It's the most wonderful time...
You both grew up in areas with snowfall in December. Tell us a favorite memory from your youth during this time of year?
Ross: As a kid I would hike deep into the woods with my dad making fresh footsteps and exploring the animal trails. We would just hike and go… and see… and come home tired, wet and accomplished. I loved it.
Georgie: My favorite memory of snowfall was the winter of 1996. Snowfall in the pacific northwest lasts a couple days here or there, unless you’re up in the mountains. That year, we had so much snow and so much ice that the mall parking lot froze over like a giant ice skating rink. It was my first year having a driver's license and I had this beast of a car; a 1977 gold Chrysler Lebaron V-8. It was a gas guzzler at almost $40 to fill up, (which was a lot back then) and my parents so graciously did that for me once a week. I had this buddy John, who was like a little brother and didn’t have his license. He convinced me to sneak out, pick him and his friend up and take my car out to the mall parking lot so we could do rodeos and slides. We went for about 3 hours flying across the ice and laughing so hard the entire time. Then I realized the gas was down to empty. Asking my parents for gas money didn’t go over well so I had no car for a while.
What’s the most cherished gift you’ve received from the other on Christmas morning?
Ross: The most cherished gift I received from Georgie for Christmas is shoes. I get a lot of shoes from Georgie on Christmas and I always cherish them. She has good taste and it bleeds into my apparel.
Georgie: The most cherished gift was when Ross took me to his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan to introduce me to his entire family. It was our first Christmas as an engaged couple. His family spent Christmas Eve together for a big family reunion and it was such a great welcome. But here’s the most memorable - our second Christmas married after we had just had our first baby. I was basically living in maternity pants for over a year between being pregnant and postpartum. I was ready to be out of stretchy pants and feel cute again, but none of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit the same. I asked Ross for clothes that Christmas. Christmas morning came and we started opening gifts. Ross got me a pair of size 13 jeans (I wore a 4), which I held up and said “seriously!? Do I really have this large of a bottom right now!?”. He also got me the most bedazzled shirts I have ever seen, a rolling pin (I have never used one before and I’m not a pie maker), a giant butcher knife (because we needed one for the kitchen), plus two York peppermint patties to which he said: one was for him and the other was for me, “Because you know, we share everything”. The good thing is that we laugh super hard about this every year and yes, he’s much better at gift choices now.
Your family celebrates Christmas during the holiday season. What goes on your Christmas Tree?
Ross: My favorite ornament is a paper angel that I made for me and Georgie in our first year married. I did a color design from pieces of magazine scraps and made a really pretty yellow, orange and red angel. The reason why I like this angel is because it represents a time when I had no choice but to make my own ornaments because I couldn't afford anything else. Well, we did get a box of silver circle ornaments from the 99 Cents store. Still got them.
Georgie: Growing up, we didn’t have much. My mom and dad were always working so hard just to put food on the table, that the time we spent together as a family was our simple joy and entertainment. Every year going to the tree lot to find our Christmas tree was so much fun! We would all weigh-in on the perfect tree for that year. Once we got it home my dad would take forever to get the lights because he is a lighting perfectionist. My sister, brother and I would eagerly wait so we could put up our ornaments. Our ornaments were a mixture of homemade ones from friends and family, ones we would make at school, some cereal box ornaments (80’s cereal boxes were the best with the hidden toys), and just one new ornament which is all we could really afford. Several years ago Ross and I were going through a very difficult time financially, had a 2 year old and a newborn and no money for Christmas. So my parents sent down all the crafty, homemade and yearly ornaments I had growing up. And today, those are the same ornaments that go up on our tree every year. It brings the biggest smile to my face seeing my children place them on our Christmas tree.
Douglas Fir is a popular tree this time of year but you work with reclaimed Doug Fir everyday. Besides becoming a Christmas tree, what do you think a Douglas Fir truly wants to be?
Georgie: I think because of it’s softness, it wants to be free in the wild and blow the fresh fragrance of sap and pine in peoples faces as they walk by…Or, it wants to be a Grateful Table to show how refined and mature it is.
Since it’s the season of giving; besides bow-wrapped presents, what does giving over the holidays mean to you?
Ross: I love to give. I love to volunteer my time or my work towards benefiting others that need it. We have done lots of donating of material and furniture pieces in the past to churches, schools and fundraising. The more you give the better you feel. I am a firm believer in that. I don’t need anything in return. I'm already blessed.
Georgie: To me, it’s about giving your care and time which can mean more than any gift. I remember several times in my life of people giving to me generously and how much that meant and truly helped me. So it’s been very natural for me to give to others. During the beginning of the pandemic, Ross and I felt so led to give from our business to other local businesses in the area who were struggling to stay open and keep business alive. We are all put on this Earth to co-exist with one another, and being able to lift someone up when they need is most important.
Favorite holiday song!
Ross: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire by Nat King Cole
Georgie: Someday at Christmas by Stevie Wonder
Favorite holiday cocktail?
Ross: Whiskey on the rocks. Warm. Simple.
Georgie: I do make a pretty good Egg Nog, but my favorite drink is one that Ross makes and it is a hot toddy with tequila. He smokes a cinnamon stick, fresh lemon juice, honey and hot water with the tequila…SO good and comforting.