December 5, 2018

Interview with an Edmonds Elf

From January through November, you’ll find Emily Smith busily curating items found at archaeological digs, even getting her hands in the dirt onsite during said digs. But once December rolls around, you will also find her aboard the Edmonds holiday trolley for four consecutive Saturdays, handing out candy canes and “sharing the twinkle and joy” of the season all through downtown Edmonds.

Ed! had the chance to speak to the beloved Edmonds Elf who is coming back for her second season as hostess of the holiday trolley, which starts up on Saturday, December 1st and here is what she had to share with us.

Ed!: What is your favorite part about being the Edmonds Elf?

Emily: I love sharing the twinkle and joy of the season with everyone who boards the trolley. Seeing the kids’ faces who still believe in the magic of the holidays and also think I’m a real live elf is so much fun. I grew up in Canada which is pretty close to the North Pole, so maybe I am a real elf. Plus, I get to listen to cheerful music all day, wave at people all over town, point out our great Edmonds businesses to riders, and enjoy lots of hot chocolate to drink when we stop at Walnut Street Coffee!

Ed!: Can you share a memory from last year that made you smile?

Emily: So many to choose from! But there is one that comes to mind. One day last year we had two young kids board with their adults in tow. They must have been about two and four years old. They sat right up in the very front of the trolley near me, with their little elf hats and mittens on. Each time the trolley stopped to pick up passengers, they would yell out a greeting of “HAPPAAA HOLIDAY!” with giant beaming smiles. It was adorable.

Ed!: You must get tons of questions from the trolley riders, what are some of the more common ones?

Emily: People like to ask where they should shop and dine will downtown Edmonds and I’m happy to offer suggestions with so many great options for shopping and dining all along the trolley route. But I actually like asking questions to the riders to help them brush up on their Edmonds history.

For instance, asking them if they know where the first jail was located or if they know who George Brackett was. I like sharing that long ago, our Edmonds beaches were not the great walkable spaces they are today. Sharing these kinds of facts makes for a fun, educational ride. I think knowing this history helps everyone feel more connected to what makes Edmonds special!

Ed!: Finally, what are looking forward to in your second year as Edmonds Elf?

Emily: Really, I’m looking forward to all of it! I can’t wait to open up that gold door and greet all of the happy riders with a giant smile and a candy cane. Last year I think we handed out over 1000 candy canes, I would love to double that number this year!

Trolley Details

The free Edmonds Holiday trolley service begins on Saturday, December 1st and will run the next three Saturdays (December 8th, 15th, and 22nd) from 11am to 6pm.

The route will stay the same as last year, snaking through town making stops at Walnut Street Coffee, Hazel Miller Plaza, Edmonds Bookshop, Comstock Jewelers, Edward Jones, Cascadia Art Museum, and ZINC Art + Object.

The trolley comes by approximately every 30 minutes so hop on, hop off, and hop back on to explore the holiday scene in downtown Edmonds!

Don’t Forget: Letters to Santa

Another beloved Edmonds holiday tradition are the hundreds of letters answered by Santa and his elves. Each year sometime during the week before Thanksgiving, Santa’s mailbox magically appears outside the log cabin at 120 Fifth Avenue North. Santa’s elves will answer every letter placed in the box, just make sure to follow these easy rules:

  • letter must be dropped in Santa’s Mailbox at 120 5th Ave N, Edmonds (outside the log cabin)
  • must include a legible return address

The last day to drop your letter off that is guaranteed a reply is 5pm on December 19th. So get your pen and paper ready, write your letter, and drop it off pronto!

Look for our upcoming gift guide for your last-minute shopping needs. And for everything happening in downtown Edmonds this holiday season, visit

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