Tacoma Rainiers

Thanksgiving at R House: Music, Merriment, and Setting the Mood

By now, you’ve got the nuts and bolts of your Thanksgiving festivities pretty well figured out. The menu is set, you don’t really have to worry about last minute guests during a global pandemic, and your best sweater is ironed and ready to be worn with pride. But what’s missing?

The intangibles of a holiday are often just as important as the who, what, and where. As always, your holiday loving family at the Tacoma Rainiers have got you covered when it comes to making sure this Thanksgiving is dialed in just right.

While we recognize that this year has been a test for all of us, moving forward in a spirit of thankfulness for all that we have is still so important. In the spirit of community, we’ve pulled together Tacoma’s experts in culture and cuisine to help you make the very best of this holiday season. Welcome to Thanksgiving at R House.

It’s almost without question that many of our Thanksgiving celebrations are going to be wildly different than last year’s, but as we’ve done for the last nine months, we will adapt.

Gatherings will be smaller. Some won’t happen at all. Regardless of how you’re doing Thanksgiving this year, we recommend following all local health guidelines.

We’ve already covered wine and cocktails to pair with new Thanksgiving traditions. We also shared recipes, words of inspiration, and after dinner entertainment recommendations. Then we sourced some of Tacoma’s coolest clothing shops on the do’s and don’t’s of holiday fashion.

For this installment in our community series, we’ve reached out to some of Tacoma’s finest experts in music, housewarming gifts, and good vibrations to fill in the cracks of your home’s Thanksgiving experience.

Hi-Voltage Records

(Bru, Matt, and Adam from Hi-Voltage Records)

First? You know how important music is to the Cheney Stadium experience. Afterall, we’re the only professional baseball team with a turntable hooked up to our stadium’s sound system. Tacoma rocks a little harder than other cities, and a huge part of that is we’ve got a world class record store right on 6th Ave.

The musical mood for Thanksgiving dinner isn’t necessarily anything to head bang to, and another thing to consider is that everyone’s got to at least be able to tolerate what’s coming through the speakers. With that, we reached out to Hi-Voltage Records owner Brian Kenney whose staff whipped up a playlist for your festivities. Most of these albums and so many more also for sale all week in the lead up to Turkey Day. Throw this woodsy, Americana leaning collection on shuffle and you’re all set for almost five hours of foreground/background music that will please the whole party.

(Editor’s note: Hi-Voltage Records is an absolutely foundational part of the pulse of Tacoma. They have been open throughout the craziness of 2020 and continue to be the best place to feed the musical soul. Continue to support this local business that is so cherished by the Rainiers family by buying records online at their amazing website, or masking up and checking out the shop which is following strict guidelines to ensure the health of their customers.)

Next up?

A local expert and Tacoma favorite weighs in on the perfect housewarming gift for this Thanksgiving. Not leaving home this year? We’re sure whoever is taking the lead on this year’s food, decorations, and everything else in your home would appreciate a small token of appreciation for their efforts.

Tonya Schneider, Manager Compass Rose

Tonya, posing in front of a place we assume is not in or near Tacoma

This holiday season will look a bit different than those of the past, and these days we are all itching to spend time with those that are closest to us. Giving a thoughtful gift is an extra way to say thank you to your host for the effort involved in the “new normal” holiday gatherings. Whether you want to share a collection of all things local, something delicious to spice up the festivities, or a personal favorite kitchen accessory, Compass Rose is always ready to help you find just the right gift – tied together with a signature bow. When you’re excited about a gift, they will love it even more. Visit us to find our 2020 holiday favorites this year. Located in the heart of Proctor District, Tacoma (and Historic Downtown Olympia).

(Editor’s note: Check out these collections of little gift ideas and tell us you wouldn’t be thrilled to receive these?)

Clockwise from top left; Recycled Skateboard Bottle Opener $30 / Mini Round Cocotte by Le Creuset $26 / Set of 2 Tommy Turkey Dish Towels $14.95 / Assorted Beechwood utensils $8.95 / Baltic Amber Room Spray by Voluspa $24 / Liguiole Cheese Cleaver and Fork $12.95 ea / Pie Bird by Le Creuset $13 / Ivory Tapered Candles $9.95 / How To Set a Table Book $14 / Cherrywood Smoked Salt by Jacobsen Salt Co $12.95

Clockwise from top left; Washington Bamboo Cutting Board $24 / Wild Fig Apothecary Candle by Good + Well Supply Co (Seattle) $28 / Tacoma Adventures by local author Nancy Glen $16 / Heart Tacoma Map Card by Tim + April $4.50 / Olympic Safety Matches by Good + Well Supply Co (Seattle) $22 / Dog Bottle Opener $14 / Mountains Please Sticker by Stickers NW (Tacoma) $3.95 / Mushroom Mug $11 / Don’t Get Lost Deck $7.95 / WA Heart Magnet $6.95 / Mushroom Knife by Opinel $30.95 / Cabin Soap $9.95


Clockwise from top left; Bloody Mary Infusion Bottle $13.95 / Batch Cocktails Book $19.99 / Pretzel and Mustard Gift Pack by Mustard + Co (Seattle) $22 / Black Truffle Mustard $7.95 / Assorted Bartending Glasses $6.95 / Beverage Jacket $12.95 (Beer not included:) / The Essential Bar Book $19.99

(Editor’s note: Thank you very much, Tonya! Keep in mind, that a small gift goes a long way this Thanksgiving season. What’s the old saying again… An empty hand doesn’t get fed? Anyways, don’t be the person who shows up with nothing to contribute. Pop in to Compass Rose all the way up until the day before Thanksgiving and get that little something that will make whoever’s cookin’ the bird feel appreciated.)

 Finally, to ensure this unconventional Thanksgiving in the midst of one of the most mind bogglingly insane years is a happy time for you and yours, we’ve consulted a long-admired practitioner of energy work and sacred spaces. Holidays can be a stressful time. With the year we’ve all endured she’s the best person we could think to ask about preparing your home’s good vibrations before the holidays, and also managing difficult relationships, or areas of sensitive conversation that may arise around the dinner table.

Meesa Pedrozo, harmonics.253

Mentally/spiritually preparing for stressful gatherings of people

The mind-body connection has widely been studied in Eastern medicine which includes Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in China and Ayurveda in India. The wholistic approach to health from this viewpoint acknowledges the interconnectedness of our mind and body.

This holiday season has many complex considerations for the health of ourselves and the health of our loved ones, and it’s important to know that we have agency over how our bodies responds to stress.

First thing’s first, follow any and all Center for Disease Control and Prevention Safety Actions:

  • Promote healthy hygiene practices
  • Wear Masks
  • Increase cleaning, disinfecting and ventilation of your space
  • Promote social distancing
  • Take steps to minimize community sharing of materials
  • Consider Nursery/Childcare safety protocols
  • Education and Training

Modulating stress-response takes time, patience and grace; and it all starts with openness and willingness to reprogram our reactions. Center on yourself. Live in the present moment. Pay attention to your limits. Choose your words. Thinking before you respond. Our ability to take a step back before we mindlessly react to any given situation will give our bodies a chance to breathe into stressful situations and practice detachment.

Remember, you are not your emotions!

Ensuring your space of gathering has positive energy/vibrations for hosting a group

Intention-setting is everything! Beyond saging air-purification practices of Native Americans, or feng shui principles in Chinese culture, there is so much we can do with taking a moment to pause and set an intention for any gathering.

Sweeping the house from the front door to the back of the house allows for the energy to be released toward our past. White candles often represent purity and spirit, inviting angels and ancestors forward into our home. Plants provide living, breathing energy into any space and convert our carbon dioxide into oxygen. Color has a huge effect on mood and placing intentional pieces throughout the home can also signal positivity.

Chakra colors correspond to emotions as well.

Red – Root = Security Orange – Sacral = Creativity, Sensuality/Sexuality Yellow – Solar Plexus = Will-Power, Sunshine Green – Heart = Love Light Blue – Throat = Communication, Truth Indigo – Third Eye = Clear Sight White Violet – Crown = Connection to Spirit Gold – Solar = Sun/Masculine Energy Silver – Lunar = Moon/Feminine Energy

Whichever the approach, be sure to listen deeply to your inner-guide and intuition for your guests needs. Trust in your intention and release any need for perfection.

Eclipse photo from @harmonics.253 on Instagram

Approaching conversations/interaction with people who we have delicate relations with

Given the current health and political climate, it’s difficult to be totally at ease with seemingly normal social interactions. There are strong polarities of thought, that can often leave us feeling judged or misunderstood. Not to mention— dealing with masks, the elimination of non-verbal facial cues/expression and the real risk of exposure to COVID.

When approaching conversations that have the potential of being charged with emotion, or conversely approaching people with whom we feel particularly triggered by, ask yourself what your heart would like the outcome of the interaction to be. Are you satisfied with superficial conversation? Do you want to drive a point forward for the sake of being heard? Is being heard more important than deeply listening to one another? Safe containers for dialogue can become un-safe quickly, especially when people have different expectations and rules of conversation.

We all (reasonably) share the assumption that we have the same basic, human needs and that all actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs. Deepening connections and increasing efficacy of conflict resolution stems from a deeper practice to elicit greater authenticity in communication. We are all responsible for the way that we communicate and deepening our understanding for taking accountability for our aggressive words can lead to the awareness and reprograming of our subconscious action before we become the reason a contained dialogue becomes unsafe.

Steering conversations away from difficult topics/or ways to tackle them when unavoidable

Being human means that innately we are all compassionate by nature. Violent strategies—in physical or verbal form—are ultimately learned behaviors taught and supported by the given culture. Basing our interactions by a non-violent principle, we lead with our heart and meet in shared space, by first identifying that at core, we are all human.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, we have basic, psychological and self-fulfilling needs.

Basic needs: Physiological needs of food, water, warmth, rest. Safety needs of security, safety.

Psychological needs: Belongingness and love needs of intimate relationships, friends. Esteem needs of prestige and feeling of accomplishment.

Self-fulfillment needs: Self-actualization of achieving one’s full potential, including creative activities.

When conversing with others especially concerning difficult topics and unavoidable confrontations, consider what needs you have and what needs the others are trying to obtain. More importantly, ask yourself:

“How may I bring more love and understanding to this situation?”

If it still proves difficult, ask yourself if your strategies have included everything in your power in order for the other person to feel safe, and most importantly, acknowledged. Using the strategy of disarming a critical conversation stems from calling out the elephant in the room and ushering in the shared, human experience.

For example, “I noticed we are both pretty uncomfortable around talking about this, can we respect our differences and focus on the other things we agree on?” The truth is, on difficult subjects, you may never come to a consensus, but the merit and integrity of the relationship can still survive. Compassion, as mentioned earlier, is innately within us.

Our ability to feel sympathetic toward another person involves the use of our heart. According to heartmath.org, energetic sensitivity and empathy is an observable phenomenon (through the use of electroencephalograms).

This suggests that when a person is in a physiologically coherent state, he or she exhibits greater sensitivity in registering the electromagnetic signals and information patterns encoded in the fields radiated by others’ hearts.” What this means is that a person’s ability to self-generate a solid coherent state while communicating with others, will in turn, “become much more attuned to other people and are able to detect and understand the deeper meaning behind spoken words. They often are able to sense what someone else truly wishes to communicate even when the other person may not be clear in what he or she is attempting to say.”

The heart can express what the words cannot.

Through a phenomenon called entrainment, we have the ability to synch our hearts together and we need only be in proximity to one another. Trust in your heart, and trust others in that shared space of connection even through the most difficult and most unavoidable of situations…and I’ll remind you again to BREATHE!

Our heart space is the Sea of Qi (pronounced “chee”) and the simple act of breathing helps free up even the most frozen, guarded energies. From my heart to yours, I wish you blessings and faith in your own ability to be a change-maker for peace.

xo, Meesa

 (Editor’s note: Thank you for the sage wisdom and advice, Meesa. Tacoma, if you aren’t following Meesa on social media, her Instagram @harmonics.253 is a must follow for regular spiritual guidance, insight, and reminders to stay true to oneself. Happy Thanksgiving!)

About the Tacoma Rainiers

The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Tacoma has been a member of the Pacific Coast League since Cheney Stadium opened in 1960, and has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.

The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.

We R Tacoma Team Store

The We R Tacoma Team Store is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT, and is always available online. Grab your Rainiers gear, your Defiance ‘fit, and follow the team store on Instagram and Twitter.



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