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Tuesday, January 10, 2017


As the Holiday Season comes to an end, I'm reluctant to say "Goodbye." This year it seemed to fly by even faster than most. As I look back over the events and activities I attended, I love how many of them have become an annual tradition. One of those activities is visiting the American Swedish Institute as it is all decked out for the holidays.

The ASI is housed in the mansion built by newspaperman Swan Turnblad and his wife Christina. Construction on the French Chateauesque "castle" began in 1903, and was completed five years later. The family, however, only lived in the mansion from 1908 until 1929.

Each year for the holidays, the ASI decorates its rooms to represent Christmas in a different Scandinavian country. It's always wonderful experience to this truly extraordinary event.

This year's theme centered on "light," and there were wonderful displays celebrating everything from Hanukkah to the Northern Lights. It seemed especially fitting as we move forward from the Winter Solstice and the return the light.

The mansion is now attached to a visitor's center that houses more galleries, the museum shop and FIKA, their amazing restaurant. The addition of the visitor's center and its connecting hallway, creates a lovely courtyard on the grounds, which, each Christmas, finds itself inhabited by the mischievous Tomtar.

My annual holiday visit to the American Swedish Institute is something I look forward to every year. It's sense of history and tradition nourishes me, while its beauty inspires my own holiday decorating.  It truly is Minneapolis' Holiday Castle.

***What are your favorite holiday mansions to visit?

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