Part 9 in a 25 Part Series: Maryann's Favorite Christmas Things


Growing up in Portland my parents used to take us every now and then to the Christmas Festival of Lights at The Grotto.  I loved it.  My family lost their interest much sooner than I did.  They didn't think there was enough to 'do' and almost every time we went it would be really rainy.

But I loved it!  I loved all the lights, the candles lit under the cave nativity, the 'manger' animals in the petting zoo, the 'around the world' creche collection, and of course, the gift shop.  We grew up Protestant so I would look with wonder at all the necklaces (and keychains and rings and plaques) you could buy with the various saints.  Now that we don't live in the area anymore, I don't ask my parents to make the trip, but I do miss it.  For whatever reason next to a Christmas Eve church service, it felt like the most spiritual Christmas thing we did.

None of the following photos were taken by me:

We'd be especially lucky if a good choir was singing the night we'd visit. The church on the grounds is one of my favorites I've ever seen:

(Also not my photos.)

Here I am in 2003 with some family, and a terrifying ghost child who ended up on the film.  (Or a boy who walked into the photo as we were taking it.  Your call.)

Someday I hope to go back.

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