Truth be told, I have so many great holiday traditions that it could become a reality show. Each week, we could have the audience vote on which one they like best and determine the ultimate Tim Hunter Holiday Tradition.
Or not. I’m flexible.
Six decades of celebrating Christmas has resulted in quite a few favorite things, if I can say that without being sued by Oprah.
JULEBORD–One of the Norwegian touches to my holiday season. It’s a big formal Christmas dinner, mid-day, held the first Friday in December at the Seattle Golf Club. For the past five years, the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce has invited me to be the emcee and do a little schtick to kick off the event. I featured the 2016 party in this week’s edition of my Wacky Week Podcast, if you’d like to experience it for yourself. Food, beer, wine and aquavit not included.
SANTA CLAUS’ ARRIVAL AT COUNTRY VILLAGE–I believe this was my 13th year as their Official Town Crier. My duties are fairly simple, but I like to think that I add some fun to an exciting night for the kids. On the first Saturday of December, I show up at the office and put on the Dickens’ style hat, cape and scarf, grab the official scroll (a rolling pin with shipping paper turned into a document) and my own personal bell. Then, I wander this quaint little shopping village up in Bothell, hyping up the arrival of the great one himself. The crowds get bigger every year and this year, Santa arrived in a fancy, schmancy sleigh put together by the folks who do Snowflake Lane in Bellevue. The weather was perfect, the kids were pumped and a great time was had by all. Some good friends have even turned it into a yearly event with a pre- and post-function.
FISHERMEN’S NIGHT–On the second Thursday of December, the Norwegian Commercial Club holds a fund-raiser at the Leif Erikson Lodge in Ballard. It’s an all-you-can-eat-and-drink bash, with some of the best seafood you’ll ever eat. Upwards of 500 people pack the hall, dining on salmon, scallops, crab and more, they salute someone in the fishing industry and then everyone scatters to the area bars of Ballard.
PRODUCING A CHRISTMAS VIDEO–This started with an idea and a Flip camera years ago. I had decent success putting together a music video for the song I produced in my KLSY days, Bimbo #5. That was filmed with a Flip. Then I got a better camera and bigger ideas. I met a young singer named Alana Baxter and wrote some songs with her in mind. Her wandering spirit has taken her to school in Arizona and now work in Hawaii, so that made it a bit challenging to crank out a song this year. However, we’re not through. I’ve just gotta figure out a way to get to this tradition earlier in the year and then release the song around Christmas.
In case you missed any along the way, here’s the complete collection:
2011 It’s Silent Night 2012 He Rides a Sleigh
2013 I won’t hate you very much tonight (It’s Christmas)
2015 Where are you Christmas?
Those are all great traditions and there are more. But there is one that I guess I have to put at the top of the list, if nothing else because of the great response I’ve received over the years and how great it feels to put that much Christmas cheer into someone’s hand:
HO HO BROTHER–That’s the name I gave to a Christmas CD I put together every holiday season. I was inspired by a guy named Rick Taylor, the IT guy at KLSY in my waning radio days. He created his own CD and gave it to me for a couple of years and I thought, “Why don’t I do something like that?” He helped me with the technology and next thing you know, I was creating a collection of songs, radio bits, new comedy bits and blending them all together into a festive chunk of plastic. Back in the day, the idea of doing CD’s was cutting edge. Now they’re on their way out! I still pass out CD’s to family and close friends but should you be interested in hearing this year’s HO HO BROTHER 16, just left click on this link and listen to it, or right click on the link and download it to your computer. Either way, enjoy!
Here’s this year’s playlist:
1) “The New Santa” Fred Bugg as DT
2) “It’s Christmastime/Sleep Well, Little Children” Spike Jones
3) “The Christmas Song” Catherine Feeny
4) “Last Christmas” Jimmy Eat World
5) “Call to Liam”
6) “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” Gaby Moreno
7) “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” The Temptations
8) “White Christmas” Manhattan Transfer
9) “Fruity Pebbles Christmas Commercial”
10) “Yabba-Dabba Yuletide” The Brian Setzer Orchestra
11) “I Saw Three Ships” Barenaked Ladies
12) “It’s Christmastime Again” Peggy Lee
13) “A Keith Jackson Christmas” Matt Riedy
14) “Christmas Blues” Ramsey Lewis Trio
15) “Christmas Memories” Frank Sinatra
16) “Here Comes Santa Claus/Up on the Housetop Celebration” Mariah Carey
17) “Barkley & Shaq Stop By”
18) “I’m Gonna Tell Santa Claus on You” Faron Young
19) “Marshmallow World” Brenda Lee
20) “Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights)” J.D. McPherson
21) “Burger King Christmas Commercial”
22) “Angels We Have Heard on High” David Lanz
23) “Christmas Day” The Beach Boys
24) “Merry Christmas, Baby” Rod Stewart, CeeLo, Trombone Shorty
25) “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” Straight No Chaser
26) “93 KQOT Happy Holidays Jingle”
27) “Gotta Be Good” Chris Isaak
28) “O Holy Night” The Carpenters
29) “Obama Holiday Greeting”
30) “Deck the Halls” Elizabeth Chan
31) “Hallelujah” Pentatonix
It’s no secret that I’m pretty much a Christmas nut. Sure, there are lots of imperfections in this world, but they’ll always be there. This is a time of year dedicated to the idea of hope and peace, and man, could we all use a healthy dose of that this year.
And I’ve got my collection of holiday traditions to help remind me of that.