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J is for Jolly St Nick Cacti

Arizona Cactus wearing a Santa Hat (photo by Tui Snider)
Arizona Cactus wearing a Santa Hat (photo by Tui Snider)

Christmas in the Desert

My family and I spent last Christmas in the desert. Needless to say, it was not a white Christmas, although the opening lines of that famous Irving Berlin song, did apply:

The sun is shining, the grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway
There’s never been such a day
In Beverly Hills, LA
But it’s December the 24th
And I’m longing to be up north

At least, they sort of applied. We were actually in Arizona, and I don’t think any of us were longing for snow or New York. It was tough to get me out of the swimming pool, in fact!

Cactus Wearing Santa Hats

Despite the lack of snow, there was not shortage of Christmas lights and decorations in sunny Arizona. I especially got a kick out of all the cacti wearing Santa hats. Turns out this whimsical attire also serves a practical purpose. According the gardening section of the Mesa, Arizona newspaper, topping your cactus with a hat protects it from Jack Frost. Nifty, eh? I like it when things are both cute and practical.

Arizona Cactus wearing a Santa Hat (photo by Tui Snider)
Arizona Cactus wearing a Santa Hat (photo by Tui Snider)

Follow me on Instagram & I’ll follow you back!

I’ve gone from turning up my nose at the idea of cell phone pictures, to being an avid iPhone photographer, which is why my theme for the 2014 A to Z blog challenge is Instagram Travel Photos. If you are on Instagram, I’d be delighted to follow you. Simply follow my photo feed (@TuiSnider) on Instagram and I’ll follow you back!

For more, check out my collaboration with Morgan Dragonwillow. Morgan used my iPhone photos to accompany her poems in a book called Wild Woman Waking. Check it out!

Arizona Cactus wearing a Santa Hat (photo by Tui Snider)
Arizona Cactus wearing a Santa Hat (photo by Tui Snider)

What is the April A to Z Blog Challenge?

Each April, people from all over the world participate in the April A to Z blog challenge, and you can too. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a great way to meet other bloggers. To play along, all you do is make a blog post for each letter of the alphabet during April, then use the blog hop linky to visit as many other bloggers as you can.

My A to Z Inspired Book: Unexpected Texas

I’d like to thank everyone who commented on my blog during the A to Z Challenge last year, because it convinced me to take the self-publishing plunge. On March 2, 2014, I released Unexpected Texas as a paperback and eBook and it quickly became an Amazon Best Seller!

Check out other A to Z blogs below:

Check out the other participants of the A to Z Challenge 


Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. That’s so cute! I’ve often wondered what it would be like to spend Christmas in a warm location.

  2. Hooray for jolly cacti! I’ve never spent a Christmas in the desert, but I don’t think I’ve ever spent one in the snow either. I’m ok with something in between, I guess. :)

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      You’ve never had a snowy Christmas, Chuck? Wow! That’s foreign to me, but I did grow up mainly in eastern Washington State. One time we even went to Yellowstone National Park for Christmas. It got down to 55 degrees below zero. Brrrrrr! :D

  3. Reminds me of the time my cousins lived in Australia. They would open presents on the beach and then call us and laugh!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hi Stacy, Wow! Opening presents on the beach. How decadent! :D

  4. Cute pics! The first year I was in Mississippi for Christmas with hubby’s family, I couldn’t get over how weird the Christmas decorations looked without snow. It wasn’t right! LOL

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hi Patty, I grew up in chillier climes, so warm weather and Christmas always feels a bit strange to me, too. :D

  5. Lol, the pictures cracked me up :) We live in MI and we always head out the Saturday after Thanksgiving and cut down a tree, usually in the cold and snow. I never thought about what people do in warmer climates!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hi Finley Jayne! I grew up in cooler climes, so a hot and sunny Christmas always feels a bit strange to me. Even so, we really enjoyed it. :D

  6. This made me smile, Tui! I am from the Northeast and don’t know what I would do without the snow or the changing of the seasons. But I’d like to see a cactus with a Santa hat on. That would be hilarious.


    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hi Cristina! Those cacti were all over my parent’s neighborhood. Very cute! :D

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