It is a wonderful life

By: Sharon Jackson

I absolutely adore this time of year! See expression below.


Bulky sweaters. Knitted socks. Hot holiday beverages. “I could go on forever baby!”

My dad and I used to pull out several boxes of tangled strings of large light bulbs from the attic and attempt to wrestle them into a straight line.


After many hours and a few curse words, we would finally attach them ever so precisely to the outline of our home. I am certain we had the best looking house in the neighborhood.

For this reason I get a bit nostalgic on Peacock Lane: a block in Southeast Portland where each vintage Tudor home has been entirely decorated since 1920.

My mother and I would watch A Christmas Story every year [I seriously believe the movie is an accurate representation of her childhood holidays] and laugh hysterically at the leg lamp catastrophe and terrible gifts from distant relatives until we would cry.


My first holiday in Portland, I started to feel a bit homesick.

For this reason I am always present at Portland’s Annual Tree Lighting ceremony in Pioneer Square : the official start to the holiday season with the lighting of the 75-foot Douglas fir and a sing-along of all the favorite holiday carols by a family of random strangers, even in the pouring rain!

Have a Merry Oregonian Christmas

For all of those students staying in the NW over break like myself, you may be wondering what you can do over winter break. We may not have the Rockefeller tree or the Times Square Ball in Portland, but there are many fun local things to do over the holidays. Here is my list of what to hit up during your month-long break:

Peacock Lane Lights – A fun walk/drive with friends and family while enjoying the beautiful festive lights. (December 15-31st)

ZooLights – Take the Zoo Railway and enjoy the lights used to transform the zoo into a Lite-Brite winter wonderland along with hot chocolate and live music.

The Polar Express (Oregon) –If you’re a fan of the movie you’ll be delighted to know that the Mt.Hood Railroad is home to the Oregonian Polar Express. Sing along to Christmas Carols, enjoy tasty treats, and meet Santa on your way to the North Pole—a.k.a Mt.Hood.

The Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights – You can now enjoy the very illuminated Grotto until December 30th. It is a family event filled with lights, carolers, and choir performances.

For those movie lovers, there are several holiday-themed films out. Arthur Christmas is an entertaining family movie that will bring out the 5 year old in you with its Christmas spirit. The film New Year’s Eve, which seems to have cast every Hollywood actor, had a fun storyline that connected all the characters in cheesy yet touching ending. However, if you’re not down to go anywhere, you can always stay home and watch holiday films on TV, eat sugar cookies, and sip on some eggnog… no judgment.