Well, here we are, December 8th, and the house is fully decorated, the tree is up, the lights are hanging outside, and I anchored our arm-waving Santa with several 10" tent stakes and so far he's withstanding our nightly 40mph gusts. Last year, I had to pick him up out of the dirt and snow every morning and put him back together again as if he was some lost relative of Humpty Dumpty.
Last Saturday we completed the first of our weekly "lets do something Christmas-y" events. We went to Pacific Place mall in Seattle and watched the fake snow fall. Every night throughout December in this mall, fake snow falls from the rafters for 15 minutes. But it's actually a lot better than it sounds. The mall is 4 or 5 stories tall and is shaped like a "D" with a very tall empty-air section in the center. Machines near the ceiling spray a fine mist of bubbles (smaller than a pea) that fall slowly to the ground while being hit with spotlights and backed-up by loud Christmas music. Some of the bubbles fall slow and move around on the air currents from the ventilation system while others glom onto one another to form "big flakes" that fall faster.
While soap bubbles may not sound like an ideal imitation for snow, you can't tell that the snow is fake until until it lands on you. Only then can you tell that it's actually micro-sized soap bubbles. And yes, we did actually drive over several inches of the real stuff upon backing out of our driveway to go into the city that night to see the fake snow, but it was still very spirited and very cool. People everywhere stopped for 15 minutes and looked up at the falling snow and smiled, and laughed, and posed for photos. Children were running around catching it, and even some of the elder folk in the mall stopped and smiled and looked like kids again. If ever so briefly.
They then trampled said little kids en route to the Build-A-Bear store.