Holiday Shopping in Lake Oswego Makes Giving So Much Easier!

The bad news is that there are only 16 more shopping days until Christmas. The good news is that you can find something for everyone on your list right here in Lake Oswego. Santa’s elves went looking recently and here are some of the great gift items they found.

ADORN. This boutique is one of the new kids in town but is the fourth location for this Portland based shop. Stylish with price tags that will help you check several women off your list, the store offers everything from jackets to jumpsuits along with accessories like jewelry by Portland artist Betsy Cross. Her betsy & iya line feature cuff bracelets inspired by Portland bridges like Tilikum Crossing and the Steel Bridge. Another thing to consider: exfoliating sugar cubes by Harper & Ari that come in wonderful fragrances like lemon and gingerbread and lovely packaging that is sure to impress. And if you know a redhead (or a blonde or a brunette) who is proud of her locks, crewneck sweatshirts that tout their hair color are sure to be a hit. 369 First Street. 503.303.5614.

LUCKY ME. This accessory boutique is filled to the brim with jewelry, PJ Salvage robes and PJ sets, greeting cards, and stocking stuffers. For the Lake Oswego resident on your list choose from Lake Oswego signs, socks, and ornaments. Wine toppers range from the elegant to the whimsical. Give yourself some time to wander through this store—there’s lots to choose from! 385 First Street, Suite 115. 503.636.9595.

RAIN SPARK GALLERY. This seasonal art gallery is back again displaying the work of 31 member-artists and 8 guests. The wide selection includes tiles, baskets, jewelry, poetry, fused glass, handwoven wraps and recycled metal art. 1st and A Avenue, 971.294,2042. Be sure to check out the other artistic holiday marketplace at 510 MUSEUM AND ARTSPACE for more handmade gifts, including selections by some of our Gallery Without Walls artists! 510 First Street, 503.675.3738.

SUR LA TABLE. Make this your stop for the foodies on your list. Ornaments come in all flavors from hot sauce and bacon to donuts and a six pack of beer. The Nespresso machines take coffee brewing to its highest (and easiest) level, making your favorite drip or espresso drink and frothing your milk like the pros. There are gadgets galore, including many your gift recipient didn’t know she couldn’t live without. 390 N. State Street, #120. 503.636.2181.

GRAPEVINE. Name dropping is encouraged here. That’s why you’ll find fashions by Joie, 7 for all mankind, Rails, Vince, Citizens of Humanity and Eileen Fisher just to mention a few. Stop in between December 13 and 16 for the Jewelry Trunk Show with Girl in the Pearl. 310 N. State Street, #112, 503.635.6009

FLEET FEET SPORTS. For the road warrior on your list, consider a gift card to Fleet Feet Sports. They pride themselves in their “Fitlosophy” taking care to get to know a runner/walker’s history and study their feets’ biomechanics before recommending the right shoe. They can even scan your feet with a 3D scanner in just five seconds, measuring everything that goes into a comfortable fit. So buying a pair of shoes without this input would be missing the point! Gift card them and let them get the customer service that has helped this store grow to three locations with Lake Oswego being their newest! 368 1st Street, #123. 503.305.8616

ECOVIBE APPAREL. This holiday pop-up shop carries affordable, ethical, and trendy fashion from their main store at 1408 Northeast Alberta Street in Portland. Since that can mean different things to different people the management looks at how things are made, by whom, and out of what materials and then try to feature fashions produced ethically and jewelry and accessories locally made from recycled materials. Versatility and sustainability are also factored in. Plus they donate 1% of your sales to two local nonprofits. And did I mention that the items will make a person look good as well as feel good?! 385 1st Street, #121.

GLASSYBABY. Another feel good store is just around the corner from Ecovibe. Glassybaby sells hand-blown votive holders that each come with a story. With names like Courage, Skinny Dip and Awesome Ain’t Easy, I imagine there is a votive that would speak to the friends and family on your list. There are also sets to choose from like Blessings: Thoughtful in green and Grateful Red in red; and Naughty (in red) and Nice (white). A portion of all sales go towards the White Light Fund to support causes close to glassybaby’s mission: helping people who need medical treatment get it; helping animals find sanctuary and keep animals in the wild from becoming extinct, and preserving our planet. 390 N. State Street, 503.804.5415.

CHICO’S. 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. 385 1st Street, #119, 503.675.6655.

WISHBONE HOME DESIGN. Dress up your home for the holidays with seasonal décor that includes fresh or preserved plants, rugs 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. 41 B Avenue, 503.636.1229.

THE GROVE. Here’s another new kid on the block in the Lake Grove shopping district featuring a collection of unique gift items that include jewelry, candles, purses and bags, stationary, tea, jellies and plants, many made locally. An entire wall is dedicated to co-owner Jasmine Fullman’s Naturally Knotty scarves and wraps. It’s a cozy place to hang out or take a class. Recently participants learned how to create their own centerpieces. Follow their Instagram account @thegrovelo to learn of upcoming events. 4473 Lakeview Boulevard, 503.953.4056.

PASTICHE FRAME SHOP AND GALLERY. Located just around the corner from The Grove, this spot is for the adventurous shopper who likes fun surprises. Walking into this eclectic mix of repurposed and new home décor and gift items, you can rest assured the person on your gift list is going to receive something unique. 16780 Bryant Road, (503) 636-0208.

PAPER CAPER. From stocking stuffers to hostess gifts you can check a lot of people off your list at this store. Children’s pop-up books, holiday headbands, Mixture candles, holiday serving pieces are just some of the treasures you’ll find in addition to their wide selection of greeting cards. 16829 65th Avenue, 503.620.9460.

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Holiday Bucket List When You Live in the Portland Metro Area

There are lots of ways to celebrate the holidays here in the Portland metro area. Some events like the Second City’s performance of Twist Your Dickens are very Portlandia-like. Others like the Oregon Ballet’s The Nutcracker are classic. Take your pick of offerings that are sure to fill you with holiday cheer and an urge to wish someone a happy holiday!

FIFTH ANNUAL GREAT FIGGY PUDDING CAROLING COMPETITION. While it’s too late to enter (put that on next year’s holiday bucket list), you can attend this homegrown talent holiday version of The Sing-Off. Caroling groups gather at assigned spots along the Portland Transit Mall (SW 5th and 6th Avenues and SW Yamhill and Morrison) to perform for onlookers as well as the Dickens Carolers who will select the top three groups to take the stage in Pioneer Courthouse Square where audience applause will determine the winner of the $1,000 grand prize. Friday, December 7. Carolers compete from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Top three perform at 7:15 p.m.

UGLY SWEATER DASH. Time to go public with that gaudy thing you tuck away every year in order to pull out during the holidays and be made fun of. Wear it with pride in West Linn’s festive event that precedes their Holiday Parade. Saturday, December 8. 5K Walk/Run begins at. 9:00 a.m.; 1 mile Dash starts at 9:30 a.m. Check online for different fees. Start and finish at the Willamette Fire station on Willamette Falls Drive. Holiday parade begins at 10:00 a.m.

TWIST YOUR DICKENS. The Second City improv group stages this parody of A Christmas Carol and other Christmas traditions that will leave you laughing. Performances at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Sundays and 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Thursdays at noon through December 23. Check online for pricing and tickets. The Armory, 128 NW Eleventh Avenue.

PITTOCK MANSION CHRISTMAS: HOBBIES AND PASTIMES. Volunteers have decked out this popular Portland destination for the holidays featuring popular (knitting) and more obscure (beekeeping) hobbies and pastimes. Open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. through December 31. Tickets online. 3229 NW Pittock Drive.

CHRISTMAS IN THE GARDEN. Take the family for a drive down to Silverton and enjoy a festive holiday evening that includes live music, artisan vendors, ice skating, snowless tubing, a 100 foot long candy cane tunnel and one million lights. Activities and pricing vary by night. Open through December 31. 879 W. Main Street, Silverton.

FESTIVAL OF THE LAST MINUTE. Portland’s popular Saturday market makes a holiday appearance just in time to save the day for procrastinators. In addition to handcrafted gifts you’ll enjoy the sounds of roving carolers and a chance to visit Santa. Open 11:00 to 5:00 p.m. starting December 19 through December 24. Closes at 4:30 on December 23 and 3:30 on December 24. 2 SW Naito Parkway.

ZOOLIGHTS. Not to be outdone by the one million lights at The Oregon Garden, the zoo incorporates 1.5 million LED lights into its annual holiday display. Added attractions include the carousel and train rides. Lines for those can get pretty long, so plan your strategy accordingly. Special zoolight admission prices online. Lights go on at 4:00 p.m. until zoo closing at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. on value nights) through January 5. 4001 SW Canyon Road.

WINTER WONDERLAND. Speaking of lights, the Portland International Raceway features the largest light show west of the Mississippi with over 250 light set pieces and scenes that you can enjoy from the warmth and comfort of your car. Open through December 26 on Sundays through Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Fridays through Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p. m. Admission: $20/car onsite; $18/car online (plus service fee). 1940 N. Victory Blvd.

THE NUTCRACKER. It doesn’t get more traditional than this and Oregon Ballet Theater’s interpretation will surely not disappoint. Matinee performances at 2:00 on December 8, 9, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 12:00 noon on the 24th. Evening performances at 7:30 on December 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, and 23. Tickets online. Keller Auditorium, 1111 SW Broadway.

AFTERNOON TEA. Take a break from shopping or just give yourself an excuse to get dressed up and practice your manners celebrating this British tradition in Portland style. Check out the offerings at Hotel deluxe, 729 SW 15th Avenue or the special holiday weekend tea service at Pix Patisserie, 2225 E. Burnside.

Have any holiday events you think should be added to this bucket list? Leave your comments below.

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Why We Deck Our Halls With Boughs of Holly (and other holiday decorating traditions)

I’m guilty…of putting up my Christmas tree lights early. I don’t turn them on until after Thanksgiving but yes, I take advantage of warmer (and drier) evenings in early November to hang the endless strands I zigzag across my front yard.

Blame it on my daughter Riley, who when she was in junior high, proclaimed that Christmas lights were her favorite holiday decoration. I tend to be an over-the-top dad so when my kids make confessions like that, I go all out which is why my front yard is already lighting up the neighborhood!

But how did some of our favorite holiday house decorating traditions begin? Thought I’d check that out for you and here’s what I found.

CHRISTMAS TREES. With 79 percent of Americans putting up a Christmas tree this year, it’s hard to believe that for many years Christmas trees were frowned upon in our country. New England Puritans considered Christmas a sacred occasion and anything that smacked of frivolity was considered heathen. In fact, in 1659, the General Court of Massachusetts passed a law that made any observance of December 25 other than attending church a penal offense. What changed things?

The influx of German and Irish immigrants in the 19th century helped to lighten things up. Indoor Christmas trees had been making their way into German homes for years and the notion had begun working its way through Europe. But it wasn’t until 1846 when Great Britain’s popular Queen Victoria and her German husband, Prince Albert, posed for an illustration in a London newspaper of them and their children gathered around a Christmas tree that the tradition started to gain mainstream acceptance. In 1889, President Benjamin Harrison was the first U.S. president to install a Christmas tree in the White House, a tradition that was hit-and-miss for a while, depending on who was in office and whether there were small children around.

Looking for someplace local to buy your tree this year? Check out my Christmas Tree guide. And for handmade ornaments, be sure to visit the Art Council of Lake Oswego’s Holiday Market.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. In the beginning, Christmas trees were lit with candles so you can only imagine the fire hazard that presented. Thomas Edison came to the rescue. In 1880, he put together the first strand of electric lights and hung them outside his laboratory. But it was his friend and partner, Edward H. Johnson who adapted the idea to a Christmas tree in 1882. He hand-wired 80 red, white and blue light bulbs and wound them around his tree. The idea didn’t catch on for years. Some credit President Glover Cleveland for making it mainstream by decorating the White House Christmas tree with hundreds of multi-colored lights. Twenty-eight years later, Calvin Coolidge went one step further and started the tradition of lighting up the National Christmas Tree with over 3,000 bulbs.

Check out one of my earlier posts on Christmas lights in Lake Oswego.

BOUGHS OF HOLLY. Whether hanging on front doors or draped over fireplace mantels, boughs of holly are a popular holiday decoration. But their roots date back to pagan societies who decorated with these branches in tribute to their ability to remain green all year long and as a result were thought to bring goodwill. Holly’s popularity was hard for early Christian leaders to dispel so instead of fighting it, they “rebranded” it, identifying its prickly leaves as symbols of Christ’s crown of thorns and its berries as the drops of blood on Christ’s brow. And the fact that it remained green all year long became a perfect metaphor for eternal life.

MISTLETOE. This is one tradition my three kids insist on carrying on. Each year when we buy our Christmas tree, we also purchase three sprigs of mistletoe. How did the kissing tradition begin? We have the ancients to thank once again. While the Greeks and Romans lauded mistletoe for its healing properties, the Druids equated its ability to bloom even in the ice of winter with productiveness and administered it to animals and humans in hopes of restoring fertility. English servants were the first to use mistletoe’s reputation as an excuse to kiss someone. They would steal kisses from a woman caught under the mistletoe, and in some cases, pluck a berry off the sprig with each kiss until all the berries were gone.

Here’s to hoping you can be home for the holidays enjoying all the ways you like to decorate your home. If you’d like your home to be in Lake Oswego, give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website. As a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 25 years, I know the market and can help you find the perfect place to call home.

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Plan Your Holiday Activities in Lake Oswego Now (Part 2)

There are lots of reasons to be merry this holiday season in Lake Oswego. Here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of the holidays (and be sure to check out part 1 of this guide here).

West Linn Holiday Parade. Join our neighbors in their annual holiday tradition that culminates with a visit from Santa at the fire station. Get there early and you can participate in (or just get a good laugh from) the Ugly Sweater Dash (the 5K begins at 9:00 a.m., the 1 mile at 9:30 a.m.). Parade starts at 10:00 a.m. at 10th and Willamette Falls Drive. 

Acoustic Guitar Summit Christmas. Treat yourself to music which one critic described as “rich and heady as a rum-soaked eggnog laced with varied spices.” Award-winning fingerstyle guitarists will delight you with the jeweled sounds of the season. Sunday, December 9 and Monday, December 11. Lake Theater and Café, 106 N. State Street. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., Music begins at 7:00 p.m. $20/person; $100 VIP table for four. Buy tickets online.

High School Holiday Choir Concerts. Holiday carols have a way of bringing out the merry in all of us. Let local high school students work their magic as they perform in their auditoriums over the next couple of weeks. Lake Oswego High School on Tuesday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m. 2501 Country Club Rd., 503.534.2313. Lakeridge High School on Wednesday, December 19 at 7:30 p.m. 1235 Overlook Drive. 503.534.2319. Admission charge for Lakeridge: $7/Adults; $5/Students and those over 55.

Christmas Ships Parade. Catch a glimpse of up to 60 boats decked out in holiday lights as they make their way from the River Place Marina in Portland to George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego. Boats due to arrive  around 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 15. Viewing points: Foothills Park, 199 Foothills Drive and Roehr Park, 350 Oswego Pointe Drive.  503.675.2549.

Mistletoe and Starlight Holiday Concert with Tony Starlight. Enjoy a retro Christmas as Tony Starlight croons out holiday classics synonymous with the likes of Bing Crosby and Dean Martin and throws in some comedy routines, impressions and more. Saturday, December 15 at 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Lake Oswego High School, 2501 Country Club Road. General admission tickets: $21/Adult;$14/Youth. Register online for activity 16514 or call 503.675.2549.

Sugar and Spice, a Holiday Treat with LaRhonda Steele and Julie Amici. This duo has got you covered no matter your musical taste: jazz, blues, R&B, soul and a touch of Christmas. Monday, December 17. Lake Theater and Café, 106 N. State Street. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., Music begins at 7:00 p.m. $20/person; $120 VIP table for four. Buy tickets online.

Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Watch what happens when a teacher casts the worst kids in school to star in the Christmas play. Performances at 7:30 p.m. on December 14-17 and 19-23 and at 2:00 p.m. on December 16,17, and 23. Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street. Purchase tickets online, at the box office or by calling: 503.635.3901. Fee: $15/adults; $12/youth 18 and under.

Holiday Cookie Daze. Bring the grandkids to decorate cookies for Meals On Wheels recipients and go home with a dozen yourself! Registration is full but waiting list open. Thursday, December 20 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, 505 G Avenue. Register for Activity #18477. $5/Resident; $7/Non-resident.

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7 Ways to Enjoy a Giver’s High This Holiday Season in Lake Oswego

I’m sure you’ve heard about a runner’s high, but ‘tis the season to talk about the “giver’s high.” Seems there is a biological reason we feel good after doing good. University of Oregon researchers conducted MRI scans on volunteers after they were handed $100 and then given the opportunity to donate some of it. The pleasure center of the brain was activated not just when the study subjects received the money but also when they gave it away!

So if you are looking for ways to get a giver’s high this holiday season, here are some ideas where you can make an impact on our local community.

Hasson Company Dress for Success clothing drive. Help local disadvantaged women who are trying to become more economically independent by supporting the Dress for Success clothing drive. Donations can be dropped off at any of the Hasson Company Portland Metro offices, including mine at 15400 Boones Ferry Road, from November 12-16. Unlike previous years, clothing is not needed. Instead organizers are in need of women’s accessories (think purses, jewelry, belts), new makeup and toiletries and cash donations—$500 supports one woman’s services through the program for an entire year. Wardrobe assistance is just one piece of the package that Dress for Success offers. Women also receive résumé, job search, and interview preparation as well as job success services. Dress for success is definitely not just a “help out” program but a “hand up.”

Pillowcase Project. The City of Lake Oswego stepped in with a new project when word came down that the Fill a Stocking, Fill a Heart stocking program would not be operating. Pick up a handmade pillowcase sewn by City staff volunteers at City Hall, 380 A Avenue or the Adult Community Center, 505 G Avenue and fill with needed items for homeless families such as toiletries, socks, gloves, toys and games. Return to City Hall by Friday, December 14.

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. Their Season of Giving includes a Stocking Stuffer Drive with a deadline of November 16. Items needed include: baby toys, balls, bath toys, bibs, wrist rattles, action figures, art supplies, dolls, games, and play jewelry. Check here for a complete list. Donations must be dropped off at the warehouse by November 16. 8178 SW Durham Road, Tigard. Hours: Tuesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Wednesday/Friday 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. If you’re collecting after the 16th, check here for ongoing needs. You can drop smaller items at the River West Church in the With Love bin located in the lobby: 2000 Country Club Road. Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tualatin School House Pantry. This Oregon Food Bank affiliate serves 510 families each month living in Tualatin, Durham, Lake Oswego, West Linn, and Wilsonville. Cash donations are welcome to buy essentials and if you donate online, you can designate what you want purchased with your dollars. Canned food donations are also welcome and can be dropped off at bins located at the Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street. Volunteers are also needed in the food pantry as well as delivering and picking up donations. If you would like to volunteer, call the pantry at 503-783-0721 and leave a message for the Volunteer Coordinator or send an email to .

Lake Oswego Toy Drive. Starting Thanksgiving week, you can drop off new, unwrapped toys to the Lake Oswego Fire Department Main Station (300 B Avenue).  Donations will go to the Elks Club who will distribute them to local families in need. Please drop off toys by December 14. 503.635.0275.

Hunger Fighters Oregon. Three years ago when students at Lake Oswego Junior High realized that food insecurity is an issue even for Lake Oswego families, they started a club to address it. Today this official nonprofit distributes food from a pantry located at Lakeridge Junior High School, 4700 Jean Road. Donations are always welcome during business hours every Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Current needs include pasta sauce, white/brown rice, canned chicken, snack foods, paper towels, toilet paper, jam, cooking oils, baking items, pasta (not spaghetti). Cash is always welcome too which you can donate in person or online. A gift of $28 feeds a family of four for a week. Volunteer help is also needed as a shopping assistant helping clients select their items and/or a gleaner, picking up donations from grocers and restaurants in the area. Contact Terri Childress at

HandsOn Portland. Check their calendar for ongoing as well as one-time volunteer opportunities. Many occur year-round such as serving at Potluck in the Park in Portland or delivering books to the Children’s Book Bank. But there are holiday-related events too such as the Holiday Cheer Gift Bag assembly (December 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and distribution (December 2-24) to isolated older adults in the Portland metro area.

Canned food drives at local high schools. Both Lake Oswego and Lakeridge High Schools will be sponsoring canned food drives during the holidays. Lake Oswego High School’s is scheduled November 5-16 with all cans and cash donations going to Hunger Fighters Oregon. Lakeridge had not set a date as of press time so call for more information. You can drop donations off at the high school main office, or if you know a student, send your cans in with him or her. Lakeridge: 1235 Overlook Drive, 503.534.2319; Lake Oswego High School: 2501 Country Club Road, 503.534.2313.

Lake Oswego Lions Club Coats, Blankets and Gloves Drive. Drop off lightly used, clean items at the south entrance of City Hall, 380 A Avenue through the end of January. Hope Sparrow Services will distribute these items throughout the winter to families in need in our community.

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


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Celebrate All Things Brian Doyle at Library on November 6

Tuesday, November 6 is “Brian Doyle Day” made possible by a city proclamation last year in honor of a local esteemed author and friend to many. November 6 happens to be his birthday and so each year on that day the Lake Oswego community is invited to remember or get acquainted with the words and the wisdom of this very gifted man. Enjoy the beauty of the library’s Brian Doyle Garden, take home a Brian Doyle bookmark, and check out one of his books.

Doyle, whose novel-Mink River– was Lake Oswego Reads 2012 selection, would have turned 62 this year had he not passed away last year from complications related to a brain tumor. Over the course of his writing career he left a string of novels, short stories, essays, poems and prayers (or proems as he liked to call them) that speak to his love of language and his fascination with story.

Here is some insight into the man through his own words:

It’s fun, it’s fun to create things… they’re like little pieces of carpentry made out of ink.on writing

The chance to connect, to rub hearts and brains with people, to catch and share astonishing stories of grace and courage and pain and endurance and creativity and laughter. Storycatching and storysharing are crucial ancient holy acts; if we do not do so we will eat nothing but lies and sales pitches. –on what being a writer means to him 

My sister the smiling Buddhist nun says I am congenitally optimistic, as the well-balanced middle child in a large family, but I think it’s more that I just cannot repress the constant stream of amazing examples and chapters of grace and humor and courage and tenderness and humility I see every blessed day. –on his equanimity

I get teased a lot for my style. People are always saying, wow, you have these really long, rollicking sentences and they go on for weeks, a sentence will start on Tuesday and it doesn’t end ’til Friday. But I want to write like people talk. I want to write like I’m speaking to you. -on his style

I dearly love playing with the linguistic tools we are given, and love wrenching it this way and that, seeing what it might do if you let it loose – I am sure, as I have often been accused, that sometimes I can be so headlong and thrilled by the racing horse that it’s hard to read my pieces, but I can also say with high glee that I bet no one ever had as much sheer fun writing prose as me. –on his love of writing

Oh, a matter of gratitude, I suspect; with Mink River in particular I wanted to try to write down Oregon-ness itself, the verb and song and brave of the place, its moist grace, its brawny gentle creativity and prickly communal vibe. I have lived here 25 years and Oregon has given me the people I love best, wonderful friends, good work, clean water by the ton from the sky… Also it’s my home and I want to celebrate its unique verve. –on his love of Oregon

With the holidays approaching, don’t miss a thing! Sign up for weekly updates to “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego” by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the right hand column.



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Plan Your Holiday Activities in Lake Oswego Now (Part 1)

It may not even be Halloween yet but it’s never too early to start booking your holiday festivities in Lake Oswego. Popular events like the Tinseltown Trolley and Holiday Concerts at the Lake Theater sell out early. So start making a list and book the festivities that require reservations.

Luckily there are lots to choose from–so many that I’m covering them over two different weeks. Here’s the first installment.

Bales & Lamb’s Palisades Market Holiday Food and Wine Show. It’s the biggest, liveliest happy hour in Lake Oswego! This annual event is a great excuse for neighbors to catch up over free samples of everything from cheese and wine to eggnog and dessert. Wednesday, November 7 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Palisades Market, 1377 McVey Avenue. 503.636.2213

Taste of Thanksgiving. Get inspired for your Thanksgiving feast with a chance to sample Zupan Market’s Thanksgiving dinner men as well as holiday beverages, appetizers and desserts. Saturday, November 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 16380 Boones Ferry Road, 503.210.4190.

Holiday Open House. Walk through a winter wonderland while you pick up some ideas for holiday decorating. Check out gift ideas, holiday décor and seasonal inspiration along with hot cider and treats. Thursday, November 15 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Dennis’ 7 Dees, 1090 McVey Avenue, 503.636.4660.

Lakewood in City Lights. This annual event is returning to downtown Portland to the Sentinel Hotel. Enjoy dinner catered by Jake’s Grill, entertainment, and silent and oral auction. Make a night of it and stay at the hotel at a special rate. Saturday, November 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $100/person and can be purchased at the box office, online or by calling 503.635.3901.

Reunion Farmers Market. Local farms bring autumn’s bounty to downtown Lake Oswego. Enjoy shopping in the crisp fall air and pick up some fresh ideas for your Thanksgiving feast. Saturday, November 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Millennium Plaza Park, First and Evergreen.

Horse Drawn Wagon Rides. Here’s another opportunity to slow the season down and take in the sights as enjoy a 20 minute ride through downtown Lake Oswego and the First Addition neighborhood while the Reunion Farmers Market is taking place. Saturday, November 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Limited reserved seating ($8/Adults; $5/Youth) is available on the hour by contacting 503.675.3985. The rest of the seats are first come, first served for rides on the half hour: $5/adults; $3/children. Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First Street.

Lake Oswego Arts Council Holiday Gallery. Finding the one-of-a-kind gift starts here where local artists from all media bring their handcrafted work for you to choose from. The gallery is open for business through December 29 on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 510 Museum and ARTspace, 510 First Street. 503.675.3738.

54th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy one of Lake Oswego’s longest standing traditions which includes tree lighting, caroling, treats, and a visit from the big guy decked out in red and white. Friday, November 23 at 5:30 p.m. Begins at Bigelow Plaza on the corner of 5th and A Avenue and proceeds down to Millennium Plaza Park.

Michael Allen Harrison Holiday Show. Popular pianist Michael Allen Harrison returns to Lake Oswego to help ring in the holiday spirit. Monday, November 26 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Lake Theater and Café, 106 N. State Street. $25/General Admission; Buy tickets online.

White Christmas. It can’t get much more classic than this! Enjoy Lakeridge High School’s rendition of this much-loved story. Performances at 7:00 p.m. on November 30, December 1, 6 and 8 with additional 2:00 p.m. shows on December 1 and 8.

Tinseltown Trolley. It’s Lake Oswego’s version of the Polar Express. Hop aboard and let your imaginations soar as you enjoy carols, story time, treats and more! Friday, November 30 with rides leaving at 3:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2 with rides leaving at 1:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Reservations required and tickets sell out fast. Tickets are $19/Adults; $16/Youth 12 and under. 503.675.2549.

Dennis’ 7 Dees Reindeer Magic. Bring the kids to meet Santa and his reindeer. Ticketed admission ($7 for everyone older than one)  gives you access to view and take pictures with the reindeer, ride the holiday train, sit on Santa’s lap, enjoy holiday music and other festivities. There are additional costs for some activities like face painting, food and beverages and professional pictures with Santa.  Tickets are on sale online now until sold out. Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Lake Oswego Garden Center, 1090 McVey Avenue. 503.636.4660.

Holiday Magic Breakfast Theatre—The Peppermint Bear Show:Who Needs Sneeds? Enjoy a special holiday continental breakfast ½ hour before the curtain goes up for this holiday production featuring area high school student performers. Geared for ages 3-12. Saturday performances are twice daily at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on December 1, 8, 15 and 22 and at 11:30 a.m. on Sundays December 9, 16 and 23 in the Lakewood Center Community Meeting Room at the Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street. Advance reservations are required by purchasing tickets either online, at the box office or by calling: 503.635.3901. Fee: $15/adults; $12/youth 18 and under.

Holiday Gift Show at Oswego Heritage House. Get your holiday shopping done early and local with selections that include hats, jewelry, puppets, wine and more. Wednesday, December 5, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Oswego Heritage House. 398 10th Avenue. 503.635.6373.

Christmas Ships Trolley Excursions. Come see the lighted Christmas ships along the Willamette River from the comfort and warmth of the Willamette Shore Trolley. Schedule begins Wednesday, December 5 with two trolleys running at both 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. as well as on Fridays, December 7 and December 14 and Wednesday, December 19. There will be one trolley running on Wednesday, December 12 at 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $30/person. Catch the combined fleet on Saturday, December 15 for $40/person on two trolleys leaving at 3:30 p.m.

Gingerbread House Workshop for ages 6-13. Who needs a boxed kit when you can bake your own gingerbread? Luscher farmhouse Chef Laura Content will help kids bake gingerbread, decorate a keepsake house and send them home with dough to bake. They’ll finish up by making holiday cards. Saturday, December 8 (#18330) from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and (#18337) from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road. $52/Resident; $78/Non-Resident. Register online.

It’s a busy time of year so don’t miss out on what’s happening in Lake Oswego whether you already live here or are thinking of moving to Lake Oswego. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column and receive weekly updates. And if you’ve got a question—whether it’s about buying or selling a home in Lake Oswego or where’s the best place to find your Christmas tree—feel free to give me a call at 503.939.9801. I’d love to help you out!

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