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Homepage / Special Features  / Editor's Journal  / Editor’s Journal–December 2018

Editor’s Journal–December 2018

By Karol DeWulf Nickell, Editor in Chief

Our wonderful, unique holidays

The Phoenix Home & Garden staff thanks you, our readers, for your support this past year. From left to right, executive editor Rebecca Rhoades, associate art director Brian Lilley, art director Holland Utley, managing and copy editor John Roark and yours truly.

This season is special everywhere, but here in Arizona it’s uniquely Southwest. Instead of wrapping pines in twinkling lights, we (carefully) decorate palo verde trees, cacti and pequin pepper wreaths in festive splendor. When he’s in our neck of the woods, Santa leaves Rudolph up north and trades out his stocking cap for a Stetson. And Christmas dinner might begin with homemade tamales and tequila cocktails, and end with pumpkin flan served poolside by the glow of a setting sun.

Our December issue reflects this regional flair. From the cover, which features desert-inspired holiday tabletop creations, to stories inside about artisan-made tree ornaments, fanciful mantel designs, Christmas decorations at some of the Valley’s grandest homes and a very special twist on candy canes and gingerbread houses, we highlight the local love for this time of year. Even as we put on the finishing touches to our last edition of 2018—and Halloween is still ahead of us on the real calendar—it’s easy and lovely to catch the happy spirit.

I’ve found a new word for this contagious phenomenon: jollity. It means lively and cheerful celebration, so it’s a perfect choice. Ok, it isn’t new, being a British term from the 14th century, and it did appear in a 2017 Vanity Fair story about Joe Biden. But when compared to cherished but often-heard phrases of “glad tidings,” “Feliz Navidad” “and happy holidays,” jollity is a fun change.

In this season of giving, gratitude and grace, we wish you and yours a healthy dose of jollity!

Oct. 9

Keegan Lilley “consumer tested” one of the more than 75 local products that are featured in our second annual holiday gift guide GIVE—which is also available at

Oct. 3

Scottsdale is home to world-class private collections. We are thrilled to feature one that’s straight out of the Old West.

Oct. 17

It always takes a village to create the beautiful images on our pages. From left to right, stylist Ron Garnica, art intern Erick Fowler, art director Holland Utley, floral designer Amanda Johnson, photographer Grace Stufkosky and a very happy editor in chief pause for a quick team shot at our cover story photography session. See our story here.

Oct. 11

Our event at CC Patio was a fun and relaxed affair thanks to owners of the upscale outdoor furniture business Hamid and Jasmine Salari.

Mail Editor, Phoenix Home & Garden
6310 E. Thomas Road, Suite 200, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Twitter @phxhomegarden
Instagram @phoenixhomeandgarden


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