Christmas is alive and well at Swains

Two weeks ago there was the athiest sign flap in Olympia.  Here on the North Olympic Peninsula it would seem we are immune, and thank God.   Yes we have very traditional church type celebrations, but what about the other stuff?  what about the Christmas Story?  Not mangers, and angels, the OTHER story you know, BB guns, toys,  Santa, presents,  and turkey.     What about the  Christmas of my youth,  the Christmas provincial.  Where has THAT Christmas gone?

Swains………it’s still at Swains,  and it’s wonderful,  so wonderful it made me cry.

First of all, well its Christmas and its snowing, so  the scene is already set.   I am standing in front of Swains looking at its shabby roofline,  faded parking stripes,  and equally faded paint,  NOT a big box store.  Salvation army ringer,  trees for $15 lights and Swains popcorn smell wafting through the doorway.

Happy people,  there were happy people everywhere,   I walk in and one of the first things I see…..puppies.

Cmon, puppies…there has to be something special going on where ever puppies are concerned.

Just inside the door,  there was a line for Santa waiting there through the toys.

Not too much,  not too little,  but just right.  It was like I stepped 20 years into the past, and it was good.  Swains  hasn’t forgotten that it’s better to look at the glass as half full, and  I think Christmas teaches that same lesson.

Merry Christmas

Thank you Swains,  Christmas wouldn’t be the same without you.


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I am currently on the board for timbertown.  It will hopefully be a heritage site for the logging culture this area was founded on.   By “culture” I am hoping all cultures will be involved, because lets face it man has used wood for a loooooong time.  The passion for wood is deeper in this area, because it grows better here than perhaps anywhere else on the planet.  I was taken aback when my father in law was trying to identify a perticular grain of wood, licked it without hesitation or fear in order to get a better take on its variety.   Such is the passion for wood and trees in this area, from the native dugout canoe and carving, to plywood manufacture, or cabinet making, or paper.   I hope timbertown succeeds, because the grit and self reliance that built this place is slowly melting away.

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