Smartest Decision in Our Retirement – Part 12 – Any Christmas Celebrations?

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. December 2014

While waiting for an eye doctor appointment, a lady asked me whether Panorama celebrates Christmas.  (I felt like saying, “Lady, don’t get me started!”)  When I got home, I was curious enough to make a list of options on and off campus.  The list astounded me.

The celebrations hubby Chris and/or I personally attended:

Resident Christmas Party 2014 - Table Setting* Christmas full-plated gourmet meal in our Chambers House Restaurant – Chris and I were treated like kings and queens at the annual event for all residents, with live piano entertainment and the staff helping to serve and host.






Christmas tree 2014 copy* Silver Bells – program benefitting the Providence St. Peter Hospital Center – Panorama bused about 15 of us.  We enjoyed a delicious plated-breakfast among the beautifully decorated trees in a hotel ballroom.  Panorama purchased a lovely tree, displayed this year in the Convalescent/Rehabilitation main entrance.

*Festival of Carols – provided each year with almost full auditorium attendance.  Our granddaughter, 7 year old Hope, went with us to hear retired resident ministers read Bible verses of the Christmas story and hear Panorama Chorus members sing artistic arrangements of carols between the readings.  That’s the highlight of all of the Christmas events I’m blessed to attend with my other Panorama family members.

* Sixty-member Panorama Chorus – we enjoyed exceptionally impressive renditions of carols and holiday songs in our state-of-the-art auditorium designed especially for seniors.

* Christmas Bazaar – is a two day sale of handmade Christmas items usually sold in our Gift Shop, but on a larger scale in the narthex of our auditorium.  Many of my own items got sold…Yeah!

* The monthly Christian Hymn Sing Breakfast in our Garden Restaurant – Les played the piano while we sang our favorite carols, ordered from the menu and visited with old and new friends.

* Seniors in Retirement – a men’s group welcomed spouses for their Christmas luncheon in the Garden Room

* The annual Holiday Remembrance – was a special time hosted by our campus Social Services to honor and pay tribute to the life of a loved one and to provide an opportunity to share their loss with those who understand it the most.  I volunteered to play inspirational carols.

* Our neighborhood Christmas Buffet/White Elephant Party – what fun we had in our Garden Room Restaurant, planned by Lu N. with Helen W. at the piano for carols to sing.  A big Panorama family affair to remember!

* Jammin’ Strings – formed by Carol D, a dedicated volunteer, invited all residents to sing carols in the Panorama Auditorium narthex while other residents played stringed instruments and drum.  She drew numbers to pass out lots of prizes.  What a delight visiting with punch and tons of donated cookies afterward!

* Luncheon hosted by Activities Director Jean – for Activity Desk volunteers.  She provided white elephant gifts and lead the festive game.  We walked away with all kinds of nice little prizes and lovely goodie bags holding a large Panorama cup, candies, and a certificate toward a meal in our restaurant.

* A private party – hosted by our good, fun, faithful friends, Carol and Joe, in their lovely and big Panorama single family home with holiday refreshments for lots of new and old friends.

* My own piano holiday playing opportunities – I personally got to volunteer on campus in Gentle Care, Assisted Living, in the C&R main entrance lobby, PC Care fund raiser and Sunday Vespers.

* Our closed circuit Panorama TV – provided us with holiday music, stories and piano music that PCTV volunteer Paul E. invited me to film.

* The Edward Jones Christmas buffet – on-campus investment advisor, Ted and wife Timmi Poulakidas, hosted their annual gourmet foods and goodies catered by our Chambers Restaurant.  Tables extended from the Panorama entrance, through the hallway and into Panorama Hall.

* Resident Adele Smith’s family – entertained in her honor to a huge audience in Pan Auditorium when her family of professionals played stringed instruments and sang.  Our granddaughter, Hope, Chris and I didn’t want it to end!

Remember, those above are only the celebrations Chris and I attended!               

There were many additional campus and off-campus events that residents attended by riding our Panorama busses.

A few included:

Washington Center for the Performing Arts – Olympia:  Irish Christmas, and White Christmas Sing Along with Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby

5th Avenue Theater – Seattle: “A Christmas Story, the Musical”

Seattle Symphony – Seattle Pops – Seattle: Holiday Pops with Cirque Musica

On Campus in the Barn:  Christmas Comes Early – buy donated items from residents for very low prices: trees, good china, silver, ornaments, wreaths, etc.

Lacey Presbyterian Church: JoySong Victorian Carolers

I’d say, “Yes, I think we have a large selection of Christmas celebrations available on our campus.”  Thank you, Panorama, for all you do for me and my large Panorama family.  We are blessed beyond our ability to say thanks sufficiently.

Mary Jo Bio

One thought on “Smartest Decision in Our Retirement – Part 12 – Any Christmas Celebrations?

  1. Mary Jo is one special person. So glad we met her & Chris some years back.

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