After the 11 and a half month slog through a difficult 2020, we’re finally in the thick of something a little more cheerful, the holiday season. For ideas on last minute food-related gifts, where to see holiday lights, which Christmas movies to watch and more, read through all of our holiday-related content below. Hopefully they provide you some joy. Cheers!

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112803 #30162  Annual lighting of Christmas tree at Westlake Mall and nearby Bon-Macys star in downtown Seattle.

Shoppers appear near Westlake Park in downtown Seattle Friday after the traditional lighting of the star atop the Bon Macy’s building at Fourth Avenue and Pine Street.

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Looking for socially distant and safe holiday plans? The Seattle Times has you covered with this list of holiday events including light shows, markets, music and more.

Pacific Northwest Magazine, Pacific Northwest Living. Christmas house for 2010, home of Jessica and Ken Greenway. Kirkland, Washington.

We all endured a weird Thanksgiving, and that’s led right into a weird holiday season that won’t feel anything like “normal” at all. But, as with everything in life, there are pluses and minuses to every situation.

Charles Schrag from Seattle has been making the traditional Norwegian food lefse since he was young. Schrag shows off his lefse, which is similar to a flatbread made with potatoes near his Seattle area home on December 7, 2020.  215804

Pronounced “lef-suh,” this paper-thin potato flatbread has graced many a Norwegian family kitchen table around the holidays, and it’s a great COVID-friendly winter activity for you and the kids as you usher in the festive season.

Photos of ACT Theatre’s past Christmas Carols portray rotating casts of beloved performers. In 2011, Jeff Steitzer played Scrooge. Credit: Chris Bennion

Even as we cozy up in our quarantine outposts for isolated holiday celebrations, much of Seattle's theater community has created virtual holiday shows to enjoy from the best seat in your house. Here's our critics' take on a few of them.

To prevent icing icicles from falling: pipe icing where you want them to go, let it dry, and then pipe the icicles. This way, they don’t fall from their own weight. (Stephanie Hays / The Seattle Times)

This year, we decided to try a new activity that, in the Before Times, we would probably not have spent an entire weekend on: gingerbread house architecture. From flour to finish. Here's how that went.

Fireworks go off during the Westlake tree lighting in Seattle on Nov. 29, 2019. 212248

If there's something we can count on every year to brighten up the winter months, pandemic or not, it's holiday lights. Here are several light displays in the Seattle area to view this season.

Metropolitan Grill is one of several Seattle area restaurants offering takeout and/or delivery options on or for Christmas. Make your holiday a little easier by checking out our list of establishments that will do the cooking.

Hate holiday cooking? Make your holiday a little less stressful this year with a takeout meal from one of these Seattle-area restaurants.

Kat Graham and Alexander Ludwig star in “Operation Christmas Drop.”

Looking for a new Christmas movie to watch? Check out our six snapshot reviews of Netflix’s latest holiday releases, including the return of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell as Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Wrapped gifts under a Christmas tree. (Dreamstime/TNS)

Christmas morning can still be festive and exciting with lots of packages under the tree. Here are 13 ways to spread joy without dropping a ton of money.

Sadie Davis-Suskind’s peppermint patties, a cherished family recipe, are easy to make.

Deliver some joy to your family, friends or neighbors by making them peppermint patties. Here's a cherished family recipe from teen chef Sadie Davis-Suskind.

Starlight Lane is a drive through audiovisual lighting and laser display synchronized to music at the Lumen Field garage.  Drivers slowly drive by Holiday scenes. 215846

Starlight Lane is a holiday event at the Lumen Field (formerly CenturyLink Field) garage, with lights and lasers synchronized to music. It's billed as "a rockin' holiday drive-through experience." Could it live up to the hype?

Newspaper comic pages.

Want to use gift wrap that’s sustainable and low-cost (or free)? Check out these ideas for wrapping packages with materials you probably already have.

Nuts: an elegant holiday treat for Santa Claus. To run with Greg Atkinson story in Pacific NW Magazine.
© 2006 Barry Wong All Rights Reserved
THIS IMAGE IS LICENSED FOR ONE TIME, NON-EXCLUSIVE PUBLICATION USAGE IN THE SEATTLE TIMES NEWSPAPER AND ON SEATTLETIMES.COM. Other usage rights may be arranged. Contact Barry at studio@barrywongphoto.com or phone: 206.510.7725.

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Sun, 24 Dec 2006 Ñ Fourth edition ROP Pacific Northwest Ñ page 10

Snacks For Santa

A nibble of nuts is sure to delight the old saint 
Taste
By Greg Atkinson

There are all sorts of ways to add a sugary coating to toasted nuts. This recipe calls for toasting the nuts ahead of time, then coating them in a light glaze before tossing with sugar and salt.

Mary Frances Crosby, daughter of crooner Bing Crosby and his wife Kathryn, does a solo bit to the amusement of the rest of the family as the Crosbys tape a segment of the “Hollywood Palace” television show in Hollywood, Dec. 15, 1967. It will air next week. (AP Photo/David F. Smith) APHS117183

Even our Grinch-y music writer has to admit: Washington state musicians, from Bing Crosby to Lil Mosey, have made not just tolerable, but pretty great, holiday songs. Give a listen to these 15 on our Seattle Times Homestate Holiday Playlist.

Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Kyle Davis as the Soldier Doll, with PNB company dancers and PNB School students in a scene from a previous year’s production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker.” PNB will be streaming a previous production of “The Nutcracker” this year.

Many artists and arts groups have turned to creating online streaming productions. But if you're tired of watching on a small screen, how do you watch them on your TV? Here are some links to guides to help you set that up.

Smoking Bishop, made from ruby port and roasted, spiced oranges, a Victorian Christmas tipple immortalized by Charles Dickens in “A Christmas Carol.” Credit: Tantri Wija

It's hard to keep up Scrooge pretenses in the presence of a true Smoking Bishop: a festive libation of wine, fruit and spices served all steamy and fragrant.

Sydney Waldrop, 16, with brother Ryan, 12, get ready for a photo with Santa at Molbak’s in Woodinville when their parents asked for one where their faces could be more visible.  

Molbak’s has 2 cardboard cutouts of Santa this year. Both are of John Harmeling, a Molbak’s employee who’s been the store’s Santa for more than 15 years.    For Weekend+

Saturday Dec 5, 2020 215820

This year, the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus means parents are scrambling to come up with alternatives to traditional Santa photos. And like everything else, Santa’s gone virtual or plexiglassed or remote so he doesn’t swap germs with any kids, naughty or nice.

An assortment of pot pies made by Logan Niles, the owner of Pot Pie Factory Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 in Seattle. 212776

Since you can't gift an induced coma, how about dispatching something extra-nice to eat? Here are 10 ways to make someone happy, contact-free, while also supporting Seattle-area food endeavors.

Forest Whitaker as Jeronicus Jangle and Madalen Mills as Journey Jangle in “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey.”

You don’t need anyone to recommend those same-old, same-old perennial Christmas movies. If you’re looking to shake up your seasonal viewing, here are some recommendations, grouped by different moods you might be in.

Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Seth Orza as Drosselmeier and PNB School student Zoe Alvarado as Clara in a scene from PNB’s “The Nutcracker,” choreographed by George Balanchine. PNB is streaming a previous production of its annual holiday show in December.

This is going to be a hard year for "Nutcracker" fans: no indoor gatherings, no live performances. But online "Nutcracker" options abound. Here are a handful of mixed Nuts available for streaming, rated on a scale of zero to four sugarplums.

Performance Division dancer Lydia Wondwosen in the role of Snow Queen in Evergreen City Ballet’s “Nutcracker Suites.”

Local performing arts groups project that their virtual holiday shows will bring in only a fraction of their usual holiday revenues. Yet many are proceeding, in new ways and formats, hopeful they'll provide a badly needed dose of tradition and joy.

Chef Melissa Miranda of Musang shared her Lola’s roast beef recipe. 215261

Seattle chefs help us for the holidays by unselfishly sharing their most treasured recipes — and then, by sharing ways we all can help others and build community.

Getting in the Christmas spirit is as easy as taking a spin through Seattle neighborhoods known for their decorations.  Ballard is one.  Hunter Tree Farm in Wedgwood is another.  This home is on 32nd Avenue Northwest near 80th Street Northwest.

How long should you date before you bring your significant other home to meet the family? Our Seattle Dating Scene readers answer that question and share their tips and funny anecdotes from when they brought the S.O. home for the holidays.