As The Year Comes To A Close: Santa Fe

My first holiday season in Santa Fe, I truly detested the town’s revered tradition of walking down Canyon Road on Christmas Eve.  Sure, there are the luminarias and bonfires lining the streets, hot apple cider and carolers jaunting around.  The entire city is out walking Canyon merry as can be.  Still, can you really forget it’s freezing cold, pitch dark, ice is leaking into your shoes, and you have been forced to slide perilously through a horrible slush on foot for at least a couple of miles due to the sheer distance of the nearest parking spot?  No, you can’t.

However, this being my sixth Christmas as a resident, I have to admit that the seemingly infinite arctic trek- more of a pilgrimage, really- has finally grown on me.  Year one, I came home frozen and miserable, asking myself, “Was that it?”  Year six, I feel a certain something tender and- yes- even warm! about the hundreds of carefully placed brown paper bags filled with sand and burning candles, nestled snugly in the snow atop lumpy adobe walls and precariously along our glacial and perpetually unshoveled sidewalks. I love seeing the town come out en force to the farmer’s market in summer; aspen viewing and the torching of Old Man Gloom in the fall; and, I’m finding that this conglomeration of citizens drawn away from their kivas to mob together visiting galleries afterhours in the dead of winter is strange but refreshing, too.

The most magical thing about Christmas Eve, without question and without fail, is that it is inevitably followed by Christmas Morning.  This time around, ours was marked by clear blue skies and a perfect crystal glaze of snow and dainty icicles.  The scent of freshly baked cinnamon rolls (from scratch of course) filled our noses and pepperminty cocktails filled our glasses.  Warm thoughts filled my head and my heart, although I’m almost certain my feet were still partially numb from the fabled Christmas Eve walk of the night before.

May the end of this year be happy, and may the warmest of thoughts, memories, and sentiments prevail over even the coldest toes.  Wishing you laughter with friends, hugs with family, and the beautiful colors of a thousand tiny lights.  
Merry, merry,
Kristin
Champagne on Canyon Road Christmas Eve

Luminarias on Canyon Road Christmas Eve

Luminarias on Canyon Road Christmas Eve

Tucked into a warm gallery on Canyon Road Christmas Eve

Tucked into a warm gallery on Canyon Road Christmas Eve

Tucked into a warm gallery on Canyon Road Christmas Eve

Tucked into a warm gallery on Canyon Road Christmas Eve

Glorious snowy but sunny Christmas morning

Glorious snowy but sunny Christmas morning
Peppermint cocktails
The tree in lights
Giftwrapping

Holiday baking: homemade cinnamon rolls
Holiday baking: homemade cinnamon rolls
Holiday baking: homemade cinnamon rolls
The tree in lights

Tired by the fire

Turning in, and a happy holiday to all

 Photos by Kristin Carlson.

2 thoughts on “As The Year Comes To A Close: Santa Fe

  1. Bobby Beals

    Glad this tradition is warming your heart…. Since I was a kid, we would walk on the cold night of Christmas Eve. It was different as we knew most of the home owners and they would invite us in for treats. Now most of the road are galleries and they carry on the tradition inviting us in for treats. Santa Fe traditions become a slow steady hug over time, glad you are fully part of it all.

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  2. Think All Day

    Dear Bobby, Thanks for your kind note and the warm visual of a cozy town on the holidays, visiting homes all along Canyon Road in years past. And, thank you for continuing to be a part of the tradition with your gallery and your heart as well. What you say is true- Santa Fe itself can grow on you like a long embrace, if you just give it time. Wait, learn, and enjoy.

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