by Susan Fried
I’ve taken photos of kids with Santa Claus for many years, including a brief stint as a Santa photographer at the downtown Seattle Nordstrom in the mid ’90s. Christmas hasn’t officially arrived for me until I see a child staring up into the eyes of Santa, trying to remember what they want him to bring them for Christmas.
This year, Santa made an appearance at Rainier Avenue Radio’s First Annual Holiday Bazaar in the Columbia City Theater. Unlike last year, a fully vaccinated Santa was able to spend a little time with each child, receiving their Christmas wish lists and allowing their family to get a quick photo.
When I first started taking photos of children visiting Santa, it was pretty rare to see a Black Santa in our city. Thankfully, we now have Santas nearly as diverse as the South End community.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Santa’s Back
by Patheresa Wells
Now that we are through the hectic online shopping seasons of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many find that they are still looking for items to cross off on their shopping lists. And while the issues of inflation and bare shelves might make it harder to find what you need, especially for last-minute shoppers, they also provide a great opportunity to support local small businesses by shopping directly from Black, Indigenous, and BIPOC-owned businesses that could benefit from your hard-earned dollars. Remember, in order to move toward equity, it is paramount that we shift our funds into the hands of those who have been systematically shut out from acquiring wealth. If you are looking for somewhere to start, here is a guide to help you in your quest (but remember to check with sites or stores for shipping deadlines):
Continue reading Buy From Black, Indigenous, and BIPOC Businesses This Holiday Season
by Susan Fried
The Holidays, like everything this year, have been changed by COVID-19, and one of the annual programs affected by that change is Toys for Tots, an organization with over 70 years experience distributing toy donations to the community. Traditionally, Seattle fire fighters partnered with the Marine Corps by collecting donated toys at Seattle fire stations, but due to COVID, this year the Marines and the Seattle Fire Department held two drive-through drop-off events: one on Saturday, December 5 at University Village in North Seattle and one on Saturday, December 12, in the QFC parking lot on Rainier Avenue South.
Carol Slosberg, who lives in South Seattle, said, “when my kids were young we picked gift requests off the tree at U Village. This year I decided to stay closer to home and this toy drive fits that. The need feels especially overwhelming this year.”
Continue reading Toys for Tots Adapts to Increased Need in Pandemic Times
by Elizabeth Turnbull
As the days grow increasingly colder and winter rains are set to wash away the leaf-covered sidewalks, stores and businesses are preparing for a unique year of holiday shopping amid the pandemic. While many corporations have turned to e-commerce, small businesses are left to fight for visibility.
In an effort to support local businesses through the pandemic and the holiday season, the City of Seattle and various partners launched the “Shop Your Block” retail map last month to make it easier to locate small businesses and shops owned by women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
The map, which lets users search for retailers in their area or via address and neighborhood, is a part of a larger campaign, created through a partnership between the City, Comcast, small businesses, and business district organizations, to help small business owners, who have been particularly affected by the economic repercussions of the pandemic.
Continue reading City Map and Resources Provide Easy Ways to Holiday Shop at Local Businesses
by Elizabeth Turnbull
As the food-centric holidays of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s Day approach, many Seattlietes are confronted with maintaining financial and food security amid the new lockdown and further deliberations over future federal aid.
Various food banks in South Seattle have seen an increased need for food in the community from the beginning of the pandemic response in the spring. As happens every year around this time, this need has become even greater in preparation for the holidays.
Continue reading As Holidays Approach, So Do Food Insecurity Concerns
Story and photos by Susan Fried
Nothing really beats seeing a child’s eyes light up when they see Santa Claus, or even seeing a child with the opposite reaction, bursting into to tears after being forced to sit on the lap of some chubby, bearded man in a red suit. The secular part of modern Christmas is for children and for the memories we have of our own childhoods around this time of year.
Continue reading Celebrating the Holidays in the South End
by Jessie McKenna and Marti McKenna
This year for Shop Small Saturday, Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) embarked on a month-long campaign to promote small business in Seattle, with a particular focus on PoC-, immigrant-, family-, LGBTQI+-, and women-owned businesses—and businesses owned by folx at various intersections therein.
Continue reading Ditch Amazon, Shop South End “Gems” This Holiday Season