Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Our Lifestyle Adventures: Having a Special Christmas Week in Phoenix!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Our Lifestyle Adventures: Having a Special Christmas Week in Phoenix!

Simplest Nativity Scene
Christmas Tree Decorating Contest
at Knights of Columbus Christmas Party
Our Christmas week began with the first ever Knights of Columbus Christmas Party for Bill and me. It was a night of new friends, good food, some dancing, and lots of fun. The highlight was the Christmas Tree Decorating Contest where our table volunteered Bill. He was so game that he came out winner, w
hat with five other people enthusiastically dressing him up with the bag of d├ęcor we were given!
my first ever football game live!

we were around the Seahawk colors amid the sea of red
Then it just so happened that the Arizona Cardinals, then leading their NFL division, were having their crucial match with the Seattle Seahawks, the runner-up, at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Even if the ticket prices were very high, Bill bought two for us to let me experience my first ever live football game. And was it a big thrill! We luckily had seats that were with a Seahawks crowd so we had so much fun screaming and high-fiving the night out. Most of the Cardinal fans left the stadium when it became evident that the Seahawks would gain the division leadership. The score was 35-6! 

Christmas Eve Dinner
white palms surround  the 4-story singing Christmas tree
For Christmas Eve, we went to the famous Christmas at the Fairmont. The resort hotel chain makes it a point to dress up their properties all over the US for a Christmas to remember. We had dinner at the Toro, their newest food and beverage outlet specializing in Latin cuisine and overlooking the golf course. We both ordered dry-aged New York strips done to perfection with the house Toro salad and delicious house golden bread for starters and port wine for desert. 

4-story singing Christmas tree
After dinner we toured this Fairmont property at plush Scottsdale Princess Drive. There was a four-story Christmas tree whose millions of lights danced to Christmas songs. Then we walked to the 88-foot Nativity Garden right next to the lagoon bedecked with lighted Seven Swans a Swimming and other spectacles. A few buildings away was Desert Ice, an ice skating rink right next to an outdoor bar surrounded by vertical gas-flame decorative heaters. It was too bad Santa went on leave for the night to deliver presents around the world. But a Christmas Carousel was a good substitute. The lights all around made the hotel a Winter Wonderland especially for kids like us. No wonder families pay the hefty price for a couple of nights stay. It was a marvelous mecca for Christmas.

ice skating at Fairmont
Then we went to hear Christmas mass at St. Bridget’s (our home parish did not have one scheduled at 10 pm). It was an elegantly decorated church, with a simple but striking Nativity scene. And the service was music-filled as almost every section was sung!

When we got home we had the opening of our Stocking Stuffers. Bill and I established this very American tradition that helped to ease my missing of family during this very family-oriented time of the year for Filipinos. We did better this year since we did not source our stuffers at the Mall. They all came from the Mesa Marketplace, favorite year-long weekend flea market in downtown Mesa.

opening of gifts!
Christmas morning is reserved for opening of the real gifts. We had so many presents from around the country that either came online or were delivered. We also received calls from our children and grandkids. But the highlight of the day was the diamond earrings Bill gave me along with Deejay and Suzanne. Finally, I had my everyday diamonds to wear! Bill got a mere Surface keyboard and a 60-minute tennis lesson from me. Shame on me!I should do better for his birthday!

Although I wasn’t with family, as is the custom in the Philippines, what with our children in four different states in the United States plus two other countries, Bill and I have made our Christmases always special even with just each other. Phoenix had great places and activities to make it happen in 2014!

And yesterday, the day after Christmas, this blog reached  501,665 views after 3.5 years!!

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