Instead of material goods, give a shared experience this year. This is an especially smart idea for visiting friends and family who can leave with light luggage and full memories.
These five Seattle-area events think outside the box, because you already know about “The Nutcracker.” Included are ideas for those who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, the winter solstice — or just enjoy filling their cups and bellies with holiday cheer.
See “A Very Die Hard Christmas” at Seattle Public Theater. The Bruce Willis action flick set on Christmas Eve becomes a musical in this local parody adaptation written by Jeff Schell and comedy troupe The Habit, and directed by Mark Siano. The hilarious crowd-pleaser with original music and a live band plays through Dec. 28. Book early — last year sold out. Yippie-ki-yay! $26–$32 at seattlepublictheater.org
Sing along to “Fiddler on the Roof” with SIFF. So, nu, is Christmas not your holiday? What, you should stay home alone while others make merry? Celebrate a new “tradition” with your people Dec. 25 at an afternoon screening of the beloved Jewish-themed musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” preceded by free Chinese take-out from Leah’s Gourmet Kosher Foods and live klezmer music by Orkestyr Farfeleh. L’chaim! $20–$25 at SIFF Cinema Uptown and siff.net
Go out for hand-crafted local eggnog — or make it together at home. Take visitors to Capitol Hill for Sol Liquor Lounge’s famous aged eggnog, available by the glass from Dec. 20–25, with limited quantities available each day. Or try your hand at home by mixing 1.5 ounces of Sun Liquor Distillery’s 2019 Holiday Spirit Blend of bourbon, American single malt whiskey, aged rum and apple brandy, with 5 ounces of egg nog (we like Twin Brook Creamery Egg Nog from Lynden, Washington). Eggnog: $11 per glass, solliquor.com; Holiday Spirit Blend: $20, exclusively at Metropolitan Market
Experience holiday high tea at the Hotel Sorrento. Take them to fancy holiday tea at the historic Hotel Sorrento, where the midday British tradition gets a bit of Seattle flair with Market Spice teas from Pike Place Market and blends from local tea company Zendog. The elegant multicourse feast includes an assortment of dainty treats such as English cucumber tea sandwiches, cured salmon on rye crisp, French macarons and, of course, scones. $70 per person Fridays and Saturdays in December, reservations recommended, hotelsorrento.com
Go snowshoeing with the experts. Gift a snowshoeing experience with REI Co-op for some quality time outdoors. Options include the Moonlit Showshoe Tour, with headlamps and warm beverages; Showshoes and Brews, which culminates in a trip to Leavenworth’s Icicle Brewery; and a Luminary Showshoe Winter Solstice Celebration. Destinations include Mount Rainier, Mount Baker Lowlands, Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass and Blewett Pass. Transportation, instruction, snowshoes, poles and more are included. Some experience expected, but a Snowshoeing Basics class is available for free to get them ready. $99–$199 at rei.com/events