Christmas…..Arizona Style

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Arizona Style Christmas Celebration

Each region has their own way of celebrating Christmas.  Of course Christmas lights seem just about universal and they are one of my favorite parts of decorating for Christmas.

Some of you may feel that it is not Christmas without snow, but growing up in Southern California near the coast – the only white Christmas that I have seen is watching Christmas movies on television.

Californians have their own way of celebrating Christmas, including a parade of boats decorated with lights and decorations.  One of my fondest memories is sitting on the breakwater and watching the boats parade along the coast.

Well, now that I have lived in Arizona for quite a while, I have become quite familiar with the unique way that desert dwellers decorate for Christmas.

The Christmas tree for our town is not actually a real tree…..

Arizona Style Christmas Celebration
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It is actually made up of tumbleweed.

Arizona Style Christmas Celebration

Hard to believe, isn’t it?

But, it is just beautiful, especially when it is all lit up at night.

Some residents love their cactus and it plays a starring role in how they decorate the outside of their homes.

holiday decorations

Agave also play a part in holiday decorations….

Arizona Style Christmas Celebration

I’ve even seen some agave with round, glass Christmas tree ornaments stuck on their pointy tips.

Arizona Style Christmas Celebration

Did you know that Ocotillo can also stand-in as a Christmas tree?

I hope you have enjoyed these glimpses into Christmas….Arizona Style.

Even though we may not enjoy a white Christmas in our beautiful desert, I like to think of the fact that the first Christmas occurred in a desert not that much different then ours…









Cookies and Sugar Cone Christmas Trees

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
20 replies
  1. Hocking Hills Gardener
    Hocking Hills Gardener says:

    That is hard to believe that the tree is made up of tumbleweeds. Now that is clever and fun. So is the Santa hats. LOL! It is fun to see how others make do with what they have in their gardens to decorate. Thanks for sharing. I have enjoyed your postings so much Noelle.
    Have a wonderful and Blessed Christmas with your family!

  2. Marguerite
    Marguerite says:

    One of the things I have really enjoyed this season is reading all the blogs throughout the world and how they celebrate this holiday. have a wonderful christmas and best wishes to you and your family.

  3. Floridagirl
    Floridagirl says:

    Oh, my. A Christmas tree made of tumbleweed! Wow! We see those giant cacti decorated here for different holidays as well. Ouch is all I have to say.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family! (I'm hoping to get a December MGB cut today or tomorrow. I haven't forgotten…just really busy.)

  4. Alice Joyce
    Alice Joyce says:

    Love these alternative Christmas trees, Noelle!
    Creativity always sparks my interest.
    And the desert is on my mind. Hoping for a trip, however brief.
    Love and all best for the holidays,

  5. Desert Dweller
    Desert Dweller says:

    Great post of all the ways plants decorated in Phx. Too bad your tumbleweed Xmas tree outdoes our tumbleweed snowman – darn!

    Used to light our 2 mesquites, but now that reqs a ladder…1 of them has big spines on it, and also reqs a helmet and goggles. So, no more!

  6. Catherine@AGardenerinProgress
    Catherine@AGardenerinProgress says:

    It's fun to see how people decorate in other places. I love the santa hats on the cactus! That last picture is just gorgeous. I'm hoping your giveaway is a trip to Arizona with a guided tour by you… 🙂
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  7. leavesnbloom
    leavesnbloom says:


    I hope that you and your family have had a wonderful Christmas together. Thankyou so much for all the visits you've made to my blog in the past year.

    I admired that tumbleweed tree last year and those santa hats on the cacti made me laugh. Such creativity is needed with a desert garden at Christmas.

    Have a Happy New Year.

  8. catmint
    catmint says:

    Hi Noelle, I really enjoyed this post, seeing such an original and creative and aesthetic style of Christmas decorations. Here in the old colony we still use lots of cotton wool for pretend snow! Happy new year, look forward to a bloggy 2011. cheers, catmint

  9. Rose
    Rose says:

    Love the tumbleweed tree–how creative! You're right that the first Christmas didn't have any snow, so the Arizona version is much more authentic. I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Christmas together, Noelle.

  10. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Merry Christmas Noelle, i dont know what tumbleweeds are, but it sure makes a very beautiful Christmas tree. I am also grateful for your blogposts and your comments to mine. A Blessed New Year for you and your family.

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