This week in the #Lens-Artist 128 Photo Challenge, Ann-Christine has offered us the opportunity of posting about the holiday season. Terri Webster Schrandt had a delightful post about Holiday Lights on #Sunday Stills.

“It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.”

Pope Benedict XVI

Our Holiday Season’s decorations and lights are downsized this year mostly because of our move rather than COVID 19. A month ago the Ingrao adventurers moved 500 miles from our beloved friends in California to Prescott, AZ.

Vince, Marsha, Kalev, Moji and Nutter Butter Ingrao have been staying with Vince’s sister Cindy, Snowbella, Florabella Ingrao in a two bedroom condo, which we found before we moved. We close on our new home on December 23, and our belongings arrive in January, which leaves no time, no ornaments and no lights to decorate this year.

So this year will be very different. We will attend a Christmas Eve service at our new church. On Christmas we will have dinner with Cindy and the five animals, who have learned to coexist in peace. We will light the last candle on the advent wreath, the candle of love, eat lasagna, salad, and a special chocolate delight Cindy is planning and watch Christmas movies. We might drive back to downtown Prescott and catch a last glimpse of the lights there.

“This is the season when people of all faiths and cultures are pushing back against the planetary darkness. We string bulbs, ignite bonfires, and light candles. And we sing.”

Anita Diamant

Holiday seasons with no small children in the family have been an opportunity for the elder Ingraos (that’s us) to explore unknown traditions. Last year at this time we hosted our blogging friends from Australia. One of the highlights was a trip to Las Vegas for nearly a week. They had not been to the mainland before so this was a holiday treat for all of us.

#Las Vegas Holiday Season

We marveled at the intricate work it took to build these scenes from flower petals. It was like the Rose Parade standing still for us to admire up close. Here is a close up shot of one of the horses. He’s so lifelike you can imagine that the fuzz between his eyes is a cloud of hot breath.

“I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.”

Fred Rogers

Glamour from fairy tales of the past intrigued visitors from all over the world as we mingled in awe of the grandeur. I expected to see Cinderella step out of the carriage. But she did not. She was probably at home waiting for the prince to find her shoe and return it.

The millions of petals making up the coat precious Coca Cola polar bear roused up a lot of “Ahs from the crowd.”

Symbols of the holiday festivities, a nutcracker with his back to the elf and ballerina all stood poised ready for action – or animation.

We walked to and from the Bellagio from our hotel at Polo Towers. It turned out to be much farther than it looked on a map. Outside the weather was not frightful for a late December night, but it was chilly. The Eiffel tower changed colored lights on a timer. I tried to catch several rounds, but the rest of them washed out.

Vince saw something that captured his attention and stopped to take a picture unhindered by anyone in his way. The streets were closed except for the police and a few people that snuck outside of the barriers at intersections. Yet, there was no pushing or shoving. Every one carried on together civilly before COVID 19.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Oprah Winfrey

Justin Beaver, who came all the way from Australia to play with Manny, our teddy bear, was super disappointed in us. Sometimes Manny doesn’t want to go along with the older Ingraos and this was one of those time. If you’ve ever seen a temper tantrum, you probably recognize the scene. Manny needs to have a talk with Oprah.

Mrs. Eternal Traveler did not seem overly concerned with Justin either. She got caught up in the lights and action of the Las Vegas night life.

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

Buddy the Elf

Justin complained to Glen about it, but Glen told him to buck up and change his attitude then snapped his picture. Justin started singing.

Justin sang to Vince, but Vince walked away, looked down at his shoes, and pretended he didn’t notice a singing beaver trying to get his attention. Justin turned his back on him and stared at the lights waiting for the fireworks. It was getting late and past his bedtime. Manny texted him a picture of all his toys.

Justin wished he could have stayed behind and played with Manny. He thought about what his dad said. Justin sang his song again, a little louder.

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

Hamilton Wright Mabie

Several of the young men waiting for the fireworks noticed Justin.

“Aw isn’t the beaver cute?” the young men shouted to each other as they looked back at Justin posing for his blog back in Australia. “Listen, he’s singing his little heart out!”

Justin felt better after people paid attention to him.

The holiday season is about love not about getting presents or even about eating until you are sick.

Remember the hated little tax collector, Zacchaeus in the Bible who sat in the tree waiting for Jesus to come by? We learned that day that God pays attention to us even if others dislike us. He knows us all by name. He loves us, no matter what.

Who knows when the Eternal Travelers will leave Australia especially now that they have a new grand baby. This was a holiday season of lifetime.

What are you doing this year, or do you have a special holiday season?

Don’t forget to join in with the Lens-Artists and Sunday Stills this week because next week they are going to be celebrating. Speaking of which, a new #WQWWC comes out Wednesday. You can check out the topic now and be ready with more celebration. Tie them all together!


61 responses to “Holiday Season: Enjoying the Lights of Las Vegas”

  1. Khürt Williams Avatar

    Stay safe. Stay home. Avoid the church service.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks Khurt. Thanks for the advice. 🙂

      Like

  2. Tina Schell Avatar

    Ah Las vegas – there’s really nothing like it anywhere else! I remember thinking the Eiffel tower looked just a real as the real one! Glad you’re enjoying the newness of your relocation Marsha and so happy to hear you’re getting into your new home. Many blessings to you and a joyful 2021!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Many blessings to you too, Tina. BTW, feel free to link to my #WQWWC. This week the topic is Celebration. Thank you for being part of my Hobby Blogging family. I have gained so much from my relationship with you and the other Lens Artists. Wishing you the best Christmas ever in spite of COVID-19.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tina Schell Avatar

        Excellent, thanks Marsha; will do!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Thanks, Tina. 🙂

          Like

  3. Hugh W. Roberts Avatar

    I’ve been to Vegas several times, but never in December, Marsha. I always wondered what it looked like all decorated up for the festive season.
    And forgive me. I thought you were already in your new home. Didn’t realise you were not moving in until January.
    Merry Christmas 🎄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Hi Hugh, Well, we moved once and got Vince’s sister settled in her new condo (new to her). So we’ve been here almost a month. We close on our condo tomorrow and can start moving in boxes. Our furniture won’t be there until Jan 7-14th, but the previous owners left us a lot of wonderful things including a completely furnished guest bedroom. So we could move in as soon as tomorrow. So exciting!

      Hugh, I want to say thank you so much for being part of the Hobby Blogging Family at my Always Write Blog. It’s been so fun hosting your Story Chat and going from playful to really deep and meaningful conversations. That was one of my best blogging experiences ever. I would never have even started such a series without your encouragement and participation. The comments that we’ve shared back and forth this year on both of our blogs has meant so much. Can you imagine this horrible year without our blogging friends? Lots of love and virtual hugs to you and your family. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy and healthy New Year. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hugh W. Roberts Avatar

        You’re welcome, Marsha. I’m so glad ‘Story chat’ got off to a great start. I’m sure it’s going to be a big success in 2021. And I dread to think what it would have been like this year without all of our online friends. Blogging has certainly helped many of us get through a year where we’ve been asked to distance ourselves from family and friends to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

        I hope all goes well today when you complete on your new home.

        Merry Christmas.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Thank you, Hugh. 🙂

          Like

  4. Norah Avatar

    Enjoy what your new Christmas situation brings – maybe the start of new traditions. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Exactly, Norah! It will be fun. 🙂

      Like

  5. dgkaye Avatar

    Wonderfully festive. I love your photos and quotes Marsha. No church service going on in this city. Be careful! Happy holidays. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, D. G. We don’t come within 15 feet or more of anyone and we wear masks going and coming. It seems pretty safe, but you can never be sure. It’s nice to be with people. Th church holds about 750 and I counted 50 people there on Sunday including the Pastor and music team.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dgkaye Avatar

        Okay, just as long as your safe. And yes, I do remember once upon a time, how nice it was to be with people LOL ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          I know, we forget what it’s like, don’t we? I had a Zoom meeting with my Woodlake Kiwanis Club this morning. It seemed like I was just around the corner, but I’m not. For some reason, it brought tears to my eyes and I had to get up and get a cup of coffee and calm down, LOL. Thanks for being such a big part of my Hobby Blogging Family here at the new Always Write. You have been an inspiration to me throughout the time I’ve been blogging and writing. You do so much for the writing community, and I appreciate everything you are doing. Best wishes for all your new columns on blogs in addition to all the books you write. You are so prolific. So have a Happy, Prosperous and Safe New Year and a very wonderful Christmas. 🙂 Lots of love and virtual hugs, Marsha 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. dgkaye Avatar

            You are too kind my friend. Thank you so very much for your kind comment and wishes. You are quite the inspiration yourself! And glad I re-found your blog. WP does that a few times a year with people, stops notifying, and then we think our friends are on hiatus LOL. But thanks again Marsh. This is such a sensitive time for us all globally, you do what makes your heart sing, and if it brings tears, so be it. I know this very well. I’m kicking this year to the can next week in my year-end post and onwards and upwards. All I want for Christmas is human interaction LOL. Happy, wonderful, cozy Christmas to you and V Marsh, and please keep safe! Hugs ❤ xxx

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Marsha Avatar

            Just get COVID 19 into the past if you have to kick it, drag it, or shoot it in the arm. Then we will all be happier. We met with our new pastor today. He and his family actually just got over COVID. He said it made him more sensitive to the pain of others. I think it has made all of us take a step back and smell the roses, so to speak – unless we got COVID, then we couldn’t smell. But we have had to learn new ways to communicate our love for others. We’ve had to spend more time in our homes with those we are closest to. The repercussions of COVID will reverberate forever in our lifetimes and we don’t even know what they are yet. Little kids growing up now at home, more time with parents, less time with peers and teachers. Having to find ways to study when they didn’t have desks or a quiet place to study. We have no idea how this year will affect them. Anyway, I ramble. Have a wonderful holiday season, my friend. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          3. dgkaye Avatar

            You said a mouthful Marsh, and I’ll add, the escalation of depression and potential suicides – loneliness. Don’t get mme started. It’s Christmas, a time to reflect and remember gratitude. I’m putting on steel toed boots on New Years Eve – this year of shit needs an escort out! LOL Happy and safe holidays my friend. ❤ xox

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Marsha Avatar

            You are just the gal to do it with your super boots!

            Liked by 1 person

  6. restlessjo Avatar

    Sounds like you have your hands full, but Christmas will still be delightful, Marsha. Happy new home, and especially a happy healthy 2021. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Hi Jo, How are you doing? I’m thinking of you daily. We walked through our new home today. It was lovely. The previous owner practically left it decorated for us. The guest room is almost completely decorated. What a nice person. I couldn’t wish for more. I wish you the best for the holidays and for a safe and healthy 2021. Lots of virtual hugs. 🙂

      Like

      1. restlessjo Avatar

        I can feel your warmth and contentment in the words, Marsha. Happy for you 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Thank you Jo, you are a blessing to many. Thanks for being part of my Hobby Blogging Family. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  7. JohnRH Avatar

    Viva Las Vegas. Beautiful! MC and HNY.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      All beautiful. We had a time share at the time and it was right across the street.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. JohnRH Avatar

        Wonnerful wonnerful!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Thank you Lawrence. All you need are bubbles, John! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. JohnRH Avatar

            🙂 🙂 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Leya Avatar

    You must have had a gorgeous time last Christmas! Now you are fully occupied moving – that is tough indeed. But, this year all sorts of tough work and restoring/building has been done here too. Nothing else to do…if you are not working full time somewhere! Happy Holidays to you all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Leya. We did have a great time. This year has been different, but by no means bad. We are healthy, in a good place, and enjoying the sunny weather.

      Like

  9. Cindy Georgakas Avatar

    Really love all of your pics and sentiments for a wonderful holiday Marsha! Enjoy! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thank you so much, Cindy. I hope you have a wonderful holiday as well. I’ll look forward to reading all about it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lisa Bradshaw Avatar

    I work in a tourist village so wee work when everyone else is on holiday.. I normally really enjoy this christmas new year season but the resort is very empty..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks for the lovely comment, Lisa. Yes, I bet things are quiet. It is such a weird year and who knows when it will let up – even with the vaccine. I think it’s great that you have a job! So have a wonderful week. 🙂 Feel free to share about celebrations on the Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays tomorrow. You can share some of your beautiful pictures there too. 🙂

      Like

  11. judeitakali Avatar
    judeitakali

    This such an amazing itinerary. I wish I could borrow some of it.
    Beautiful post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      You’re welcome to borrow the photos, Jude. Those decorations will never be the same. The Bellagio changes out their display 3-4 times a year. (or at least they did before COVID) Thanks for the lovely comment, my friend. 🙂

      Like

      1. judeitakali Avatar
        judeitakali

        Thank you Marsha. 🤗💞

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          virtual hugs xxxxx Happy holidays, Jude. 🙂

          Like

          1. judeitakali Avatar
            judeitakali

            Thank you Marsha. I’ll still be on WordPress though🌼

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Marsha Avatar

            I hope so! I love WordPress for all the interactions. It’s much harder using other platforms, I think. I’ve only used Blogger and some other professional ones, but I keep coming back to WP.

            Like

          3. judeitakali Avatar
            judeitakali

            😃😊🧡

            Liked by 1 person

  12. anne leueen Avatar

    Justin could get in touch with George. George is a very small horse who sits on my dashboard of my car. He sees everything. He is annoyed because this year we are not driving down to Florida. That is a 3 day trip that he always enjoys. Ah well….such is life for everyone in 2020….even tiny horses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      LOL, the temper tantrum begin! Let’s hope he doesn’t rear up on the dashboard, Anne! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. anne leueen Avatar

        George is a seasoned traveler and he knows that rearing up could result in his falling off the dashboard and getting injured. So he is quite well behaved. But you never know…..

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          LOL Manny is quite spoiled. He traveled all over the world (literally) visiting bloggers I couldn’t. The picture you see is from another blogger, and I don’t remember which one, probably Ralph. He took Manny to parties in Spain, and on vacations. It was a fun time for all of us, but Manny has been out of control spoiled ever since. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. anne leueen Avatar

            HaHa! That is terrific . He sounds like quite the lad your Manny!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Marsha Avatar

            He’s got personality. Always did, even before all his trips. He has his own blog, Manny’s Blog, but he gets zero views most days. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  13. the eternal traveller Avatar

    So much fun and many happy memories in this post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      For everyone except Justin , maybe. We loved our time together.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Terri Webster Schrandt Avatar

    First of all, Marsha, I love your choice of quotes, very inspiring, especially the one by Anita Diamant. Great shots of Vegas and all the lights. It’s a lit-up town already and add the holidays, it goes nuts! You guys sound a little cramped in the condo but it will be over soon. I know how you feel, believe me!! My BIL has no clue how to live with other adults. Sigh… Anyway, so glad you could link up today. I’ll be on a two-week break and be back on Jan. 10th! Have a Merry Christmas!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      You need a two week break after the big move and the upcoming move! I’m amazed that you had a post this week. I’m happy to fill in in the future if you need someone. Our living situation actually hasn’t been too bad. We’ve gotten into a sort of routine.

      Here’s a little TMI. It was bad when we first got together because the two dogs barked at the table. Flora looks like a dog but barks like part seal mart sea otter. But a little bottle of vinegar and consistency cured that nasty habit in less than two days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Terri Webster Schrandt Avatar

        Over the holidays, I see a lot of bloggers taking breaks, Marsha. On another break, I will take you up on that hosting offer for sure!! Thank goodness my dogs are well behaved, mostly. My BIL has no gates on his fence, so Hans was out there today working on a temporary gate. I will keep you updated. You are going to be quite busy yourself!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Yes, this will be a busy week. We have a walk-through tomorrow, meet with our pastor on Tuesday, close on Wednesday and meet the internet installer at the house, and on it goes. Details, my friend. You are going through so much right now. 🙂 My thoughts and prayers are with you. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Terri Webster Schrandt Avatar

            I will be beside you in spirit and in similar details, my friend. Fun, though, isn’t it?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Marsha Avatar

            It is. We just got back from our new home walk-through. The previous owners left us tons of little surprise treats all over the house – fancy paper towels in one of the bathrooms, wall hangings, cups that match the decor. She just texted me and is going to bring us several sets of turquoise wine glasses. The guest bedroom is all set up. So cute. The patio is completely set up. Cute flower arrangements that match the curtains. It’s adorable. Can’t wait to show it off. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Terri Webster Schrandt Avatar

            Wow, that’s so amazing, Marsha. We left a glider on the deck, some tree pruning supplies, left over paint for touch ups, my best microwave ever (we get one with the house). I left them a little gift basket with a note to enjoy their new home and make new memories. The owner of your house really went all out! I simply ran out of time and energy to do much more 😪

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Marsha Avatar

            I ran way out of energy. I left them a toaster oven, microwave oven, some things for the cabana, all our yard art, and a bunch of garage stuff like tools and spare parts. But no nice note or basket. I wish now I had left them some furniture.

            Liked by 1 person

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