Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas, Y’all!!

I want to share The Twelve Days of Christmas with you. My friend Rose, her husband Vic, and I went to see the amazing display at the Dallas Arboretum on Wednesday night. If you have followed my blog much, you know that the Arboretum is one of my favorite places to go. I love to go and spend time in the gorgeous, no matter the season.

My beautiful friend Rose. Isn’t her name appropriate? She is definitely as lovely as a rose.

But, it is especially special at Christmas, when you can enjoy the extravagant display of The Twelve Days of Christmas. When I can go with friends, so much the better!!

Despite the popularity of the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, I must confess that I can never remember the lyrics. In case you are like me, I will post them here, along with some photos I took. Truthfully, it is a song I never liked much, but I love the display at the Arboretum. I hope you will too!

Merry Christmas 2017

The Christmas extravaganza at the Dallas Arboretum made its debut in 2014. I keep wondering how much longer it will be displayed. Because I never know if this will be the last year it will be seen, I try to see it with new eyes every time I go. I have shown you pictures in blogs from visits I made to the display in past years.


The $1.6 million display took two years to complete. You will see why when you see some of the detail in the of the exhibition.

Santa Claus made his debut this year (or, at least, it is the first time I have seen him). That’s what is so fascinating about the Arboretum. No matter how often I go, I always find new things to enjoy.

In addition to the twelve 25-foot Victorian-style gazebos that house the Twelve Days of Christmas displays, there are 500,000 lights illuminating the park and a 30-foot tall tree is found in the center of the property.

On the First day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

This display includes the one partridge sitting in a gold pear tree with mirrored leaves and gold branches. Everything in the display is rhinestone-adorned. I wish I had thought to take videos of the displays. That would have made this so much more enjoyable. In this gazebo, the gold tree circles around and around.

(Please note that you can click on any photo in this section to see it full-size if you wish.)

On the Second Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … Two Turtle Doves


The turtle doves are covered with rhinestones and the outer cage features crystal beading and fleur de lis banding on the top and bottom of the gazebo. Notice the arrow upon which the turtle doves are resting!

On the Third Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … Three French Hens

The Three French Hens sit on intricate gold straw nests on a revolving base. (This is one of my least favorite of the twelve gazebos, but I like the picture because that is my friend Rose taking pictures of the French Hens!)

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … Four Calling Birds

As you can see, the four birds sit on filigreed, jeweled hanging bird perches within an inner oval cage made of iridescent bead strands. Notice the detail in the feathers of the birds. That is one of the things that is so fascinating about this display at the Arboretum.

The more you look, the more you see! Notice the multi-colored floor and glittered columns.

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … Five Gold Rings

I don’t know about you, but when I heard this song, I never envisioned the Five Gold Rings as bedazzled rings spinning on the noses of seals in a Victorian circus! Isn’t that fun?

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … Six Geese A-Laying

Not only are three geese lying at the base of the gorgeous snow-flocked fir trees, visitors will find cardinals, rabbits, and more scattered all through this rotating display. While not see in my pictures, two geese are sitting on nests, two are standing in their nests so that you can see their golden eggs, and two are nested within the beautiful trees.

When I come upon this display, I begin to “feel Christmasy.” Living in Dallas, Texas, it is extremely rare that we have snow ever, much less on December 25th. Nevertheless, a scene like this one says Christmas to me!

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … Seven Swans A-Swimming

This is one of my two favorite gazebos. The beautiful, graceful crowned swans give me peace as they float by. You can’t see it well in my photos, but a gorgeous tiered fountain graces the center of the pond around which the swans float. I wish my photos did this display justice. Next year, I am going to try to remember to take videos of these displays to share with you.

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … Eight Maids A-Milking

Eight Maids A-Milking is a fabulous gazebo featuring an English barn that is divided into four stalls. Each features life-like cows and intricately costumed maids. Four maids are milking while four carry out other duties. Within the stalls, an observant visitor will find cats, mice, and more.

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … Nine Ladies Dancing

We have come to my favorite of the gazebos. The detail found throughout this gazebo absolutely amazes me. I have taken hundreds of pictures over time of this gazebo. I have yet to be truly happy with any of them. I just cannot capture the beauty found in this display. It is incredible.

Each of the nine dancers is outfitted in Victorian gowns with beading and detail that is simply spectacular. Notice the necklaces, bracelets, and even the dance cards carried by each dancer. But, the detail doesn’t stop with the dancers. The large Christmas tree in the center of the room is decorated fabulously.

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … Ten Lords A-Leaping

In this gazebo, ten Lords ice-skate around a frozen pond. Each wears Victorian outerwear and ice skates. As found in all of the gazebos, great detail amazes visitors to this display! Notice their scarves and top hats!

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … Eleven Pipers Piping

Pipers are dressed as Scottish bagpipe players. While there is great detail in this gazebo, including a ceiling draped in the same green and red tartan found in the pipers’ kilts, I have never been as impressed with this one as with Days Six through Nine.

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me … Twelve Drummers Drumming

Rose, also a stage IV lung cancer survivor, and I were beginning to get tired by the time we looked at the eleven gazebos. We walked right by the Twelfth Day of Christmas without noticing it. However, I have seen it in prior years and will include pictures from those visits so that you get all of the 12 Days of Christmas.

These pictures were taken in 2015, when once again I visited the gardens with a friend. She and I spent the day and night there, enjoying the displays in daylight and again at night. It was a full, fun day! Going back to find a picture to post for you allowed me to relive those memories. I wish she would come to Dallas again so that we could visit the gardens again! (Kim, are you listening??)

But, the Gazebos Aren’t All

The other displays change more frequently than the gazebos do. One year when I visited, we got to see thousands of Nativity scenes. That was very special to me. If I remember correctly, two different collectors shared their collections with the Dallas Arboretum. It was awesome.

This year, we also saw the private collections of two different collectors. These individuals collect Nutcrackers. A mansion in the garden was filled with over 800 nutcrackers. I haven’t seen The Nutcracker, so I probably didn’t appreciate the display as much as someone who has seen and loved the fairy tale ballet.

Nevertheless, I took a few pictures to share with you! (Surprised?) I thoroughly enjoyed the lavish decorations found throughout the rooms of the DeGolyer mansion.


I hope this virtual visit to the Arboretum has helped you forget your troubles, pain, and heartbreaks at least for a moment. December, such a joyous time for many, can be a very depressing and dark time for others.

If you like or understand the Twelve Days of Christmas song, please enlighten me! If you enjoyed the pictures, please take a minute to tell me!

If you are a cancer survivor like me, please, to the extent possible, live every single moment of every single day!!! My opinion is that we win against the insidious disease every time we don’t let it interfere with our joy. This blog is written in the hopes of giving hope and inspiration to others fighting the battle against cancer.

I have to go for treatments every other week. For over five years, I have been getting some kind of treatment, without a break. It gets really old sometimes. But, I am still here! And, doing things like visiting the Dallas Arboretum in hopes of finding that Christmas spirit that sometimes eludes me!

Merry Christmas, Y’all

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