Today, after a great lunch with an internet friend, we drove to the downtown Seattle area not terribly far from the Pike Place Market. Dan and I enjoyed window shopping in the Market but not so much the insane crowds, and so we left the Market proper and just walked around the streets for an hour or so. A big to-do was happening outside a big mall, where people were gathering in anticipation of the giant tree lighting. There were TV cameras and large choirs singing amplified Christmas carols. A group of nattily-dressed people held signs that said “Buy More Stuff!” We left the main crowds and continued up the street, where a group of Ghirardelli employees were also caroling and handing out $1 off chocolate coupons. “Happy holidays!” exclaimed one of them at me, which seemed like a truly genuine wish.
It brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. I’m not sure why, except that downtown Seattle is a good place to be the day after Thanksgiving, when the promise of the holiday season still holds shiny possibility and anticipation. Something wonderful might happen. Something magic. Happiness, even.