Our Annual Holiday Party; Merry Christmas

We had our annual holiday party (okay from now on we plan on holding it every year 🙂 last weekend and I was delighted with the photos taken by my photographer Macy Yap who also photographed my last two Specify Colour with Confidence events in Vancouver this Fall.

Here’s a glimpse of my tree this year which always sits in the family room (above).

When I posted my living room pics at the beginning of December and mentioned how much I missed my flocked tree from past years, people said “Where is your faux green tree from Costco?”. So here it is.

Me and my amazing Mom Hellen Junttila

Here’s a photo of my sister Elizabeth Jacobs and I in the middle of the party and in front of my garland (below).

I am so happy to live so close to two of my sisters (I have three sisters and two were at my party). Elizabeth and I were roommates many years ago and if you follow my Insta stories, you’ll see us together often! And of course you’ll have recently seen the most beautiful room in the world here (as we’ve named it) if you follow the blog.

She makes me laugh and is one of the most loving, sweet souls I know (next to my Mama and my wife of course).

And here’s my Mom again with my good friend Patricia Kramer (below right).

Patricia is a very important person in my life. Really, she’s the reason I’m here writing for you.

She was the one who told me Benjamin Moore was hiring colour consultants many years ago.

And that saved me from wasting my time in yet another hospitality job that I was sure to be miserable in.

One important thing I’ve learned in work and life is that if something makes you miserable, that’s the inner nudge telling you to make a change. If you ignore it, you’ll waste precious time or worse. I’m so grateful I didn’t waste anymore of mine thanks to Patricia.

I had just moved back into town from Toronto, was heavily in debt, and as I said, about to accept a job that would have killed my soul.

I am forever grateful I called her that day.

AND if that wasn’t enough, several years later, she recommended me to the Dean of Vancouver Community College as a colour theory instructor.

Patricia was already teaching the window coverings module at the college and not only tipped me off that they were looking for a colour theory teacher, but once again, helped open an important door for me.

My three years of teaching colour to interior design students made it much easier for me to be able to condense a 10 week curriculum into a three day workshop when I launched the course on the blog way back in 2010.

These days you can find Patricia at Premier Audio Video Integration in Vancouver where she is the window coverings expert. And it’s so fascinating what she has to say about that:

“So many new builds have home automation systems and the easy answer for window coverings is roller blinds.  And in a contemporary space that is really great as a start, but not in a more traditional space, also one has to ask the questions as to how they sleep/live and want things to function.

I have been brought on board to ask those questions and to provide the client with better solutions than just the one.

The interesting thing is that in the case of home automation, it is the husband not the wife okaying that part of the budget and so the funding tends to be so much higher than when it is in the decorating budget.”

Thanks Patricia (below right) for being such an amazing friend and beautiful person in my life!

Amber Welton (above left) is a good friend whom I met in one of those classes I taught. She is now married, has a very successful career as a designer and true colour expert, along with two adorable children.

Shannon (above right) is a super sweet and stylish fashion blogger who you should follow here.

Here’s my sister Elizabeth and I with Marilee Congo. I recently shared her lovely home decorated for the holidays here.

Lea Junttila, Elizabeth Jacobs, Hellen Junttila (Mom) and Maria Killam

Macy suggested  the sisters and Mama, step outside for a group photo because the light was better and then it wouldn’t be strictly a holiday photo. She was amazing! Follow her on Instagram here.

Flowers by Simply Perfect Flowers in Abbotsford

Terreeia hired a local chef to help her prepare all the food and it was delicious!

I’m so grateful to be married to such a talented gourmet cook, who is also my right hand and the VP of Business Development for Maria Killam Inc. Since she joined me on the road leading my workshops all around North America they are better than ever before because of her ongoing contribution.

Terreeia is a huge part of the success of our business and I am so lucky to be married to my soulmate in this world.

Terreeia Rauffman and Maria Killam

Thank you to my readers for your love, support and comments that always make each post even better with your thoughtful insight and feedback! I am so grateful to you all!

From my family to yours, we wish you a happy and magical holiday season!

PS. HGTV recently featured my home decorated for the holidays on their blog, check it out here.

Related posts:

Happy Christmas in New York with my Mom

Holiday Tour of Elizabeth (my sister) and Bill’s Home

A Fun Way to Celebrate Family

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  1. Maria & Family-
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    Thankful for another year of your knowledge and most useful Blogs !
    Your house looked beautiful!
    And the food divine .

    • I have no idea, I don’t even remember where I bought it from I’ve had it for years! Thanks Jane for your comment! xoxo

  2. Lovely to see you with friends and family:) The food looks amazing too;)

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  3. Merry Christmas Maria and Terreeia! Wishing you all the best to you in 2019! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and life with us. You are so giving and have taught us so much. Your party and home look fabulous!!

  4. Oh Merry Christmas! That looked like a lovely party and the food, oh the food!!!
    I can see how much you love your family, it shows on all of your beautiful faces!
    May you have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous 2019!!
    xoxo

  5. Beautiful! I was wondering the whole time about the food. You are indeed lucky to be married to a gourmet cook. It would be Heaven for me to never have to think about what’s for dinner, and have it magically appear.

    Of course, it’s not magic – it’s someone doing all the work. But it feels like magic. 😉

  6. Maria Merry Christmas to you and all of your family! I love the picture of you, your mom and two sisters! You all are beautiful!
    Love your festive house this year and also past years. The food looks divine and wish I could have been there to sample some!
    I am following all of your suggested posts from your talented friends. So much fun! One should never stop learning!

    Have a fabulous Christmas Day with all of your family and the very best to you in the New Year, I will certainly keep following and recommending you to friends.

  7. Best wishes to you, Terreeia and your lovely family. It’s been another insightful year into the world of color, thanks to you!

  8. I really enjoy reading your blog. It feels so real. Thanks for sharing your Christmas celebration.
    Merry Christmas!
    Sharon

  9. Thank you for sharing your life and work with us all. Your family and friends are amazing and you are truly a lucky lady. Merry Christmas!

    I am also grateful I was able to attend your Southern California class in November 2017 – I use your ideas all the time. (And critique every hotel room I have been in since then!! – It’s so hard not to see Clean and Dirty colors being used together!)

    Take care,

  10. Merry Christmas, Maria! May the new year bring you and yours health, happiness, and colorful memories!

    Mary I.

  11. Stunning Maria! I love your home. It captures your vibrant spirit! Wishing you and Terreeia and both your loved ones a wonderful holiday! Of course, you know I love your blog! And your color course is amazing! Best wishes for a great 2019!

  12. @Maria: L-O-V-I-L-E-E in every aspect and the family portrait is definitely a keeper.
    @Terreeia: Everything looks so delicious and oh my goodness, you obviously have the patience of a saint as I know how time consuming such can be.
    WISHING ALL OF YOU & YOURS A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS with hopes that *<[: {) will be good to you.
    Warmest hugs -Brenda –

  13. Merry Christmas Maria and Terreeia and family ! Wishing you all the best to you in 2019! Love following all your posts. Thank you for sharing so much with us.