December in the Wedgwood neighborhood in northeast Seattle is full of good cheer with charity drives, holiday decorations and shopping opportunities. In businesses on 35th Ave NE clustered around the intersection of NE 85th Street you will find Giving Trees with tags for items sought by local charities. Take a tag, purchase a gift for a needy family and bring the tagged gift back to the tree. The outreach is through Meadowbrook Community Care (MC2) and includes help for children at Ryther. There is also a Toys for Tots donation station in Wedgwood: bring a new, unwrapped toy to Woodlawn Optical at 8032 35th Ave NE.
Purchase your Christmas tree and decorations at the Hunter Tree Farm, 7744 35th Ave NE next to the Wedgwood post office. A selection of many varieties of evergreens is available, plus wreaths and other kinds of decorations. The Hunter’s unique site has been in operation in Wedgwood since the 1960’s. When not in use for Christmas tree sales, Hunter’s is a year-round open space and activity area called The Gathering Place.
Another unique feature of Wedgwood is the Seattle Audubon Society Nature Shop at 8050 35th Ave NE. At this holiday season the Nature Shop is stuffed with high-quality gifts for everyone on your Christmas list. There are books, calendars, earrings, cards, toys, games, puppets, binoculars and shade-grown coffee, the sale of which supports nature preserves. Because birds and trees go together, the Seattle Audubon Society is a major source of environmental education including field trips and classes for both adults and children.
Delicious holiday foods are part of the enjoyment of the season. You can purchase fresh, ready-to-cook pasta and sauces at LaPasta in Wedgwood for your home use or for hostess gifts. La Pasta also sells a great selection of cheeses, chocolates and caramels at their storefront, 9118 35th Ave NE. Store hours at La Pasta are Tuesday through Friday, 11 AM to 8 PM, Saturday 12 to 6, closed Sunday and Monday.