Dear Claudia:

It’s time to put up the Christmas decorations. Like every year we are looking forward to setting up the Christmas lights outside the house, but this year we don’t want to get carried away. How can we keep it simple?



Wow, December is here along with the spirit of Christmas. It is definitely nice to see all the homes festively decorated for the Christmas holiday. We all dream of a whimsical Christmas and it’s worth the time and effort spent setting up our homes for the holidays.

One can start by drawing attention with simple strings of lights to highlight the best features of your yard or try using one of the new styles of lights on today’s market. Lighting the sidewalks and driveways is also dramatic. The entrance door should be elegant and dazzling with an eye-catching wreath to add a personal touch and it will be your guests’ first impression to the Christmas décor inside. Don’t forget to add ribbons and stick to a theme. For a whimsical theme why not use some inflatable decorations?

Make sure not to overload your outlets and to test the lights before putting them up. With a little planning your home can make the holiday bright for you and your loved ones, as well as everyone that drives past.


Dear Claudia:

This year I would like to make memorable experiences for my family during the holidays to celebrate the end of a difficult year. Please give me some suggestions.



It has been a tough year for many people because of the economy. However, it should not stop us from enjoying the holidays. We should be looking forward to creating incredible memories with our loved ones.

Keep in mind that there are many arts and crafts ideas that kids can enjoy and, at the same time, help to decorate your home. For example, instead of making decorating our homes a stressful experience, make it an event where the family can create memories and it can become a tradition. Our tradition is to go to my friend’s home and help her family decorate her tree and they come to my home to help us. We bake cookies together or make new decorations that will have special meaning each year when we bring them out. It is an event to remember and one we all look forward to it each year.

We do not have to splurge to make our home comfortable and enjoyable. Remember to slow down and take time to be grateful and thankful for what is important in your life. Bring back the meaning of the season and enjoy the holidays and let’s celebrate that 2010 is almost here.


Claudia Dabdoub is a resident of Ahwatukee Foothills and owner of D’amore Interior Design Studio. To ask a question for an upcoming column, reach her at (480) 751-9938 or

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