I was ready to relax in front of the television, chewing with my mouth open, and so I ordered a celebratory dinner from Thai Siam here in Ballard. Thai Siam is notable first for not screwing around with the spices; I was cowed and humiliated by a three-star dish there some years ago and have stuck with the medium-level since. Anyway...they are also reknowned for their annual anniversary dinner, a day-long bash in which all proceeds are donated to local charities. People line up around the block for this; they've been at it for nearly 20 years.
I went to pick up my food and sat reveling in the loopy warmth of the place: the waiters greeting regulars by name, the flower-wreathed Thai figurines, the enormous Christmas tree looming askew between two tables, the little kid waiting with her family and proclaiming her status as the Birthday Girl.
When I got to the counter, I noticed the stack of fliers they were tucking into every bag.
Free Christmas Dinner For Those In Need
If you know someone who would not be able to have a festive dinner on Christmas Day, Thai Siam Restaurant would like to extend our invitation to a free turkey dinner!
It's that "festive" that laid me out, made me want to roll around in front of the cash register blubbering. Such a lovely word, evocative of so much more than a charitable gesture. The broke, the lost, the lonely...deserving not just a free meal but a festive one. They'll get it, too, packed into that narrow restaurant with the tree and the ornate carvings and the golden origami fish mobiles twirling from the ceiling. Bless us every one, indeed.
I was snuffling into my sleeve until the cashier asked me if I needed chopsticks or forks included in my order.
"Nah, thanks," I said.
"Just gonna eat with your hands, huh?" he asked.
Know someone who needs a little Christmas? You can get more info about the Thai Siam dinner, noon-2:00 on Christmas Day, by calling the restaurant between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.