Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s were all spent in Arizona with family (36 of us) from all over the country since it was my mom’s dream to have everyone together this year…she is fighting cancer and so very aware life is short. Coordinating the multitude of flights and travel plans (kids in college, in-laws, busy spouses) was a challenge, but somehow we all managed to make her Christmas dream a reality.
Present over perfect is an apt description of all of us this year, and in addition to celebrating Christmas together, we squeezed in a college graduation party, a girl’s night in, a pro basketball game, mountain climbing, karaoke party, and even an engagement (my nephew proposed to his girlfriend during this vacation).
In recent years, my family has essentially taken over the neighborhood where my parents live. My youngest sister lives with her family just around the corner, her in-laws also live in the neighborhood, my brother lives a mile away, and our vacation cottage is just 2 miles away! I was able to walk to and from my folks’ house almost every day in the 70-degree balmy weather.
My mom and dad always go the extra mile with their entertaining and decorating, and they have a gift for making others feel special. I worry about them at times though since they are getting older and doing all the hosting is exhausting. I had the easy job of snapping photos here and there and preparing a few side dishes…please enjoy a glimpse of the sights and sounds of our holiday 2017.
First, Thanksgiving…last year, on a whim, my sister and I swapped the living room and dining room in our folk’s home since they need to accommodate a crowd quite often and liked the idea of a cozier, out of the way living room. They love this room now and use it for playing board games and hosting dinners.
This was the kids’ table in the kitchen…my mom has placed Carl Larsson puzzles the family completed under the glass top of her kitchen table:
Their dining room hutch/buffet remained in the old dining room which is now the living room and doesn’t at all seem out of place.
It’s Arizona so the sun was shining this brightly on Thanksgiving!
My mom always devotes a Christmas tree to strictly Swedish ornaments, and this tree is in their loft on the second floor.
It wouldn’t be Christmas at their house without a Swedish goat or five…
Downstairs, on the first floor, is another beautiful tree with pretty lit candles.
Before we had a house in the neighborhood, this was my bedroom:
And this is my sister’s bedroom where Gracie and Jada (shihtzu mix rescues my parents adopted) are posing:
Just a mile away, my brother lives in a newer ranch with a top hatted tree:
My brother also has a pair of shihtzus, and on a shelf is a watercolor I commissioned years ago of his beloved, now in heaven, Mindy:
Aren’t these shelves perfect for seasonal decorating?
In my sister’s entry, she has a gorgeous white tree, and her staircase twinkles:
On Christmas Eve at my sister’s party:
This is my sister’s family room tree:
My nieces made this cute area for holiday selfies in their dance room:
This is us:
As you may have surmised, I didn’t decorate our Arizona house. I lit candles and simmered potpourri, but I kindly gave myself a break. Next up, I’ll show you the sweet pink candy house I decorated! Thanks for reading, friends.
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Peace to you right where you are.
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Charming, especially your brother’s Christmas decor. Love the hat topper for the tree!
I love that detail too and am filing it away for future reference! Have a great day, Jo. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your holiday pics. I could feel the joy.
Thanks for following, Rhonda. My family members are much better at creating a festive mood at Christmas than I am! 🙂