve been a top-performing Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to put some Ho Ho Ho into your home buying and/or selling experience. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at kevin.costello@cascadehassonsir.com and/or check out my website.

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Holiday Greetings from Lake Oswego that you can send to family and friends

Lake Oswego-themed holiday cards like these are available at heartspun printables on Etsy

It’s official! Even Santa loves Lake Oswego. According to a new holiday greeting card put out by my wife and daughter’s Etsy shop, heartspun printables, Lake Oswego is where he likes to spend his summers!

You can find other creative spins on sending holiday wishes from Lake Oswego, by checking out their Etsy shop. The good news is that their cards are instant downloads so you only pay once and the file is yours to keep and print as many times as you wish. You can print them at home or send them to a local printer and have them do it for you.

All their instant download holiday cards are only $2.75. Envelopes are not provided but instructions provided explain the envelope you’ll need for each card.

So, put some Lake Oswego spirit in your holiday greetings with one of these festive cards. Here’s a sneak peek but they’re available now online. And there’s a good chance you can also pick them up already printed at the Oswego Heritage Council Annual Holiday Marketplace on December 7 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at 398 Tenth Street.  

We love Lake Oswego and we hope you do too! Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you stay up-to-date on what’s happening and if you’re considering moving to, in, or out of Lake Oswego, give me a call at 503.939.9801 or email me at kevin.costello@cascadehassonsir.com. I’ve been a top-producing Lake Oswego Realtor for over 30 years and would love to put my experience to work for you! Happy Holidays!

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8 Ways to Pay It Forward This Holiday Season In and Around Lake Oswego

For those of us blessed enough to live in Lake Oswego, our gratitude list runs long this time of year. November is a perfect time to pay all that gratitude forward.

Here are a few ways for you to do just that in and around our community.

GIFT CARDS. Help empower individuals and families experiencing and healing from domestic and sexual violence, child and elder abuse, stalking, dating violence, and trafficking to purchase what is most meaningful to them this holiday season by donating gift cards at the Lake Oswego Public Library. Now through December 1, the Library will be accepting gift cards to Amazon, Fred Meyer, Walmart and Target on behalf of the Clackamas Women’s Shelter. This program supports more than 125 families (including nearly 300 children) each year. Learn more about Clackamas Women’s Services at www.cwsor.org.

FILL A STOCKING, FILL A HEART. You can become part of this all-volunteer army providing more than 3,000 handmade Christmas stockings to families, seniors, teens and the homeless living in Clackamas County. For many people, these stockings (filled with much-needed items and special gifts) are the only presents they receive. Stockings are available for pickup at City Hall, 380 A Avenue, and at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, 505 G Avenue with a list of items you may purchase and then return to the City Hall or ACC donation sites by Tuesday, December 6. For more information about Fill a Stocking, Fill a Heart visit their site

COVERS FOR KIDS. The City’s Youth Action Council (YAC) is collecting new fleece yards to make and decorate blankets for the Clackamas Children’s Center, a resource and assessment center dedicated to supporting youth who may be experiencing abuse. These blankets are made with love and designed to brighten a dark day! Donation boxes are located at the Adult Community Center (505 G Avenue) and the LO Teen Lounge (1060 Chandler Road).  One-full yard is needed to make each blanket. Donations will be accepted through December 9. Donations are tax-deductible, please email Cydny Fletcher at cfletcher@lakeoswego.city to receive a donation receipt. TAX ID number 93-6002231.

LAKE OSWEGO TOY DRIVE. Drop off new, unwrapped toys at the Lake Oswego Fire Department Main Station (300 B Avenue) by noon on Friday, December 16. Donations will be delivered to families in need throughout the local area by the Tualatin Valley Elks Club. 503.635.0275.

HUNGER FIGHTERS OREGON. In 2014, a student at Lake Oswego Junior High realized that food insecurity is an issue even for Lake Oswego families and he started a club to address it. Today this official nonprofit distributes food from a pantry located at 4 Monroe Parkway.  Nonperishable food donations can be left anytime in the container outside the pantry at 4 Monroe Parkway, at the LO Library, 706 Fourth Street, or Deno’s Pizzeria. Perishable items (fresh produce, veggies, meat and dairy) may be dropped off by calling 503-683-3401.  Please Check online for a list of needed items and please note, they ask that you ensure your products are not expired. Monetary support is also appreciated.  You can give easily online, via Venmo @hungerfighters or mail a check to PO Box 2215, Lake Oswego, OR 97035. 

Right now they are looking for $25 donations to help provide a turkey for 70 families this Thanksgiving or for people to “adopt a family”.  For more information or with additional questions, please email info@hungerfightersoregon.org.

WITH LOVE. This non-profit’s mission is to support foster families by providing safe, clean and quality clothing and supplies for children ages 0-6. They are holding their annual Season of Giving drive to provide holiday stockings to children placed in foster care in Oregon. You can participate in a variety of ways, one of which is to shop their Amazon Holiday Wish List. Be sure to click “With Love Holiday’s Gift Registry Address” for free shipping and order ahead of holiday shipping delays. Please skip the gift wrap, as a volunteer team at Nike, Inc. is creating handmade pillowcases for gifting that the children can use well beyond the holidays.

TUALATIN SCHOOL HOUSE PANTRY. This Oregon Food Bank affiliate serves families each month living in Tualatin, Durham, Lake Oswego, West Linn, and Wilsonville. Cash donations are welcome to buy essentials and can be done online. Canned food donations are wanted and can be dropped off at the pantry during normal business hours: Monday 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Volunteers are also needed in the food pantry as well as for delivering and picking up donations. If you would like to volunteer, complete the online form. The pantry is located on the lower level of Rolling Hills Church, 3550 SW Borland Road, Tualatin. 503.783.0721.

HANDS-ON PORTLAND. Check their calendar for ongoing as well as one-time volunteer opportunities. Many occur year-round such as serving at Grocery Shopping for Homebound Seniors or Serving Meals at a Transitional Home.

If you’d like to count living in Lake Oswego as one of your blessings, give me a call at 503.939.9801. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to put my experience to work for you. Check out my website or email me at kevin.costello@cascadehassonsir.com

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7 Reasons Why We Love Lake Oswego in November

LAKE GROVE FARMERS’ MARKET. Thankfully the Lake Grove Farmers’ Market continues through November, giving us a chance to enjoy the freshest of produce and best of local goodies like Kelly’s Jellies and Portland Caramels. Open every other Sunday through November 27 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Hallmark Drive between Mercantile Drive and Collins Way.

ELF MUSICAL. This hilarious fish-out-of-water musical follows Buddy the Elf in search of his father. Faced with the harsh reality that his dad is on the naughty list, Buddy wins over his birth family and helps New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. Runs November 4 through December 18. Tickets online : $42/Adults; $40/Seniors; $25/Students.368 S. State Street.

FINDING YOUR ANCESTRAL GOLD. As someone who just returned from an ancestral trip to Ireland (where I got to use my new Irish passport!) I appreciate learning about your family history. The Lakewood Center is holding a two-hour workshop. With a genealogist and author of four family histories to inspire you to embark on your own search. Learn the steps to get you started. I can attest that it’s worth the time spent! Saturday, November 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Lakewood Center for the Arts, lower level. Register online for $60. 368 S. State Street.

LAKE OSWEGO REUNION FARMERS’ MARKET. Enjoy this festive way to kick off Thanksgiving week! Many of your favorite Farmers’ Market vendors return to Lake Oswego to share the bounty of their fall harvest. Live music and local artisans round out the celebration. Saturday, November 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Millennium Plaza Park, 200 1st Street.

HORSE-DRAWN WAGON RIDES. Take in the brisk fall air and seasonal colors on an old-fashioned horse-drawn wagon ride through downtown Lake Oswego, leaving from Millennium Plaza Park. Reservations are required for rides on the hour and are currently sold out. First come, first serve tickets are available for purchase onsite for the half hour. $9/Adults; $6/Youth ages 0-12. Rides last approximately 20 minutes and run from 10:00 a.m. to 2: 00 p.m. 200 1st Street.

LAKEWOOD IN CITY LIGHTS. You’re invited to this holiday gala in support of the Lakewood Center’s Rising Star and education programs. This year’s event is right here at home at Ironlight and features dinner, special games, entertainment and a live auction. Buy your tickets online. November 19 at 5:30 p.m. 525 3rd Street.

58th ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING FESTIVAL. Take part in this annual tradition to ring in the holiday season. Festivities take place at Millennium Plaza Park only this year, with extended hours of holiday music, festive vendors, letters to Santa, sweet treats and more! The celebratory lighting of the Millennium tree takes place at 6:00 p.m. 200 1st Street.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Lake Oswego and why you might consider moving here! Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column and receive weekly updates.

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Sellers Getting Creative in Today’s Market

The times, they are a-changin. Last year we saw buyers sweetening their offers with everything from thousands of dollars over asking to waiving inspections. Now we are beginning to see some sellers considering incentives to attract buyers.

It’s still a seller’s market in terms of inventory, but rising interest rates have made buyers more cautious so offering incentives can go a long way toward easing some of their fear.

A 3-2-1 BUYDOWN. With higher interest rates playing a big role in buyer hesitancy, sellers can consider offering some version of a 3-2-1 buydown which actually lowers the interest rate the buyer pays for the first three years. (3% the first year, 2% the second, 1% the third, before reverting to the original rate). How? The seller pays the upfront costs at closing, called a buydown fee. While the number of points a lender charges for a buydown varies, the cost is usually equivalent to the amount the buyer saves in interest over the period of the buydown. This has been a more common practice among builders in the past and in some markets, even buyers who have cash up front might pay their own buydown points if they plan on staying in the house for a long period of time. However, in the current market, it’s more likely that buyers would be looking to sellers to facilitate a sale by offering some version of this deal (could be a 2-1, for example). Of course, buyers need to be certain that they’ll be able to pay the higher interest rate once it reverts back to it and in most cases, they’ll need to qualify for the loan at the higher rate. However, if interest rates start to decline after three years, they could consider refinancing at a lower rate. One caveat is that there could be a limit on how much “interested parties” such as the seller can contribute to a transaction so all this needs to be explored with a lender before promises are made.

PRICE REDUCTION. This seems like an easier pill to swallow for some sellers; however, in the chart provided below you can see that a buydown explained above, in most cases doesn’t cost the seller anymore and benefits the buyer much more.

Graphic courtesy of Nikki Meyerink with selectlendingservices.com

CLOSING COST CREDIT. Some buyers, especially first-timers, are often surprised to find that come closing, they will have to come up with anywhere from 3 to 6 percent of the loan amount to cover closing costs ranging from loan fees to title insurance. Sellers can offer to pay a credit to help defray these costs to the buyer.

HOME WARRANTY. Sellers can help put their buyers’ minds at ease by purchasing a home warranty at closing. Not only does it create an atmosphere of goodwill, but it also protects the seller from complaints should anything break down or go wrong after closing.

HOA DUES CREDIT. For homes in a homeowner’s association, the fees charged for maintenance can sometimes become an additional monthly expense that buyers are reluctant to take on with higher interest rates. Offering to pay the association fees for the next six to twelve months can remove a potential obstacle to closing a sale. As with the 3-2-1- buydown, sellers need to make sure they are staying within the limits of credits they are allowed to offer by the lender.

Whether you are looking to sell or looking to buy in Lake Oswego, let me put my 30+ years experience as a top Lake Oswego Realtor to work for you! Give me a call at 503.939.9801 or email me at kevin.costello@cascadehassonsir.com. Let’s find out the right strategy to help you make your next move!

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Plan Ahead for the Holidays in Lake Oswego

It may only be October but many of the popular holiday events in Lake Oswego are already sold out.

So, make your list and sign up now for spaces that are still available for these activities:

TINSELTOWN TROLLEY. Discover the magic of the holiday season with a yuletide ride on the historic Willamette Shore Trolley. Children delight in a merry experience aboard the decorated trolley that includes holiday lights, sweet treats, carols and more! As the trolley makes its way back to the station, guests are treated to a visit from a very special guest all the way from the North Pole.
Rides last approximately 45 minutes. While several time slots are sold out, there are still some available so check the schedule. December 9 through December 11. Trolley departs from 311 N. State Street.

ELF JR. Back by popular demand, Elf Jr is a one hour condensed, author-approved version of the full length musical tailored to the talent of young actors and young audiences. The story follows Buddy, a young orphan, who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. Performances on December 10 and December 17 at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Tickets are available online: Adults/$15; Youth/$12. 368 S. State Street.

PEPPERMINT BEAR – THE TAMING OF THE SHOE. The Peppermint Bear show is a Lakewood Theatre Company classic that families have enjoyed for years. This year’s version centers around a problem with Santa’s toy-making machinery right during crunch time with Christmas right around the corner. Performances on December 10 and 11 at 11:00 a.m.; December 17 and 18 at 11:00 a.m. and December 20-23 at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Tickets are available online: Adults $15; Youth $12. Side Door Stage, Lakewood Center, 368 S. State Street.

And mark your calendars for these FREE events that you just have to show up for – no reservations required.

58th ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING FESTIVAL. Take part in this annual tradition to ring in the holiday season. Festivities take place at Millennium Plaza Park only this year, with extended hours of holiday music, festive vendors, letters to Santa, sweet treats and more! The celebratory lighting of the Millennium tree takes place at 6:00 p.m. 200 1st Street.

WEST LINN HOLIDAY PARADE. Get out your ugly holiday sweaters and get lost in the like-minded crowd in the annual West Linn Ugly Sweater Parade. Saturday, December 10 at 10:00 a.m. Starts at 10th and Willamette Falls Drive. Register online.

CHRISTMAS SHIPS PARADE. While the Christmas Ships Trolley is already sold out, you can still catch the festive sight by showing up at one of the Lake Oswego viewing spots when the combined fleets make their way to our shores. Saturday, December 17. Ships usually start showing up around 6:00 p.m. at viewing points: Foothills Park, 199 Foothills Drive, Roehr Park, 350 Oswego Pointe Drive, and George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street. 503.675.2549.

Stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego by subscribing to my blog. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column and receive weekly updates.

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10 Reasons Why It’s FUNtober in Lake Oswego

Follow the numbered signs while you visit the Luscher Farm scarecrows and read The Scarecrow together!

STORYWALK® AT LUSCHER FARM. Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation has partnered with the Lake Oswego Public Library to bring you and your little ones a festive StoryWalk® at Luscher Farm. StoryWalks® combine literacy, the outdoors, healthy activity, and family time. This month the featured story is The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry, illustrated by the Fan Brothers. It’s a perfect excuse to visit the Luscher Farm scarecrows. Then just follow the numbered signs while you read the story together. Be sure to sign the guest book at the end! 125 Rosemont Road.

HALLOWEEN COSTUME SALE. Our costume closet is still filled with treasures my wife brought home from the Lakewood Theater’s Halloween costume sale back in the day when our kids were trick-or-treating and going to costume parties. Although many of the outfits were adult-size, there were lots of accessories (think headgear, jewelry, capes) that provided the finishing touches to unique, one-of-a-kind costumes. As the theatre prepares for the new season of shows, they need to make room for new costumes; hence, the sale. My advice is to go early to get the best selection. Friday, October 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lakewood Center for the Arts, Community Meeting Room, 365 S. State Street.

BURGERVILLE SWEET POTATO FRIES. Maybe because they’re only seasonal or maybe it’s just because they’re that good. But the sweet potato fries here are short-lived and in high demand. Find out for yourself by stopping in at Lake Oswego’s location, 15650 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road.

WEST COAST GIANT PUMPKIN REGATTA. This event in our neighboring town of Tualatin, definitely puts in the FUN in Funtober featuring costumed characters paddling the Lake of the Commons inside giant pumpkins in a series of races. There’s a lot more going on as well including a giant pumpkin weigh-off, 5K run, variety show and kids’ costume contest (which you might win if you attend Lakewood Theater Company’s costume sale!). Check online for the full schedule. Saturday, October 15 – Sunday, October 16. Races start at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.on Sunday. 8325 SW Nyberg St., Tualatin.   

SALT & STRAW FLAVORS. I dare you to try Salt & Straw’s Don Bugitos Creepy Crawly Critters flavor this month hiding toffee- brittle mealworms and chocolate crickets in matcha ice cream. If that’s too squeamish for you, then maybe one of their other October seasonal flavors will do: Black Cat Licorice and Lavender, The Great Candycopia, Jack O’Lantern Pumpkin Bread or Double Bubble Toil and Trouble. 100 Avenue.

HARVEST DASH. Enjoy a 5K trail run on natural terrain at Luscher Farm and celebrate your feat/feet with a barn bash after party. Pre-register to get the best deal: $20 participation fee for residents/$25 non-residents. Day of registration is $25 for residents; $37.50 for non-residents. You can pre-register online for the heat that best fits your athleticism. October 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 125 Rosemont Road. Road.  

ROAR OF GREASEPAINT, SMELL OF THE CROWD. Don’t miss the first production of the Lakewood Center’s 2022-2023 Lost Treasures Collection, a series of obscure and rarely performed musicals presented in concert/cabaret version for one weekend only on their Side Door stage. Watch as two clowns, on opposite ends of the luck spectrum, compete in a “Game of Life.” The rag-tag players rely on humor, song, and dance to try to build a new life. But can show tunes and music hall merriment revive the human spirit? Friday, October 21 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20. 368 S. State Street.

SEASONAL COFFEE DRINKS. We have our share of coffee spots (which you can discover in a previous blog), but now’s the time to enjoy some of the seasonal fall flavors like the Flapjack Latte at Morse featuring in-house maple syrup topped with crunchy maple sugar or the Caramel Apple Latte at Peet’s. Make the rounds and you’ll be well caffeinated!

THE ART OF LIVING. Participate in this creative endeavor online and/or in person. Four local artists, in all phases of their careers, all of whom work in varied media—from murals to oil and stencil to recycled art—bring their creative interpretations to a one-of-a-kind chair that is functional and decorative! The artists include Davey Barnwell, Debby Radakovich, Ingrid Dohm, and Marcia Jeglum. Each piece will be auctioned off October 14 through October 28 at noon! 

Meet the artists in person and enjoy food and wine at an exclusive event on October 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at ACLO’s ARTspace Gallery, 380 A Avenue, Suite A. Tickets available online.

MONSTER MASH SPOOKTACULAR. Bring your costumed little ones to Christ Church Parish for an afternoon of frightful fun as they walk through the trick-or-treat streets to collect candy, toys and trinkets at every station. Spooky tunes and ghoulish crafts add to the fun. Sponsored by the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department. Monday, October 31 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., 1060 Chandler Road.

For every season there is a reason to love Lake Oswego. Let me introduce them to you in this blog by becoming a subscriber or let’s talk in person so I can show you why I chose to move here over 30 years ago and have helped others do the same! 503.939.9801, kevin.costello@cascadehassonsir.com

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Lake Grove Farmers’ Market Starts 5-Week Run Today

Good times bear repeating. That’s why the City of Lake Oswego is bringing back the Lake Grove Farmers’ Market starting today, October 2, and repeating every other Sunday through November 27 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Hallmark Drive between Mercantile Drive and Collins Way.

So no need to go through Farmers’ Market withdrawal given that the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market in Millennium Plaza Park had its last day yesterday. You can still enjoy fresh, local, in-season, equitable and sustainable products direct from the producer, only now on the west side of town.

Here are some of the vendors you’ll meet:

CENTRAL OREGON WAGYU. Featuring 100% full blood Wagyu beef allowed to grow slowly, bringing out the distinct flavor and qualities Wagyu are known for.

JIMMY TOMATO. Combine “Old School” recipes and slow cooking and you get Jimmy Tomato’s Classic Tomato Meat Sauce that uses his mother’s recipe dating back to 1954. Made with organic tomato products, local fresh produce, locally procured Italian sausage and meat products, herbs and spices, you’ll be looking for more ways to use it!

KELLY’S JELLY. This family business also started with a handed down recipe for Aunt Danny’s Habanero Pepper Jelly. Since then they’ve added a lineup of premium, small batch hot jellies and sweet fruit spreads that use only natural ingredients sourced from local producers. You can try a different one each week – Pineapple Jalapeno Pepper Jelly, Marionberry Habanero Pepper Jelly, Kelly’s Strawberry Habanero Pepper Jelly, Blueberry Lemon Fruit Spread, Oregon Tayberry Fruit Spread, Oregon Strawberry Fruit Spread and Oregon Marionberry Fruit Spread. Gift packs available as well.

MUD DOG FARM. This permaculture-based farm out of Gresham offers fresh produce free of pesticides, herbicides, artificial fertilizers and GMO. Eat good and feel good.

PABLO MUNOZ FARMS. This local farm out of Dayton offers seasonal produce. Although not an organic farm, they stop all spray applications once the plants begin to bloom, allowing fruit and produce to be as clean as possible straight off the plant.

PORTLAND CARAMEL COMPANY. Featuring smooth and creamy caramels these treats are perfect for making your day a little sweeter or someone else’s! Selections include Caramel Sauce, Chocolate Caramel Sauce, Chocolate Salted Caramels and Classic Salted Caramels.

RAW HONEY OREGON. This family company run by three generations features raw, local honey, filtered only once and never heated. The varieties are harvested from the local bloom specific to the hives locations which run along the Willamette, Clackamas, Abernathy, Mollala, Pudding, Kellogg, Mt. Scott and Columbia rivers.

ROUNDHOUSE FOODS. These plant based hummus, dips and sauces come in flavors you might not have seen anywhere else. Choose from Balsamic Pistachio, Garlic Overkill, Rosemary Lemon, Smoked Salt, Sriracha Lime, or Vegan Garlic Butter.

SPICE PILGRIM is a local spice and team company rooted in Clackamas specializing in healthy and delicious stone-ground spices, seasonings and hand-blended teas. A great variety to choose from including Mango Powder, Turkey Brine Mix, Orange Ginger Salt and Winter Remedy Tea.

THE HUMMUS STOP. Enjoy Mediterranean appetizers like Tabouli Salad, Green Olive Basil Garlic Spread, fresh pita bread and pita chips as well as a lineup of hummus including Roasted Red Pepper and Lemon.

DREGS VODKA. Dregs is a locally distilled vodka that gives 100% of its after tax profits to local charities that support low income youth like Abby’s Closet, p:ear mentor and Portland YouthBuilders. Make your cocktail of choice accomplish two things at once—provide a good taste and help your community.

FREELAND SPIRITS. Freeland Spirits is a craft distillery in Portland and one of a few women-owned and run distilleries. When you learn that women have more taste buds and 50% more olfactory cells than men, you wonder why you’d want anyone else making your spirits! Choose from three different gins and a bourbon (in possibly the world’s most beautiful spirit bottles)and canned cocktails.

GARIBALDI CELLARS. This family-run boutique winery is homegrown in the Willamette Valley and currently offers Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cuvée Bianco and Rosé of Pinot Noir.

STRAIGHTAWAY COCKTAILS. Leave the crafting to these guys. They’ve perfected the art of the cocktail so you can just open and enjoy. There’s a wide selection including the Oregon Old Fashioned, Cosmos and Negroni as well as the Nitro Gin Fizz and Negroni Spritz.

Stay up-to-date on all the reasons to love Lake Oswego whether you already live here or are thinking of moving to Lake Oswego. Subscribe to my blog by clicking on the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column. And if you have any questions about moving to Lake Oswego or selling your Lake Oswego home, give me a call at 503.939.9801 or email me at kevin.costello@cascadehassonsir.com. I’d love to put my 30+ years’ experience to work for you!

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