Four ways to get into the holiday spirit, including an early night hanging out with Santa

Carolers will greet the Argosy Cruises’ Christmas Ship when it comes to Skansie Brothers Park.
Carolers will greet the Argosy Cruises’ Christmas Ship when it comes to Skansie Brothers Park. Courtesy

Christmas is coming early to Gig Harbor.

If you want to do more in December than count down the days to the new year, the Downtown Waterfront Alliance has some suggestions:

Deck the Harbor

The eighth annual event again challenges merchants to create imaginative holiday displays.

You can vote for your favorite store decorations in the People’s Choice Voting by filling out a ballot by writing in the name of the business with the most festive decorations.

Voting will end Dec. 16.

Hayrides with Santa

Children can take a one-block hayride with Santa on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8.

A short stop is made during the ride to hear live Christmas music and a sing-along with Santa. Cameras are encouraged.

The hayrides will run from 4:30-7:30 p.m. and start at Timberline Bank on Judson Street.

Refreshments will be available, and the ride is free.

The rides are sponsored by Miracle Ranch and Timberland Bank.

Hark the Harbor

Entertainers and musicians will lead Christmas carols starting at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Skansie Brothers Park.

Songbooks and candles will be provided.

The carols will be sung before the arrival of the Argosy Cruises’ Christmas Ship, which will be decorated from bow to stern.

The Olympia Youth Choir will performing from the ship, starting at 6:15 p.m.

Giving trees

The Gig Harbor Lions Club is sponsoring giving trees at business throughout downtown.

Residents are asked to take tags from the trees and buy the “special wish” items written on the tags. The unwrapped gifts should be brought to the business with the giving tree by Dec. 14.

The Cheney Boys and Girls Club and FISH Food Bank will distribute the items to needy children in the Gig Harbor area.