December 2018 News & Views
Look for News & Views in your inbox every month to see what's happening at Seabeck.

A Message from the Director
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the entire Seabeck Staff!

It's the most wonderful time of the year...well, sorta. An empty campus can be kinda creepy. After a very long and successful year of hosting groups, the staff gets a little break starting Monday the 10th. I remember the days when this break started in early November. This year it is 18 days. We start right back on December 28th with a big Winter Eliot. It's a strange time of year for us. Our goodbyes move from "See you tomorrow" to "Will I see you next week?"

2018 was a wildly successful year. It looks like income will approach $1.95 million. It seems like yesterday we were celebrating $1 million in revenue. We don't really judge the year by income. Every category was way up: guests days, meals, etc. I want to thank the staff for their hard work and the guests for their loyal support during the year.

We have had a flurry of donations and pledges to the Pines Project. I expect to announce the reaching of the $1.2 million first goal any day. I believe we are at $1,175,000 right now. There's still time to push over the top and get those foundations involved.

Our Site Development Permit was accepted by the county yesterday. This is the vital first step in a long permitting process. I hope to have the permit in hand by February 1st. Then comes the actual building permit.

I hope you and yours have a great Holiday Season. We look forward to seeing you in the coming year, if not before!


Kids Helping Kids:
25 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season
from by Abbey McGee

The old adage, 'tis better to give than receive, can sometimes get lost during the magic and wonder of the holidays. If you're looking for ways to combat the "gimmies" this season, we've rounded up 25 charitable organizations around the city. From donating food and warm clothing to helping a family furnish their first home, the opportunities abound this season. And the best part? Local children will benefit from your family's generosity and service.

1. Budding artists can contribute new or gently used professional art supplies to  Art with Heart , a local non-profit that combines creativity with therapy, supporting the emotional well-being of children and teens adversely affected by hardship. Contact to find out what items are currently needed.

2. Get caffeinated with Callie's Coffee and support pediatric cancer research. Every time you purchase coffee, 100 percent of the proceeds support the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children's Hospital. (Note: This one is for mom and dad; we aren't suggesting that kids drink coffee, but what child doesn't benefit from a caffeinated parent?).

3. Have bikes that are too small just kickin' around your garage? Bike Works makes bicycling accessible and affordable to Seattle youth and gladly accepts donations to give to children during Kids Bike-O-Rama!, a semi-annual event that outfits kids ages 4-8 with a bike and helmet. Call 206-725-8867 or email for more information.

4. Make camp fun and memorable for children facing major health challenges by donating wish list items to Camp Korey. Camp Korey serves children with serious and life-altering medical conditions and their families at no cost, offering year-round recreation with full support for the medical needs of campers, plus all the fun of just being a kid. Contact Devon Little at for more information.

5. Help another child enjoy an outdoor adventure by donating pop-up tents, camp chairs, and new or gently used fishing gear to Catch A Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) for Kids, a foundation that pairs volunteers who love to fish with kids with special needs for a day of fishing. To learn how you can help the organization, contact
6. Spread some holiday cheer by adopting a family through Childhaven's Family Wishes Program . For over 100 years, Childhaven has worked to break the cycle of abuse and neglect and lay the foundation for generations of safe and nurturing families. Help alleviate holiday stress by purchasing specific wish list items for struggling families. Register  online .

7. Recycle your child's gently-used clothing, toys, or furniture for another child to enjoy at no cost. Eastside Baby Corner (EBC) collaborates with local agencies to provide kids' and maternity items to families dealing with job loss, homelessness, and medical issues. EBC welcomes family volunteers (with children age 7 & up) to sort donations and fulfill orders for families in need. Email for more information.

8. Fight hunger with Food Driving Box and Solid Ground's Twice is Nice Holiday Campaign. Pick up your free food box at any of Seattle's 27 food banks and help stock food bank shelves with a box of non-perishable items in November and December. Good to know:  Filling food pantries enables food bank
s to spend resources on fresh protein and produce, desperately needed during the holiday season.

9. Break into the piggy bank and provide meals for the hungry.  Food Lifeline  provides 82,000 meals a day to local food assistance programs, working with the food industry and its surpluses to come up with creative solutions to stopping hunger. Every $1 given to Food Lifeline can provide four meals to a person in need. To learn how you can donate, contact .

10. Stuff some stockings. The U.S. Coast Guard's family and friends sponsor Holiday Stockings for Homeless Children, a program for homeless children ages birth to 17 years living in and out of shelters in the Puget Sound Area. Select some items off the wish list or volunteer to sort and fill stockings on Dec. 12 &13, 2014. Contact Bobette Scheid at to donate stocking stuffers or sign-up to volunteer.

11. Fill Hopelink's Holiday Giving Rooms with toys. Donate a new, unwrapped toy by Dec. 15, 2014 and give parents who are struggling financially the opportunity to hand-pick an item for their child. Hopelink offers many programs including food, housing, family development, and education enabling families in crisis to make progress toward self-sufficiency. To make a donation, contact

12. Participate in the Chanukah Tzedakah Program and provide holiday gifts to local families through Jewish Family Service. Sponsor a family and hand-pick gifts from their wish list. Bring purchased gifts to the Capitol Hill Campus at 1601 16 th St.  in Seattle no later than Dec. 10, 2014. For more information, call 206-861-8781.

13. Fill the racks at the Multi-Service Center's  free clothing bank. The Multi-Service Center offers support and resources that help individuals and families move from crisis and poverty to greater self-sufficiency. The Center currently needs blankets, hat and gloves, and warm coats for infants through adults. Bring your items to the Food Bank Warehouse located at 1200 S. 336th St. in Federal Way,  Mon.-Fri . from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

14. Put a smile on a child's face by donating tickets to local attractions. Olive Crest meets the needs of abused, neglected, and at-risk children and their families by providing safe homes, counseling, and education. Help a child make a smooth transition into Olive Crest's care by participating in a fun activity with their family or support counselor. Contact Alex Kaul at 425-462-1612, ext. 1314 to make a contribution.

15. Gift your baby or toddler a fun, colorful onesie or t-shirt from local kid's clothing line, Jessy & Jack, and benefit Mary's Place Shelter, a day center for homeless women and children. A company with a cause, Jessy & Jack donates a basic t-shirt for every online order.

16. Provide basic essentials to homeless men, women, and children receiving meals from Operation Sack Lunch. Donate new hats, gloves, and travel-sized hygiene supplies. Call 206-922-2015 for more information.

17. Little bookworms can gift a brand-new book to a child. Page Ahead offers literacy support, reading resources, and new books for children and families. Any book is greatly appreciated, but they are particularly in need of Spanish picture books. Email for more information.

18. Care for therapy horses by donating hay or carrots. Raven Rock Ranch rescues and rehabilitates neglected or abused hoses and pairs them with at-risk youth. This free program aids recovery by building a bond of trust between child and horse. To contribute, contact

19. Who doesn't love a tasty treat? Purchase cookies ($18/dozen) at CookieFest 2014 at the downtown Seattle Macy's on Dec. 13, 2014 from 9 a.m-noon. All proceeds from the cookie sales will benefit the Seattle Milk Fund, an organization that funds childcare grants and provides family support to parents pursuing higher education opportunities. To learn more about this program, email

20. If you're kiddo's closet is busting at the seems, Stock The Wearhouse-a free store for foster children-is currently accepting donations of clothes, shoes, and supplies. Treehouse helps foster children secure basic material needs, education, and social experiences that help them build confidence, strength, and resiliency. Call 206-267-5185 to schedule a drop-off appointment.

21. Collect coins through the Kids Helping Kids (KHK) campaign benefiting homeless children. Wellspring Family Services serves low-income children and families working to build healthy families by concentrating on mental health, family homelessness, early learning, basic needs, and domestic violence intervention. Your child can directly impact a homeless peer through this easy way to give. For more information or questions about KHK, call 206-902-4229.

22. Host a diaper drive at your holiday gathering. Westside Baby works with agency partners to assist low-income families with children's essentials. Diapers are always needed, as well as donations of new or gently used equipment, gear, and clothing. To sign up to host a donation drive, contact Virginia McFadin at 206-686-6548.

23. Help a refugee family furnish their first home in the United States. World Relief Seattle helps resettle refugees and immigrants from nearly 50 countries. Recruit another family or two and shop for a replanting lives kit or donate items from the general wish list. To get involved, call 253-277-1121 x. 233 or email

24. Help kids on the street survive the cold winter months by providing warm clothing, coats, sleeping bags, hats, and gloves. Youthcare serves over 400 young people each month, some as young as 12 years old, providing a hot meal, a place to warm up, and survival supplies. For more information, email or call 206-204-1412.

25. Sponsor a supply drive. Youth Eastside Services (YES) promotes healthy families by offering counseling, treatment, and education. YES offers a wide array of programs and always benefits from donations of school supplies, summer camp necessities, activity tickets, and gift cards. For more information, email

Milltown Christmas Ornaments in the 1800's

The earliest in the early 1800's, as we've mentioned in passing,were fruit (particularly apples) and nuts. These, along with the evergreen trees themselves, represented the certainty that life would return in the spring.

Other fruits began to be added, along with paper streamers and bits of shiny metal foil. Whether a tree was lighted or not, the idea of reflecting the light in the room where the tree stood grew in popularity.
Another concept, too, began to take hold with the German families in whose homes the first "popular" trees resided. Food, often gingerbread or other hard cookies, would be baked in the shape of fruits, stars, hearts, angels and - yes - bells.

As the idea of decorated Christmas trees spread, various countries added their own variations. Americans, for instance, would string long strands of cranberries or popcorn to circle their trees. Small gifts began to be used to decorate the tree, sometimes contained in little intricately woven baskets, sometimes nestled in the crook of a bough, sometimes just hanging by a thread or piece of yarn. In the UK, creative ornaments of lace, paper or other materials showed the variety of interests and talents of their makers. Small "scraps" cut out of newspaper or magazine illustrations also found their way to the family's tree and after a few years it became harder and harder to actually see the tree beneath the ornaments.

Up to now trees had been decorated with the creative efforts of the loving hands of family and friends. In the latter part of the Nineteenth century various German entrepreneurs began to make ornaments that were mass produced and sold strictly as Christmas ornaments.

The area around Lauscha, long known for its glass making, was the hub of the glass ornament trade in Germany. Firms which had been making glass barometers, canes, ointment bottles, goblets, bulls-eye glass window panes, eyes for stuffed animals and brilliantly colored marbles discovered that they could diversify into making molded glass ornaments. Initially replicating fruits, nuts and other food items, they soon branched out and began to manufacture hearts, stars and other shapes that had been created out of cookies but now had the added dimension of a wide color palette enhanced by the luminosity of the glass itself.

Soon the glass blowers of Lauscha were creating molds of children, saints, famous people, animals and other forms - and discovering that there was no apparent end to the market for this new type of Christmas ornament. Nearly everyone in the town was involved in some way in the creation of Christmas ornaments with whole families working either in a factory or in a home-based foundry.

One of the first American mass merchandisers, F.W.Woolworth, began importing German glass ornaments into this country in the 1880's and by 1890, according to one source; he was selling $25 million worth of them. Need we remind you that the name of his stores was Woolworth's Five and Dime Stores? That's a lot of ornaments. We'll find Mr.Woolworth's name appearing again a few decades later.
We've mentioned before about how legends play an important role in the way we celebrate Christmas today. One of the most popular concerns

For generations people have been hiding a glass ornament - most likely from Lauscha - in the shape of a green pickle (gherkin or dill not specified). The rationale for the pickle is that German parents started doing it to reward the most observant child in the family. The first one to spot the pickle got an extra present from St. Nicholas on Christmas morning.

It's a lovely story. Except for some small details: St. Nicholas traditionally comes to visit German children on the Fifth or Sixth of December, German children traditionally open their presents on Christmas Eve, and most Germans had never heard of the pickle ornament.

According to a recent highly reputable online review, the story gaining currency these days involves a Bavarian who came to America and fought in the Civil War. Captured by the Confederates and confined to the notorious Andersonville prison, the Bavarian, John Lower (Hans Lauer, perhaps), starving and near death, convinced a jailer to get him a pickle to eat. Buoyed both mentally and physically by eating the pickle, Lower survived and began his own tradition of hiding a small glass pickle ornament in the family Christmas tree. Its finder on Christmas morning would benefit from a year of good luck.
Perhaps it's just a coincidence that the main source of pickle ornaments was Lauscha. It does make a good story in either case.

In our next installment, we'll look at other types of ornaments and see how they evolved through the early part of the Twentieth Century.

Not far from Lauscha is the German city of Dresden. As their fellow craftsmen in Lauscha were blowing glass, artisans in Dresden were making ornaments out of pressed and embossed paper. Often highlighted with bright, even garish, colors, these ornaments were not just Christmas-themed but included fish, birds and other animals that, while consistent with Christmas ornament traditions, were also suitable for other occasions such as birthday parties.

Other ornaments from the late-Nineteenth, early-Twentieth century were made of pressed tin (much like many of the mechanical toys coming out of Germany at the time and those of Louis Marx later in America) with brightly colored lithographed surfaces. This was the time, too, when the thin foil strips we know as "icicles" or tinsel made their appearance. To their German creators they were known as "angels' hair".

During the nearly seventy years of her reign, Queen Victoria presided over a resurgence of the Christmas celebration. The illustration of her family around their Christmas tree that appeared in Godey's Lady's Book in December, 1860, inspired Americans as well as their British cousins to follow her example with a decorated tree of their own. Many customs of Christmastime past had faded during the early part of the Nineteenth century, but her adoption of the season (if not the actual day of present-giving - she continued to follow an older tradition of giving gifts on January One) encouraged the rediscovery of Christmas carols, charitable giving at the season, and, of course, hearty meals of roast beef, goose or turkey followed by plum pudding.

Many of the ornaments decorating the trees of Victorian households were of the handmade craft variety and instructions for their construction were included in popular magazines. One example includes an early light bulb, encased in a tatted net, with an observer's woven basket suspended from the bottom: a perfect hot-air balloon.

The ornaments that were commercially available tended to be a bit on the gaudy, well, colorful, and side. They might include brightly illustrated figures of cute angels, cute children, cute animals, and cute elves - well, you can see the trend here. They would also include fanciful creations of airships and other imaginative craft captained by Father Christmas or even Santa Claus - depending on which side of the Atlantic you resided.

There was an abundance of lace, delicate curly wire decoration, bead work, tinsel and other materials... often on the same ornament.

As the Twentieth century began, Christmas and its celebration was, for most Europeans and Americans, a time to focus on the visible aspects of the season with an emphasis on the delights of children. Gift-giving to the younger members of the family was encouraged not only by the youngsters themselves, but by enterprising merchants as well.

The number, variety and complexity of glass ornaments coming out of Germany was now augmented by competitors in Czechoslovakia and other countries. These ornaments, however, retained their handcrafted originality, even when produced in the vast numbers demanded by an ever-growing consumer base. Because they were all handmade, by people who often followed in the glass-making traditions of generations of their families before them, each ornament had a touch of individual craftsmanship.

World War I, the War To End All Wars, not only halted production and shipments of ornaments from Germany, but created a momentary backlash against all things German. This was the time of the Hot Dog that was once a frankfurter, of Victory Cabbage (the salad formerly known as sauerkraut), and the recasting of street names from proudly German to perhaps civic-minded boosterism American.

Look Who's at Seabeck When You Are Not!

Washington Conservation Corp

Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) is an AmeriCorps program that creates future leaders through community involvement and mentorship. We have more than 350 members and experienced staff statewide who restore critical habitat, build trails, and respond to local and national disasters.

Through AmeriCorps, our WCC program provides hands-on experience, field skills, and training opportunities to young adults between 18 and 25 and  military veterans . We work in partnership with nonprofit and governmental organizations that apply for WCC crews or individual placement members to  complete projects .

Our Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) provides disaster services in Washington and beyond, assisting communities after fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, oil spills, and more. Four of our WCC crews are designated disaster response crews, though any crew has the potential to deploy.

While providing disaster services, members will be away from home for up to 30 days at a time. Housing accommodations may consist of a campsite, community center basement, or other makeshift location. These are rigorous assignments so be sure you are up to the challenge before applying to one of our disaster response crews. Beyond our four designated disaster response crews, WCC member participation in response efforts is voluntary.

The November retreat at Seabeck was the first for this group and we hope to have them back.

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