When I think about Christmas in McMinnville it feels like opening an advent calendar, each little window a surprise tableaux of tiny festivities – a lit candle, a perfectly hung wreath, a shopkeeper reaching across a counter with a just-wrapped package, people snug in their winter coats, a simple child’s toy framed with a sprig of holly.

That McMinnville feels like something of a throwback is the whole point – there is nary a laptop in sight in these little windows, no digital displays on repeat.

What excites me most is how very much alive 3rd Street feels. It’s a full body experience to step into these scenes, so carefully crafted by – can I call them townsfolk? The writer in me does a gut check. Can real, touchable things made by flesh and blood people combine in a Christmas light-strung setting to become magic?

I think it can. Let us not forget that magic is a craft, and craft is made by hand.

IMG-0735The other good thing about magic is that it’s transferrable. So I thought I’d put together a song for everyone who is shopping for the last-minute perfect gift right here in town. These things are a reminder that you don’t need to go far to return a little convivial holiday hocus pocus to your loved ones.

“On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Twelve Pinot tastings
[Do one a month and you’ll hit every one on 3rd Street!]

Eleven skeins for knitting
[From Oregon Knitting Co.]

Ten pints of porter
[Not in one sitting, silly, at The Bitter Monk]

Nine perfect backrubs
[At Spa Bliss for relaxation, at Alderwood Massage for medical issues]

IMG-0723Eight sparkly earrings
[Preferably the raw geodes from Mes Amies Ladies Finery or something special from Accessory Appeal]

Seven sexy tapas
[At La Rambla Restaurant and Bar]

Six fan-girl show times
[The entire six-show season at the Gallery Theater is just $95 for adults and $79 for seniors]

Five “More LOVE” T’s!
[By Maijja Rebecca Hand Drawn, at the McMinnville Holiday Market]

Four funny cards…
[At Third Street Books]

Three French meals…
[at Bistro Maison]

Two romantic strolls…
[To take in the lights on 3rd Street]

And a year of YOGA at 4E!
[We’re all going to need it. 2017 slayed!]

Tag your favorite last-minute gift buyer if I’ve read your mind! Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you all! May the generosity, spirit and light of the season carry you through to a great New Year!

Emily Grosvenor is a magazine writer in McMinnville and the voice behind Tiny Travels. Follow her on Twitter @emilygrosvenor.