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12/08/14 - Seattle - The Sheraton Cookie House Competition

Every December we try to get to the Sheraton to see the the wonderful seasonal gingerbread concoctions in their lobby. This year the entries were better than ever, and they really helped us get into the mood for Christmas.

This amusement park had a K'Nex roller coaster, as with so many of ours, out of order.

The tropical paradise was as wonderful underwater as above - note the dangling fish below.

This Seattle montage might have been our favorite.

That's Big Bertha emerging from its caverns below route 99.

That's Santa being pulled by a team of salmon.

This one is a traditional nativity scene, complete with the star and the manger.

Note which inn is out of room: The Westin.

We aren't too sure about this Aztec temple with its motto - "From the bottom of our hearts." Uhh, really. This is Christmas.

They did have some tired reindeer soaking their feet.

There was a great Christmas village.

We think that's either a happy Seahawk or a happy Seahawk fan.

Keywords: christmas


11/28/14 - The Kaleberg Advent Calendar

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can decently release the Kaleberg advent calendar. An advent calendar is a calendar that keeps track of the days before Christmas, often a seasonal scene with little doors that are opened to reveal pictures or treats as the big holiday approaches.

Our calendar has been electronic for years now, so we've released our Kaleberg advent calendar as an interactive web page to get people into the seasonal spirit. If you have a late model browser on your computer or are running a more advanced version of IOS or Android, you should be able to join the excitement.

Just follow the link to the Kaleberg Advent Calendar web page and start exploring our Christmas village. Use the four arrow keys to navigate (or touch and drag if you have a touch screen). The carols will begin to play. While you explore the virtual village, watch for changes. This village, like us Kalebergs, takes Christmas seriously.


Explore our Christmas Calendar

Keywords: christmas


01/06/14 - Final Portraits - Christmas Roundup

The Christmas season is over, but the memories linger. With the days so short, we really appreciate the festivals of light.

Dawn on Christmas Day - Of course we were up.

Our tree at peak Christmas - fully loaded

Our wreath

The cookie tree

Some of this year's cookies - thanks to our friends

Keywords: christmas


12/28/13 - Our Cookie Tree

Here's a quick shot of our cookie tree with its candles lit. File this under extreme Christmas.

Keywords: christmas


12/15/13 - The Kaleberg Christmas Party

To celebrate Christmas, the Kaleberg Compound was converted into a Christmas cave, shrouded in greenery and full of warmth and light. There was also cassoulet. Two years ago we had some problems with our cassoulet, but this year we bought most of our pork products from the Clark Family Farm, so our cassoulet was a sparkling success. In fact, this may have been our best cassoulet ever.

This party was also the coming out party for our renovated Empire State Building, now with glowing Neopixel lights, and it gave Godzilla an excuse to positively glow with atomic fire.


Welcome to the Kaleberg Compound.

Our big tree and the decorated mantle.

Our party spread with half and half cookies, dried fruit sweet meats and our illuminated fruitcake. Not shown: the egg nog and the brie en croute with cranberry chutney.

Another view of the table.

Atomic flames, holly lights, skyscrapers and a fruitcake

The big tree in full form

The cookie tree waiting for its gingerbread

The cassoulet

Our champagne forest

Keywords: christmas, clark family, kale


12/12/13 - Santa Claus is Coming to Town

We heard the siren relatively late last night. It got louder, then softer, then finally louder again. It was the annual Port Angeles Christmas firetruck. Santa was on board with his Christmas tree and his escort of elves collecting money for the food bank and passing out candy canes. Yes, Santa Claus is coming to town.

The Port Angeles Christmas firetruck

That's our neighbor's lights across the street.

Santa on his appointed rounds

Keywords: christmas, port angeles


12/11/13 - Edible Art at the Sheraton - 2013

Every Christmas the downtown Sheraton in Seattle hosts some serious gingerbread cookie art. There's more than gingerbread, of course. There's also a lot of candy, spun sugar and serious imagination. This year, the theme was nursery rhymes, rendered as charmingly as ever.

That's Jack's beanstalk towering over Seattle.

This is jolly old London, the setting for oh so many nursery rhymes.

London Bridge is falling down.

Hickory, dickory, dock.

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe.

I saw a ship a sailing.

A close up of the ship - The windows were magical.

If you look carefully, you can see the cow jumping over the moon.



A rendering of Seattle under the bean stalk.

Keywords: christmas, seattle


12/10/13 - Seattle Cranes

It is our favorite time of the year for visiting cities, because this is the time everyone gets serious about decorating for Christmas, and Seattle is no exception. There were wreaths and roping and Christmas lights everywhere, so the city was at its best both by day and by night.

The downtown Christmas tree

The Space Needle and one of the many construction cranes

The Space Needle a bit later - That's the Pacific Science Center down on the left.

The Space Needle and even more cranes

As dusk approaches, the cranes take light.

The guys must have had some real fun decorating this one.

Downtown by night

That crane from another view

More cranes decorated for Christmas

The Space Needle with its Christmas tree topper

The Space Needle again

Keywords: christmas, seattle


12/05/13 - The Making of the Kaleberg Christmas Tree 2013

Our 2013 Christmas tree is coming along nicely. We were driving home from the Farmers' Market and saw a huge tree right on First Street. We screeched to a halt, probably scaring the drivers behind us, but we had to check out this tree. It was huge. It was green. It was a monster. It was way too big for our car, so we had it delivered. Then came the wiring and the lighting, and then the ornaments. It's still a work in progress, but we have to admit that it is quite a tree.

It started right after Thanksgiving and Hanukah collided.

In came the tree, another monster.

Christmas wreath

Early lighting test

All the great skyscrapers are doing this lately. Why not?

By day

By night

Keywords: christmas


12/31/12 - Two Out Of Four

This was a last minute Christmas present suggested by most recent flight back from Seattle. The climb out of Boeing Field takes one over an industrial area south of Seattle. It doesn't look like much by day, but there are all sorts of fascinating lights by night. One set was hypnotizing, a set of four columns lighted two at a time, moving about an invisible shape. A quick trip to the Radio Shack provided an Arduino processor and some red LEDs. JoAnn's fabrics and hobby supplies next door provided four plastic columns for supporting elaborate wedding cakes. Add in a glue gun, a soldering iron and some black foam board, and there was something new under the tree. Be sure to click and watch the dark video. It can be hypnotic.

Click the image to see the movie

The works in a drawer

Click the image to see the movie

Keywords: christmas, seattle, science, art


12/20/12 - The Kaleberg Christmas Party - Grownups Edition

Here are some photos from our grownups Christmas party.

Our welcoming shaman transforming

How many calories in a choucroute? If you have to ask, you can't afford to eat one.

The Christmas table lit by atomic fire

Definitely the grownups party

It was also the eighth night of Hanukah

Half and half cookies and other desserts

Our big tree

Keywords: christmas


12/19/12 - Seattle Sidewalks

With all its evergreens, Seattle doesn't have to work hard to be Christmassy. Still, a lot of folks make an effort as we discovered exploring the hills Capital and Queen Anne.

They've turned on their lights.

Another of the stately homes near Volunteer Park

More lights and a wreath

A very traditional display

A more modest home

Even the folks who maintain those communications towers have decorated for Christmas.

This year's trend - antlers for your car - We saw another set with lights, but they drove before we got our camera out.

Christmas brew

More Christmas lights - pooly photographed

How to dance the rhumba - sort of Christmassy in bronze

This was left over from the Day of the Dead - not Christmassy at all, but unusual

Keywords: christmas, seattle


12/18/12 - Christmas at the Volunteer Park Conservatory

One of our favorite places in Seattle is the Conservatory at Volunteer Park. It takes a bit of climbing up Capital HIll to get there, but the display there is always amazing. It's even more amazing around Christmas.

A winter scene in Seattle with the Space Needle in the distance

There are always orchids at the conservatory

But, around Christmas, they do the place up proud.

Christmas trees, poinsettas, and a model train set

More Christmas flora, decora, and wonderful, steamy greenhouse warmth

We dropped by to visit the cactus.

A nautical scene

Another view - so cozy

A plethora of Christmas trees - our kind of place

Winter foliage

There is always something even more amazing at the conservatory, like these flowers growing from the edges of this air plants leaves.

Keywords: christmas, flowers, seattle, winter


12/17/12 - The Gingerbread Display at the Seattle Sheraton

Whenever we get into Seattle around Christmas, we check out the gingerbread display in the lobby of the Sheraton. They always have some amazing constructions, and they always get us into the Christmas spirit.

This is actually the Macy's display which was on our way to the Sheraton.

That's Ariel on the left, Disney's Little Mermaid.

This one, with amazing spun sugar domes, is based on Aladdin.

Beauty and Beast, meeting on the bridge

This castle features tales from the Brothers Grimm.

This confection is based on Lewis Caroll's confection, Alice in Wonderland.

That's the Jabberwock up there.

That's Ursula, Ariel's nemesis, in her cave.

That's Aladdin with the genie.

Keywords: christmas, seattle


12/13/12 - More Christmas Pictures

There is no such thing as too many Christmas pictures Chez Kaleberg.

Our mantle - Yes, this is technically not a Christmas picture, but there is no need to get technical.

The big tree - There wasn't room for the spire on top!

Two kissing lizards

Keywords: christmas, kale


12/12/12 - Cookie Tree Preview

Here are is a first look at this year's cookie tree. Our thanks to all our friends for helping decorate it.

The cookie tree

Keywords: christmas


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