by Sarah Kaczka, William Byrd, and Anna Krcek
Trends in the Pacific Northwestern United States:
Christmas Tree Farms:
In the Pacific Northwest, we take our evergreens seriously. There’s something extremely festive and exciting about bundling up, grabbing an ax, and heading out to a local tree farm with your family to select and chop down the perfect tree. However, tree farms are more than just a beloved tradition in the Northwest; they also have a large global impact during the Christmas season. In 2012, 8 million of the 30 million trees harvested by American growers came from the farms and natural stands of the Pacific Northwest growers. Annually, some 92 percent of trees are exported out of the region. With an intake of 45% of these imports, California is by far the largest market. There is also a large overseas and foreign market to regions such as Japan, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Guam and Puerto Rico.
Showing off your favorite red and green sweater is another popular way to get into the Christmas spirit. And the uglier it is, the better. Scavenging local thrift stores such as Goodwill and Value village and then reselling them online has proven to be a profitable practice during the holidays. Sweaters originally bought for under $10 can sell from anywhere from $30-$50. If you want to really stand out with a custom one-of-a-kind sweater and don’t mind paying a higher price, online marketplaces such as etsy.com feature hideous handmade sweaters starting around $65.
Argosy Christmas Ship Festival:
The Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship festival is a holiday celebration that has been a tradition in the PNW since 1949. Every year, the Argosy Christmas Ship sails past over 45 locations along the coast. On board the ship, choirs sing performances while thousands of people gather around roaring bonfires on the shore anticipating its arrival. Those with their own boats can also join in on the festival by decorating their own boat with lights. If you’re looking for an extra festive experience, you can also enjoy dinner aboard the ships. A ticket aboard the Royal Christmas Dinner cruise costs $84.65. While a little pricy, the experience is incredible and definitely worth it. Plus, it’s for a good cause. Argosy Cruises donates a portion of all ticket sales to benefit Fund For The Needy.
Trends in the Southeastern United States:
Pecan trees are native to the South and were considered a delicacy in the Colonial era—And they become very popular over Christmas time! Holiday dishes are loaded with pecans- baked into cakes, pressed into cookies, sprinkled on salads and they are a extremely important ingredient for a delicious famous pecan pie! People honey glaze them and gift them to each other, and mom’s have been known to sprinkle them over tables as edible decoration! Some may consider the south’s craze over pecans to be a little nuts, but the season just wouldn’t be the same without them!
During the holiday season, most people decorate the outside of their houses with lights and wreath’s—However, in the south, people tend to take it another sep further! They compete with one another to see who can make the inside of their house the most festive while also maintaining a good old fashion sense of style, and all the mother’s and grandmother’s go over to each other’s houses and copy all the good ideas they see and try to outdo one another. The men are usually happy when this part of the holiday has finally passed!
It may seem odd, but Oysters are actually very popular around Christmas time! December means colder water, which creates the perfect conditions for the best tasting oysters. So obviously, oysters are a popular dish on a southern dining table during the holiday season. These delicious morsels are seen smoked, steamed, scalloped, on the half shell, and a nice creamy oyster stew is a very popular Christmas Eve tradition among many families!