Creating a Plan B during the Holidays

For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays! I hope you had a wonderful meal surrounded by family and loved ones. If you are a Facebook friend, I know you had a great time because I saw your festive photos and I liked them all.

When I was younger, I remember large family meals with even larger portions of food. Because of various XYZ reasons, holidays are now usually just me and my mom, at a restaurant. We have an enjoyable time but it’s certainly not the Norman Rockwell painting version of my childhood memories or what our society’s advertisements say I should be doing during the holidays. However, at least I don’t have to deal with dishes.

Because my family in Ohio won’t be able to come over to my home and see my holiday decorations, I came up with a Plan B. For the past few years, I have been a volunteer holiday decorator at the Pittock Mansion. Along with a few great friends, I pour all my crafting creativity into decorating a room that will be enjoyed by hundreds over the holiday season. In 2015 we decorated their sewing room with the Nutcracker theme.

Every year I attempt an ambitious crafting project with no blueprint and this year I set the bar at 7 feet, as in a 7 foot Nutcracker. With a friend’s help, I created this nutcracker with the hope that families, couples, and individuals will come to the mansion and possibly leave with a photo taken with him. It’s my way of sharing the holidays from my table of two to the entire Portland Metropolitan area.




Bucking traditional holiday trends or creating one’s own customs have always fascinated me when I read about them in stories or when shared to me by my friends. What is something special you do for Holidays?




About Jessie Smith

Health Care Worker by Day, Aspiring Author by Night and 24/7 Staff for Riley (Corgie/Tibetan Spaniel Mix)

Posted on November 30, 2015, in General. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Jessie, you continue to amaze me with your crafting abilities. I’m also thankful for the work you do at Pittock Mansion. We will not be getting there this year, but if we did we would definitely take a picture with your nutcracker. Thank you for all the volunteer work you do!


  2. My custom is matching making my friends… how about an upgrade on that nutcracker, Jessie? Blind date for the holidays? Just say YES 🙂


  3. Hi Asa – I certainly don’t envy your shipping bill to send gifts to Europe but I applaud your organizational skills 🙂


  4. I love your Nutcracker man!

    Since most of my family and my husband’s family live in Europe, we have to do all our holiday gift shopping early to get it in the mail and on time for the Swedish and UK Santas to hand out the gifts. So, by the time the holidays actually roll around, my stressful work is all done. So, I like to kick back with a mug of spiced wine in my hand, a warm doggie on my lap, and a good movie on the TV.


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