Holiday with the Peterson’s

erik holiday

Photographed by Cassandra Tomei

THE PETERSON FAMILY Erik; Kimberly; Ridge, 9; and Noelle, 7 As a principal of PHX Architecture, Erik Peterson has left his signature design stamp everywhere from Idaho to Hawaii. This holiday season, though, this husband and father of two is heading back home to Illinois to celebrate Christmas with extended family and longtime friends.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Erik: One of our favorite holiday traditions is Christmas Eve. We get all dressed up and go to the children’s candlelight service at our church. Kimberly crying happy tears is always a given when we sing “Silent Night.” You can pretty much cue the tears, and the children always look at her to see that, yes, it is going to happen every year. After church we go to Uncle Phil and Aunt Nancy’s house for the traditional ‘highly casual’ meal where we all (aunts, uncles and cousins) stand around in the kitchen and eat. This Christmas Eve tradition was always at Kimberly’s mom’s house and was taken over seven years ago after her passing by her brother and sister-in-law. While we eat, we are tracking Santa on the computer to see where he is and estimate his arrival. At last, we gather around the tree and exchange presents from each other. There is typically one person who plays Santa and, by the end of the evening, there is a pile of wrapping paper and many bows being worn on our heads.

Do you have any travel plans this season? Erik: For the 15 years we have been together, I have always wanted to take Kimberly and the kids back home to Park Ridge, Ill., for Christmas where I grew up. Kimberly could never muster up the courage to be away from her mother, so we have never made the trip. After her mother passed away, Kimberly didn’t want to leave her nieces and nephews. So here we are with children of our own, our nieces and nephews are growing up, and I think it’s time to finally take the family back home for the holidays. We are looking forward to experiencing Chicago as a family during the holiday season. We have a great big extended family there and many dear friends so it will be nice to be together during such a fun time.

What’s been your fondest holiday memory? Erik: The holiday season of 2004 was the first Christmas with our first child, and our parents were both alive to celebrate with us as a family.

What’s on your wish list? Erik: New line of clothes from SJC. Kimberly: Alaska cruise. Ridge: Xbox. Noelle: American Girl dolls.

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Erik: Continue to keep my weight in tune and build muscle tone. Kimberly: Health, happiness, long life. Ridge: Become part of a swim team to train for the next Olympics. Noelle: Advance closer to my black belt goal at USA Martial Arts.

Favorite holiday… Song: “Christmas Song.” Carpenters’ version. Food: Turkey, gravy, stuffing, candied sweet potatoes. Film: “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

To see the full article: Photographed by Cassandra Tomei

THE PETERSON FAMILY Erik; Kimberly; Ridge, 9; and Noelle, 7 As a principal of PHX Architecture, Erik Peterson has left his signature design stamp everywhere from Idaho to Hawaii. This holiday season, though, this husband and father of two is heading back home to Illinois to celebrate Christmas with extended family and longtime friends.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Erik: One of our favorite holiday traditions is Christmas Eve. We get all dressed up and go to the children’s candlelight service at our church. Kimberly crying happy tears is always a given when we sing “Silent Night.” You can pretty much cue the tears, and the children always look at her to see that, yes, it is going to happen every year. After church we go to Uncle Phil and Aunt Nancy’s house for the traditional ‘highly casual’ meal where we all (aunts, uncles and cousins) stand around in the kitchen and eat. This Christmas Eve tradition was always at Kimberly’s mom’s house and was taken over seven years ago after her passing by her brother and sister-in-law. While we eat, we are tracking Santa on the computer to see where he is and estimate his arrival. At last, we gather around the tree and exchange presents from each other. There is typically one person who plays Santa and, by the end of the evening, there is a pile of wrapping paper and many bows being worn on our heads.

Do you have any travel plans this season? Erik: For the 15 years we have been together, I have always wanted to take Kimberly and the kids back home to Park Ridge, Ill., for Christmas where I grew up. Kimberly could never muster up the courage to be away from her mother, so we have never made the trip. After her mother passed away, Kimberly didn’t want to leave her nieces and nephews. So here we are with children of our own, our nieces and nephews are growing up, and I think it’s time to finally take the family back home for the holidays. We are looking forward to experiencing Chicago as a family during the holiday season. We have a great big extended family there and many dear friends so it will be nice to be together during such a fun time.

What’s been your fondest holiday memory? Erik: The holiday season of 2004 was the first Christmas with our first child, and our parents were both alive to celebrate with us as a family.

What’s on your wish list? Erik: New line of clothes from SJC. Kimberly: Alaska cruise. Ridge: Xbox. Noelle: American Girl dolls.

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Erik: Continue to keep my weight in tune and build muscle tone. Kimberly: Health, happiness, long life. Ridge: Become part of a swim team to train for the next Olympics. Noelle: Advance closer to my black belt goal at USA Martial Arts.

Favorite holiday… Song: “Christmas Song.” Carpenters’ version. Food: Turkey, gravy, stuffing, candied sweet potatoes. Film: “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

To See the full article: http://arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/features/features/4760-valley-families-share-their-holiday-traditions.html?start=4

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