Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve in Santa Fe

Each year on Christmas Eve there is an area of Santa Fe that decorates their neighborhood with farolitos. Thousands of people descend upon this area and walk the streets admiring the wonderful glow coming from all the little paper bags filled with sand and a candle that line the streets and walkways. It is a perfect way to spend the evening. There are usually bonfires (luminarias) burning at different spots along the route to allow people to warm up as they enjoy their stroll. And you will hear Christmas Carols being sung all around you. It is the best reason to be in Santa Fe for the holidays.

Usually Thomas and I travel to Louisiana to spend Christmas with my family. I come from a large family - my dad is one of eight and when you add the spouses, grandkids, great grandkids and significant others we usually end up with close to 100 people for our annual Christmas Eve celebration. Until a few years ago one of my aunts would have this at her house, but it finally became to big of an ordeal and the eight brothers and sisters decided to take turns hosting the night. One of the changes involved renting a hall for the night so that we had the space to actually enjoy ourselves. Everyone also contributed decorations that get passed around each year so that we can decorate the hall so that it is more festive. We also do a potluck so that one person doesn't have to do all the cooking. We always have a good time and it gives me a chance to see everyone in one place instead of having to find the time to visit all of my aunts, uncles and cousins seperately. This year we decided to stay in Santa Fe for the holidays since we were in Louisiana in October for my dad's wedding.

On Monday night and Tuesday morning of this week we had as incredible snowfall. Tuesday afternoon and today was sunny but the temperatures stayed in the low 30's so we still have most of the snow on the ground - everything looks so beautiful and what a treat to have a white Christmas. Tonight Thomas and I left the house at 4:30pm so that we could make our dinner reservations at 5:00pm at Cafe Paris. We enjoyed a great dinner and dessert and just chatted about nothing in particular. It was very relaxing. Afterwards we walked through the Plaza and made our way to Canyon Road. We strolled slowly along Canyon Road stopping every now and then to enjoy a bonfire or take a picture of the farolitos. It was quite crowded but still very pleasant. Quite a few people were singing Christmas Carols as we passed - it was not always the most pleasant sound but it was fun. At some point we made our way over to Acequia Madre, which was much less crowded. We stopped to take pictures a couple of times and then finally made our way back to the Plaza and our car. We ended the night by attending an Open House at our friends, Diane & John's house. We visited for about an hour and then headed home - by this time we were tired and cold and were ready for our warm house. It is always nice to spend the holidays with your family, but Thomas and I can't always make it to Louisiana for Christmas. And besides Thomas is my family, so enjoying the holiday in Santa Fe with him is very special.

So Merry Christmas from Santa Fe. I hope your evening was as pleasant and special as mine was. I hope Santa is good to each and everyone of you.

1 comment :

John and Diane said...

Thanks so much for stopping by last night and contributing to OUR special evening. We felt really blessed to have so many friends come by and give our house a truly wonderful housewarming. Thanks for being a part of that and, of course, thanks for the chocolate! :-) Hope you have a merry Christmas and we'll talk soon-