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Holiday Events • First Lady of Santa Fe • New World Cuisine

Feliz Navidad

winter 2012-13 • the Santa Fe new Mexican • www.SantaFenewMexican.coM

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For more than three decades, the Empty Stocking Fund has served as a critical safety net for those experiencing financial challenges in the community. The Empty Stocking Fund provides support of housing assistance, car repair, home heating, utility bills, and more, to help our friends and neighbors experience a holiday season that is truly merry and bright.

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Complete your application for assistance online at Applicants who do not have access to a computer can complete an application online at several public libraries free of charge and several businesses. Santa Fe Public Main Library at 145 Washington Ave. La Farge Branch Library at 1730 Llano St. Southside Library at 6599 Jaguar Dr. New Mexico Work Force Connection, 301 W. DeVargas St.

Watch for daily stories featuring requests for assistance from local residents beginning Nov. 23 in The Santa Fe New Mexican.

Hopewell Center, 1800 Espinacitas St.

For details on donating funds or services, visit stocking

All applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on December 7th to be considered by the Empty Stocking Fund Committee. The Empty Stocking Fund will consider every applicant who meets the eligibility criteria, without regard to race, creed, place or country of origin, age, disability, ethnicity, color, gender identify, marital status or sexual orientation.

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2012 Feliz Navidad



2012 Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad P uB LI S H ED N oV EMB ER 1 7, 2 01 2



Table of Contents 8


Let there be light: Four free downtown events add warmth to holidays

10 The first lady of Santa Fe: Devotion to Virgin of Guadalupe has deep roots 14 Light among the ruins: Jémez State Monument celebrates the season 16 Holiday hangouts: Museum shows, celebrations offer indoor activities 18 ‘New World Cuisine:’ Exhibit explores the foods that changed the world 20 Pleading for posole: Familiar dishes bring comfort to the holidays 22 Lighting the way home: Sufganiyot celebrate endurance on Hanukkah 24 Local spirit: Time is on the side of small New Mexico distilleries 28 Sonic celebration: Ensembles set the table for a feast of holiday music 30 A land of enchantment: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ 32 Child’s play: Locally owned toy stores reflect owners’ passions 34 From author Rudolfo Anaya: A uniquely New Mexican children’s book 40 Sharing the blessings: Respectful observers welcome at Pueblo dances 41 Winter feast day dance schedule at Northern New Mexico pueblos 44 Dashing through the snow: Sleigh rides at Valles Caldera National Preserve 46 A peaceful New Year: Tibetan monks transform spirit of Santa Fe 2012 Feliz Navidad


Christmas at the Palace

Natalie GuillÉN

Lighting of the Menorah

JaNe PhilliPs

Let there be light


Free Downtown eventS ADD wArmth to holiDAyS

By Emily Drabanski

HROUGH THE AGES, people have have lighted candles and bonfires to mark the winter solstice on December 21, the shortest day and longest night of the year. This time of year is also religiously significant for both Christians and Jews. Four free December events in the heart of Santa Fe — the City of Holy Faith — remind us of the reasons we celebrate the season.

Christmas at the Palace 5:30-8 p.m. Friday, December 7 Palace of the Governors Palace Avenue on the Plaza

On December 7, the warmth of luminarias (bonfires) and glow of farolitos (candles in paper sacks) will fill the courtyard of the Palace of the Governors with the feel of a Northern New Mexico village on Christmas Eve. Singing groups and musicians perform traditional Native American, Spanish and Anglo music in the courtyard, and create a festive atmosphere throughout the rooms of the historic Palace — the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States. While the entertainers vary from year to year, you can count on an appearance by the children’s favorite — Santa Claus. “It’s really a highlight to see the Palace of the Governors at night with the light of the farolitos and luminarias,” said Frances Levine, director of the New Mexico History Museum. Light flickers against the thick adobe walls of the more than 400-year-old structure, while visitors keep themselves warm by sipping hot cider and nibbling cookies. “There’s a lot to enjoy,” she said. “A favorite activity is to print your own holiday card in the Palace of the Governors press shop. We hear that some families have printed and collected these cards for many years.” If you are interested in volunteering for Christmas at the Palace, call 505-476-5094 or send an email to Or share the holiday spirit with others by bringing some canned goods or other nonperishable foods to the event for donation to The Food Depot, Northern New Mexico’s food bank. Santa will thank you for your help. For more information, call 505-476-1141 or visit


2012 Feliz Navidad

Lighting of the Menorah 3-4:30 p.m. Sunday, December 9 Santa Fe Plaza

Rabbi Berel Levertov of Chabad Jewish Center invites the community to join a festive Hanukkah celebration on the Santa Fe Plaza. The event will feature Hanukkah music, a magic show by Clan Tynker, traditional songs and dancing. “The lighting of the menorah is the only official Jewish event on the Plaza,” Levertov said. “We will have a giant menorah [the traditional nine-branched candelabrum used in the celebration of Hanukkah] crafted by local artist Ilan Ashkenazi. We’re also grateful for the role of Mesa Steel in the making of the menorah.” While the Plaza festivities occur on Sunday, December 9, Levertov said the menorah candles will be lit each night at sunset though the evening of December 16. Asked to describe the holiday in his own words, Levertov said, “It’s customary to light the menorah by the window or the door, as we say, in order to light up the darkness — to inspire others. The idea of Hanukkah is to bring light into the world and into our own life. And we increase the light every night. So we’re not satisfied with our accomplishments of one day, but we continue growing and growing spiritually. “It’s a beautiful event that the city co-sponsors with us. The mayor always comes out, as well as other community dignitaries,” he said. “It’s a very heartwarming event for Jews. We’re very grateful to the city for its support.” The Chabad Jewish Center provides free refreshments at the event — hot chocolate, latkes and doughnuts — and distributes gelt (chocolates wrapped like gold coins) to children. “People come in from all over to share the joy of the holiday and the lights,” Levertov said, “particularly if they are Jewish. But even if you’re not Jewish, you can come and enjoy it.” For more information, call 505-983-2000 or 505-699-7934 or send an email to info@

Las Posadas

Farolito Walk on Canyon Road geNe peAch

LuiS SANchez SÁTurNo

Las Posadas

5:30-7 p.m. Sunday, December 9 Santa Fe Plaza/Palace of the Governors The tradition of Las Posadas is strong in Catholic parishes throughout Northern New Mexico. Generally, the re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter takes place over nine nights as a group of pilgrims travels to different homes to recreate the Holy Family’s search for a place to stay in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. Santa Fe’s annual Christmas drama takes place on one night — December 9 this year — when about 50 parishioners from Santa Cruz de la Cañada (Holy Cross) Church in Santa Cruz lead a candlelight procession from the Palace of the Governors into and around the Santa Fe Plaza. Sister Angelina Gonzales, or Sister Angie as she is known in the Holy Cross parish, has been coordinating the Las Posadas procession on the Plaza since the 1980s. “It’s my favorite part of the Christmas season,” she said. “The songs are wonderful and I’m glad we can share this tradition with everyone.” Traditionally Las Posadas events feature two groups of singers — those outside representing Mary and Joseph (los peregrinos) and the group inside the homes representing the innkeepers (los posaderos). For the Plaza procession, though, everyone sings both parts. The group proceeds to various businesses on the Plaza and directs its songs to the balconies. (Visitors new to the event should keep a sharp eye on the balconies and rooftops; one can never tell when and where the devil might appear to harass Joseph and Mary.) At each of the stops, the pilgrims are denied lodging and sent away. They continue around the Plaza until they finally arrive at the gates of the Palace of the Governors courtyard, which is lit by farolitos and luminarias. “There we will sing Christmas carols in Spanish,” Sister Angelina said. For many years, Sylvia Montoya and her brother Ted Ortiz have portrayed Mary and Joseph at the Plaza event. This year, though, someone else might portray Mary because Montoya is expecting her own baby close to the time of Las Posadas. For more information, call 505-476-1141 or visit

Farolito Walk on Canyon Road

6-9 p.m. Monday, December 24 (Note: Area street closures from 5:30-10 p.m. Special Santa Fe Trails buses available. Details below.)

Santa Fe tradition says that on La Noche Buena, Christmas Eve, farolitos and luminarias must light the way for the Christ child — which may be why the Farolito Walk on Canyon Road on Christmas Eve has become a favorite holiday tradition for both locals and visitors. Hundreds of farolitos line adobe walls, rooftops and walkways. Walkers gather to warm themselves around luminarias. Organized and impromptu groups of carolers sing along the route, and some of the galleries invite visitors inside. Santa Fe native John Pen La Farge, author of Turn Left at the Sleeping Dog: Scripting the Santa Fe Legend 1920-1955 and a board member of the Historic Neighborhood Association, recalls the origins of the first organized Farolito Walk on Canyon Road. In the 1970s, he said, the association, which encompasses much of downtown and the older eastside of Santa Fe, had struggled to downsize the zoning rules for the neighborhood. “We won the rezoning and [the association] wanted to thank the city in some way, so we organized the Farolito Walk.” While La Farge still embraces the walk, he hopes people will be mindful of the reason for the celebration. “This is an important, sacred evening for a lot of people. … This is not the Mardi Gras. It’s a holy night and a time for peace,” he said. “What I love most about it is that you can walk down Canyon Road without any cars. It’s a great time to visit with old friends and have a sense of community.” Street closures for Farolito Walk: Canyon Road, Acequia Madre and Delgado Street close to all motor vehicle traffic at 5:30 p.m. and start to reopen at 9 p.m., although it might be 10 p.m. before they’re all open. Special bus service for Farolito Walk: Park at either Santa Fe Place Mall or the South Capitol Rail Runner train station (between St. Francis Drive and Cordova Road). Buses depart continuously from those locales starting at 5:30 p.m. and drop passengers at the former PERA building on Paseo de Peralta (near Canyon Road) downtown. The last bus leaves from the downtown drop-off point at 9:30 p.m. The cost is $2 round trip; children ride free. For information about the bus, call 505-955-2001. For more information about the walk, call Joyce Bond (505-955-6852) or send an email to

2012 Feliz Navidad


The first lady of Santa Fe Devotion to Virgin of Guadalupe has deep roots

BY EMILY DRABANSKI When Spanish conquistadors, priests and colonists made the arduous journey through Mexico to Northern New Mexico beginning in 1598, two decades before the Mayflower landed, they brought with them their culture and faith. One of the key symbols of that culture and faith — and one of Santa Fe’s most venerable adobe structures — is El Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, a landmark on what was once known as El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the Royal Road to the Interior Lands. In August 2011, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe designated the adobe chapel and adjacent grounds at the intersection of Agua Fría and Guadalupe streets as the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Shrine of “The English word for santuario Our Lady of is shrine,” said the Rev. Tien-Tri Guadalupe Nguyen, who has served as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church 417 Agua Fría St., is (next to the santuario) for about 10 open from 9 a.m. to years. “It was an important stop for noon and from travelers and immigrants in the past 1 to 4 p.m. Monday and it continues to be. We welcome through Friday. everyone. Devotion to Our Lady of Those who would Guadalupe is strong here. A lot of like to see the people here have that devotion, as well parish church or as Mexican immigrants.” access the perpetual Devotion will be evident as hundreds adoration chapel celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of should call 505Guadalupe at the shrine on December 983-8868. For more 11 and 12. On the night of December information, visit 11, farolitos and luminarias will light the property for a jubilant evening of prayer and celebration. Devotees, often called Guadalupanos, will visit the shrine that evening and the next day, which is the feast day. For the faithful, the evening procession from the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi to the shrine represents a pilgrimage of gratitude. Many will leave roses as a sign of their devotion. “Many of the feast day activities at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be bilingual. We welcome our brothers and sisters from Mexico,” said Gail Delgado, Santuario Director. “The public is invited to all of the events. It’s such an incredible and beautiful feast day celebration. We welcome everyone.”

‘Oldest still-standing shrine’ “This is the oldest still-standing shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the United States,” Nguyen said. “There was an older church that was dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Taos, but the original building was destroyed and rebuilt.” Robin Farwell Gavin, curator of the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, has researched the historic adobe and notes that the original mission church at Zuni Pueblo was also dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe at an earlier date but no longer is used in that capacity. “Officially, [the santuario] was licensed by the Bishop of Durango [Mexico] in 1796. But it is generally accepted


2012 Feliz Navidad

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Los Pastores: The Shepherd’s Play

2 p.m. Saturday, December 15, Santuario de Guadalupe, 417 Agua Fría Street La Sociedad Folklorica hosts the traditional Spanish Nativity play that is told through the eyes of the shepherds. Traditional songs are sung in Spanish.

natalie GuillÉn

among historians that buildings were often begun and sometimes even completed before they were ever licensed,” Gavin said. “The [signed and dated] altar screen was completed in 1783, which suggests that the church was ready to receive it shortly after that. “Architecturally, [the santuario] is important as an excellent example of colonial church architecture and as one of the oldest buildings in Santa Fe,” she said. “The woodwork in the choir loft appears to be original ... and illustrates the fine carving that was done to embellish the pine ceilings of the churches. The altar screen was painted by perhaps the most famous painter of Mexico in the late 18th century, José de Alzíbar [who was active between 1751-1801] … Although living in Mexico City, Alzíbar was the artist of numerous canvases and altar screens that were sent to and commissioned by the communities of northern New Spain.”

New church, many shrines for faithful Parishioners at the adjacent Our Lady of Guadalupe parish church worked for several years with Nguyen to commission a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Georgina “Gogy” Farias, a well-known sculptor in Mexico City. Parishioners traveled to Mexico to accompany the 12-foot statue on its journey to Santa Fe. Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan blessed the installed statue on August 15, 2008, as well as the crucifix designed by Santa Fe artist Gib Singleton that is at the base of the statue and surrounded by pavement that forms the Rosary of Peace. “I think the development of our Cerro de Santa Fe — our own Tepeyac Hill — is bringing many people here,” Delgado said. “It tells you the [Virgin of Guadalupe] apparition story on the mosaic tiles. … Because of the violence in Mexico it has become more difficult to visit there, so we see the shrine here as an important place for devotion.” Leading up to the hill, the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is told in a series of mosaic tiles based on original retablos (paintings) done by Santa Fe artist Arlene Cisneros Sena. “This is a great way to tell the story. It’s educational as well as beautiful,” Nguyen said. Nguyen sees a lot of interesting historical parallels related to the shrine.

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

(Our Lady of Guadalupe)

The main devotional shrine to Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. It was there in 1531 near Tepeyac Hill that Juan Diego, an Aztec Indian who had converted to Catholicism, saw an apparition of a dark-skinned woman wearing an ornate blue and pink mantle and elegant robe surrounded by light. She said she was the Virgin Mary and told him to ask the bishop to build a shrine in her honor on that site. The bishop dismissed the peasant’s story until Juan Diego returned with a “sign.” He was asked to gather roses — never blooming in that region in December — and to bring them back in his tilma (an apronlike garment). When he opened the tilma for the bishop, not only did the roses tumble out, but a magnificent image of the Virgin Mary also appeared on his tilma, just as he had described her. The image on the tilma is still displayed in the basilica in Mexico City. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe became known as the Patroness of the Americas, with a Catholic feast day celebrated on December 12.

He noted what a daunting task it was to bring up Alzíbar’s reredo (altar screen) in nine sections via mule train on El Camino Real. “It must have been a real hardship to travel at that time,” he said. “The people prayed with thanks when they arrived here. And I think today’s Mexican immigrants pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe for intercession and protection as they make their difficult journey. That’s why the parishioners retraced those steps to travel with the statue of Our Lady to remind us of the journeys in the past and the one people make today to cross the border.” When the parishioners were traveling with the new statue, it was lost for three days at the border. “I think Our Lady was reminding us of how difficult

2012 Feliz Navidad


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Guadalupe Feast Day Activities All of the following events are free and open to the public: 6:30 a.m. Dec. 4-Dec. 11. Novena (nine-day) Masses leading to the feast day in the santuario.

Noon, Dec. 12 Final Novena Mass with mariachis. 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11 (eve of feast day): Gather for procession at Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. 7 p.m. Candlelight procession leaves from basilica led by an Aztec dance troupe from Taos. As the group processes, songs are sung and the rosary is recited in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The procession travels west on San Francisco Street to Guadalupe Street and proceeds to the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Prayers are said and the Aztec troupe dances at the statue. Bells ring at the santuario and the parish church. Aztec dancers lead participants into the santuario and dance — as their form of worship — around the altar, followed by readings by a deacon. The dancers then lead people from the santuario to the main parish church, where participants recite the rosary and sing serenata to Our Lady of Guadalupe. There is continuous music in the church, as well as dances by the Aztec dance group and a Santa Fe matachine dance troupe. The story of San Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe is re-enacted immediately prior to Mass. 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to the parish center for refreshments — menudo, posole, nachos, pastries, coffee and hot chocolate.

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2012 Feliz Navidad

sings Las Mañanitas (the traditional birthday song) to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe. Both churches remain open through the night for devotional prayers.

5 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12 (Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe): Crowds gather at statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe outside the santuario.

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11 p.m. Roman Catholic Mass. As the service ends at midnight, the crowd


6 a.m The santuario is dark. Everyone is given a candle to enter the church. The Roman Catholic Mass begins by candlelight. After Mass, everyone is invited to the adjacent history room and gift shop of the santuario for coffee and bizcochitos. Noon. Mariachi Mass in the larger parish church. 6 p.m. Mass in Spanish in the larger parish church.

it is to cross the border,” Nguyen said. “This place was always here for the immigrant.” In 1961, the present-day parish church was built adjacent to the santuario. Visitors also can make arrangements to tour that church, which houses significant pieces of art, many created by today’s Hispanic artists. The altar is similar to the one in the Mexico City basilica dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. After the church was built, the santuario fell into disrepair. The private nonprofit Guadalupe Historic Foundation, formed in 1975, sought restoration funds and maintained the property until it was returned to the parish in 2005. Pilgrims with a devotion to the Virgin Mary will find other smaller shrines on the property devoted to Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Lourdes. “We are all aware that there is just one Blessed Mother, but she appeared to different people in different continents,” Delgado said. “We also have a 24-hour perpetual adoration chapel. People can call the office for the combination.” At all of the shrines, people can write down prayer requests and can find rosaries and instructions on how to pray the rosary. “I also hope people will come and see our beautiful roses,” Nguyen added. While the colorful rose gardens will not be in bloom in December, the santuario and church will be filled with roses throughout the Guadalupe Feast Day celebrations. The towering statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe is lit through the night. “We want people to know that she’s here for them at all times,” Nguyen said. “People asked, ‘Should we put up a fence to protect the statue?’ And I said that defeats the purpose of having it here. People can come and pray any time. They are not going to be locked out.”

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Light among the ruins Jémez State Monument celebrates the season

story By Arin McKennA Photos By Kerry shercK

The ruins of Giusewa Pueblo and San José de los Jémez mission church at Jémez State Monument are alluring in broad daylight. Seeing them illuminated with starlight, firelight and candlelight is nothing short of magical. During the monument’s annual “Light Among the Ruins” celebration, the walls and paths through the ancient pueblo are adorned with 1,000 farolitos (candle-lit paper bags). Puebloan dancers perform traditional dances beside the luminarias (bonfires) and haunting Native American flute music floats through the night. “One of the things that I always try to capture in those ruins is a sense of what those places were like when people lived there,” said Nambé resident Gip Brown. “One of the ways that that can happen is at night, when things


2012 Feliz Navidad

are simply illuminated by firelight. “They would not have had the little farolitos lining the walkways, but the whole thing evokes another time. [The ruins] are typically not places that are open at night, so you can’t always experience that. It’s a special thing. When the ruins are illuminated by a natural light, like firelight, and you add to that the dancing — which is beautiful to watch — there’s a magic to it.” Nature provides the starlight, but the monument’s twoperson staff and a handful of volunteers prepare and place the farolitos. They spend hours filling paper sacks with sand, nesting a candle in each and placing the farolitos around the ruins. Just lighting the “little lanterns” takes about two hours. Monument ranger Marlon Magdalena is the only one allowed on top of the ancient pueblo. He must move the ladder each time he places a farolito, then repeat the process to light each one. The bonfires are Magdalena’s favorite part of the event. “People really enjoy just standing around the fires, watching the dancers. If it’s a clear night, you can see a lot of the stars,” he said. “It’s the company, too — just people enjoying the night, talking amongst each other. It’s a nice,

friendly atmosphere.” That friendly atmosphere extends to Jémez Village, which partners with the monument to run free horsedrawn wagon rides from Jémez Springs Park to the monument. The village also hosts a Christmas-tree lighting at dusk, with caroling, coffee and hot chocolate. The ruins glow “is not quite the same as Christmas Eve at the pueblos,” Brown said, “but it evokes the image of the night, the cold, the bonfires, the shadows, the smells, the sounds. It’s one of the magical things that New Mexico can offer, and people need to experience it.”

If you go Light AMong the ruins 5-7 p.m. saturday, December 15 For more information, contact Marlon Magdalena at 575-829-3530 or go to Directions: north on u.s. 84/285 to n.M. 502, which becomes trinity Drive in Los Alamos. turn left onto Diamond Drive when trinity Drive ends. turn right on n.M. 501, then right on n.M. 4 to Jémez state Monument.

2012 Feliz Navidad


Holiday Hangouts Museums draw locals, visitors in from the cold for celebration, education Dec. 16, 1-4 p.m. Annual Holiday Open House starring the Gustave Baumann Marionettes. The marionettes perform in the St. Francis Auditorium during a roundrobin open house of activities throughout the museum. Let Santa (the Baumann Santa Claus marionette) sit on your lap. Children can make their own puppet stick characters. New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 W. Palace Ave, 505-476-5072 or www.nmartmuseum. org. For more information, contact Martha Landry at 505-476-5068 or martha.landry@ Free admission. Please bring nonperishable food items to donate to The Food Depot.

By Arin McKennA

Nov. 17, 10 a.m. Metal and Mud — Iron and Pottery exhibit opens. Work of 10 Spanish Market artists working in iron and micaceous clay is showcased through April 30, 2013. Gallery talks by artists between 2 and 4 p.m. Nov. 17. Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, 750 Camino Lejo (on Museum Hill). For more information, contact 505982-2226 or visit Free with admission. Nov. 18, 1-4 p.m. Macedonian Celebration. Lace-making demonstration with the Enchanted Lace Makers. 2 p.m.: Slaveya performs a cappella in the exhibition Young Brides, Old Treasures: Macedonian Embroidered Dress. 3 p.m.: Goddess of Arno performs in the auditorium. Museum of International Folk Art, 706 Camino Lejo (on Museum Hill). For more information, contact Aurelia Gomez at 505-476-1211 or Free with admission. Nov. 18, 2-4 p.m. “Karl May’s Wild West,” with Hans Grunert, curator of the Karl May Museum in Radebeul, Germany. Opening lecture for Tall Tales of the Wild West: The Stories of Karl May. Reception following. New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors lobby. 113 Lincoln Ave., 505-4765200, For more information, contact Kate Nelson at 505476-1141 or Free with admission. New Mexico residents with ID free on Sundays. Nov. 24, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Handmade

gifts and bead sale to benefit the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. 1050 Old Pecos Trail, 505-989-8359 or www. Free.

Dec. 1, 4-6 p.m. Trunk show to benefit

the Santa Fe Children’s Museum at Sweet Water Harvest Kitchen, 1512 Pacheco Street, Building B. For details, email soma@

Dec. 2, 1-4 p.m. “Winter Traditions,” a special community holiday celebration featuring Native American storytelling, dance performances and hands-on activities. Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, 710 Camino Lejo, 505-476-1269 or www. For more information, contact Joyce Begay-Foss, director of education, 505-4761272. Free with admission. New Mexico residents with ID free on Sundays. Dec. 2, 2-3 p.m. Schola Cantorum and

the monks of the Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert perform sacred music as programming for The Saint John’s Bible and Contemplative Landscape exhibit. New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors lobby. 113 Lincoln Ave., 505-476-


2012 Feliz Navidad

Dec. 21, 6-8 p.m. Winter Solstice Festival.

PHoto arcHives at tHe Palace of tHe governors, no. HP.2009.52.07.

A Light Moment, Monastery of Christ in the Desert, 1995/2009. Photo by Tony O’Brien. Selenium-toned silver gelatin print. 5200, For more information, contact Kate Nelson at 505476-1141 or Free with admission. New Mexico residents with ID free on Sundays.

Dec. 7, 5:30-8 p.m. The 27th anniversary of “Christmas at the Palace.” Enjoy performances by local musicians, a visit from Santa and a chance to print Christmas cards on a historical, hand-operated press. Farolitos, bonfires and hot cider in the courtyard. New Mexico History Museum/ Palace of the Governors. Enter through the Palace at 105 W. Palace Ave. Both museums will close at 3 p.m. to prepare, and the History Museum will remain closed during the event; 505-476-5200 or For more information, contact Kate Nelson at 505476-1141 or Free. Dec. 9, 1-4 p.m. The annual “Celebrate Winter” event features special activities for the opening of New World Cuisine: The Histories of Chocolate, Mate y Mas. Sample historic chocolate with chocolate historian Mark Sciscenti and decorate gourds with Monica Sosaya Halford, a local santera and colcha embroiderer. Frank McCulloch and friends perform traditional New Mexican music. Museum of International Folk Art, 706 Camino Lejo (on Museum Hill); 505-476-1200 or For additional members-only events, go to www. Dec. 9, 5:30-7 p.m. The Palace of the

Governors presents the centuries-old tradition of Las Posadas, a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodgings. The annual candlelit procession travels around the Santa Fe Plaza and concludes in the

Palace Courtyard. Stay for carols, cookies and refreshments. The History Museum and Palace will close at 3 p.m. to prepare for this event. For information, contact Kate Nelson at 505-476-1141 or Kate.Nelson@state. Free.

Dec. 12, noon-12:45 p.m.

“Nuevomexicanos and the Rhetoric of Statehood,” a Centennial Brainpower & Brownbags Lecture with Elmo Baca. New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors, John Gaw Meem Room. Enter through the Washington Avenue doors. Free.

Dec. 15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Toy sale. Find

new and gently loved toys and games at this benefit for the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. (Those wishing to donate items for the sale may drop them at the museum.) 1050 Old Pecos Trail, 505-989-8359 or www. Admission to the sale is free.

Dec. 15 and 16, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. “Choo! Choo!

Train Weekend” at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. Realistic HO gauge holiday trains will go full steam inside the museum. The Nature Center will be transformed into a bustling O gauge train switchyard, where families can build dioramas and backdrops and set the trains en scene. Visitors from New Mexico’s real train world will be on hand to share their talents and experience. 1050 Old Pecos Trail, 505-989-8359 or www. Admission $6.

Dec. 16, noon-5 p.m. Handmade gifts and bead sale to benefit the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. 1050 Old Pecos Trail, 505-9898359 or Admission to the sale is free.

Follow the farolitos and the sound of drums through Earthworks during this celebration of the longest night of the year. Enjoy a luminaria labyrinth, flying farolitos, storytelling and warm snacks. Santa Fe Children’s Museum. 1050 Old Pecos Trail, 505-989-8359 or Admission $6.

Dec. 22, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Handmade gifts and bead sale to benefit the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. 1050 Old Pecos Trail, 505-989-8359 or www. Admission to the sale is free. Dec. 26-28, 6 p.m. Annual holiday performance series featuring music and dance by local performers. These performances often sell out, so buy tickets early. Santa Fe Children’s Museum, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, 505-989-8359 or Admission $6. Dec. 29, 7:30 p.m.–midnight. The Santa Fe VIP Masquerade Ball to benefit the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. Come in costume and enjoy food, drink, entertainment and dancing. All proceeds go to SFCM. 1050 Old Pecos Trail. For details, email children@ $50 per person. Jan. 11, 12-12:45 p.m. Richard Melzer, “Political Cartoons and New Mexico’s Struggle for Statehood 1850-1912,” a Centennial Brainpower & Brownbags Lecture. Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors, John Gaw Meem Room. Enter through the Washington Avenue doors. Free. Other

Every Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Santa Fe Artists Market. Juried local art show at the Railyard, between the Santa Fe Farmers Market and REI (Manhattan and Market streets). Pottery, paintings, drawings, textiles, jewelry, photography, sculpture and more.

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‘Chocolate, Maté y Mas’

story By A r i n M c K e n n A • p h otos By K i t t y l e A K e n When the Museum of International Folk Art announced that its next exhibit would be New World Cuisine: The Histories of Chocolate, Maté y Mas, someone emailed the museum to ask what food had to do with folk art. “And I thought, it’s perfect we’re having this exhibit, because food is so representative of culture,” said Nicolasa Chávez, curator of the museum’s U.S. Latino/Hispano/Spanish colonial collections and this exhibit. “Wherever we came from, some of our biggest memories are the food we grew up with. We identify our cultural heritage through food. We also identify it through the objects used for food. That idea is how food, daily objects, daily use ties into culture, folk art, folklore, folk heritage. Food is definitely of the people.” More than 300 historical culinary objects related to food harvesting, preparation, table settings and utilitarian and decorative implements are displayed in several kitchen and hearth tableaus. Scenes include a Spanish kitchen from the early 19th century and a Mexican colonial table with viceregal settings of Mexican silver and mayólica dinnerware, typical of the homes of the wealthy. The early 19th-century New Mexico kitchen will reflect the state’s heritage as Spain’s farthest frontier. “We were a little remote, but we were a part of Nueva España [New Spain], and a lot of these trade items did make it here,” Chávez said. A very popular trade item was chocolate (pronounced chō•cō•lah•tay in Spanish). New Mexico was the first region in the United States to enjoy this beverage, although it lost its prominence once coffee and tea were introduced via the Santa Fe Trail. The Spanish were not the first in this region to trade for chocolate. The exhibit includes a tiny potsherd from Chaco Canyon containing chocolate residue. “I wanted to really bring home that in New Mexico we’ve had a 1,000-year-old love affair with chocolate,” Chávez said. New Mexico was also the country’s first wine-producing region. In 1629, Franciscan friars defied Spain’s prohibition against exporting grapevines to the New World and smuggled in vines. Besides individual sections on wine and chocolate history, every hearth has objects related to those staples. These range from simple botijas (glass storage jars) and Spanish ceramic wine jugs


2012 Feliz Navidad

Museum of International Folk Art exhibit explores the foods that changed the world

Close encounters with mestizaje cuisine Local businesses bring New World flavors to life If the New World Cuisine exhibit leaves you curious, ravenous or both, the foods it extols may be sampled at the Museum Hill Café or the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Museum Hill Café is featuring contemporary mestizaje recipes for

the run of the exhibit, all with recommendations for New World wines. Enjoy an appetizer such as sweet corn custard with poblano cream sauce or entrées like Jalisco sopes — thick cornmeal tortillas with onion, tomato, pinto beans and crema. Of course, desserts will feature one of the most delectable New World foods — chocolate. 710 Camino Lejo, 984-8900, or

The Santa Fe School of Cooking is offering a series of classes during the exhibit that explore the melding of New World and Old World influences and its impact on New Mexican cuisine. Demonstration classes include “The Journey & History of Adobo From Spain to the New World,” “Meet the Three Sisters — Corn, Squash & Beans” and “Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate — Entrées to Desserts!” Participants enjoy a full meal and receive recipes for all the dishes. The school is donating 20 percent of all exhibit-related class admission proceeds to the Museum of International Folk Art. 125 N. Guadalupe St., 983-4511, or

¡Viva la revolucíon! The exhibition explores how New World foods the Spanish introduced to Europe and their global colonies transformed world cuisine. “It was the biggest food revolution in our history,” Chávez said. “Potatoes, corn, tomatoes and chocolate, green peppers and chile peppers all came from the New World.” The vanilla Europeans added to make chocolate less bitter also came from Mexico. “Imagine Italian foods without the tomato, or even gazpacho or paella in Spain, with tomatoes and bell peppers,” Chavéz said. “Early on people thought the chile peppers were native to China, but that wasn’t the case either. And all of that came from this part of the globe. So I see it as a positive history in that a lot of the national cuisines that we have today are because of this change that took place.” The interchange — sometimes called the Columbian Exchange — worked both ways. European imports such as onions and garlic, cheese, beef and pork were added to the traditional corn, beans and squash of the Southwestern indigenous diet to create a fusion known as mestizaje. Many of the foods we think of as typically Mexican and New Mexican — enchiladas, burritos, posole — are a result of that fusion. A table at the exhibit set up as a recipe exchange will encourage sharing those dishes. “We’re hoping people will leave their favorite recipe, like their grandmother’s empanadas,” Chavéz said. “And then we’ll have blank cards so people can copy recipes. We think it will be a nice way to get the community involved.” Another interactive piece of the exhibit is a scent station stocked with herbs native to the Americas and others, such as lavender, that have flourished here since the Spanish introduced them. The exhibit opens December 9, with a chance to taste historic chocolates, and other delicious events (see calendar, page 16), and runs through January 4, 2014.

to Asian and European spice jars retrofitted with locking metal lids in Mexico City to protect a household’s cacao from thieves. A South American hearth includes accouterments for yerba maté, a hot beverage made from the caffeinated leaves of the South American rain-forest holly tree — a drink that has only recently caught on in North America. The yerba maté cup was integral to the serving ritual, and a section of the maté room is devoted to maté accessories. “These little cups become a work of art in themselves,” Chavéz said. “There are thousands and thousands of different styles, from beautiful colonial silver to just a simple gourd cup that’s been hollowed out for drinking. And then there are painted gourds, carved gourds or gourds with silver applied. We also have some really fun contemporary pieces mixed in.” But the true impact of the exhibit is couched within the title, and goes far beyond table settings and crockery. “It’s not just about cuisine in the New World. It’s a new world of food, a new world of mixing and culture and heritage,” Chávez said.

2012 Feliz Navidad


Pleading for posole Favorite dish brings comfort, familiarity to holiday

Story By Patricia GreathouSe PhotoS By ryannan Bryer de hickman

The holidays call for comfort food — dishes that speak of home, food that everyone knows and loves. When family and close friends get together, we’re not trying to learn anything new, impress anyone or challenge ourselves. We save exotic ingredients and high technique recipes for less busy times and give our children what they want: beloved family recipes, preferably with lots of chile. Working together in the kitchen can be a uniting and tradition-building experience. In years past, my family often managed to have a tamalada, making dozens of tamales for hours on end. It’s a lot of fun but it’s trabajosa — a labor-intensive group activity. Another of my children’s most frequent holiday dinner requests is for posole. It has the same big New Mexican flavors of dried corn, pork and red chile — and it’s easy to make. The posole may be made days ahead of time; the pork is seasoned the day before and goes into the oven to roast for several hours before the meal. I set the timer and don’t think about it again until I’m ready to serve the meal. Most of the garnishes may also be prepared ahead of time. The recipe I use is nontraditional, inspired by the memory of one made by a childhood friend’s Texas grandmother. She was the best cook I ever knew, and her version is my all-time favorite. I have combined it with the satisfying richness of salty, crunchy-crusted roast pork rather than the soft, stewed pork that normally cooks in posole. Just as in Mexico, an array of tasty garnishes and a simple chile sauce are served on the side. There’s no need for salad — it’s already there in the bowl. Our 5-year-old granddaughter returning to the table to ask for more and the teenagers snatching bits of hot meat as we chop up the roast confirm that memories are being laid down — and that posole means home to them too.

❄❄❄ Whenever I begin to prepare this dish, I always have my doubts: Will it really become the rich, savory stew we all love from such simple, watery beginnings? But like all good alchemical experiences, the corn softens and takes on the flavors of the onion, garlic, chile and tomato. The meat crisps to salty, juicy perfection, and the garnishes add crunch and heat. This recipe also can be used to make a wonderful vegetarian meal; simply omit the pork and use a vegetable-based broth.


2012 Feliz Navidad


For the posole: Pork broth, chicken broth or water as needed 1 pound dried posole, rinsed and drained several times 1 bay leaf 1 large onion, quartered 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 2 dried New Mexico red chiles, stemmed and seeded, (or more to taste) 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes with juice 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (optional, recommended for vegetarian version) 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt (or to taste) Put broth or water and posole into a large stew pot. Add the bay leaf and the salt. Bring the liquid to a boil and then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Put the onion, garlic, chiles, oregano and tomatoes in a blender and blend until fairly smooth. Add to the posole with the olive oil and simmer for another hour or two or until the flavors meld and the posole “blooms” and is tender. Add more water as needed to maintain plenty of broth. When the posole is tender, taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. For the garnishes: Thinly shredded green cabbage cut in 1-inch lengths Scallions, sliced, or 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped Radishes, sliced and then cut into thin batons Avocado, cut in large dice (prepare the avocado right before serving) 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional) Dried Mexican oregano Lime sections Serve buffet style in a tureen or at the table, letting diners ladle hot posole into their bowls, adding garnishes and pork as desired. For the crispy pork roast: 4 pound fatty pork shoulder roast with fat layer on top of roast, if possible 2 tablespoons kosher salt Chile caribe, to taste The day before roasting, salt the pork all over and season with the chile caribe. Refrigerate. Five hours before serving time, remove the roast from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Four hours before serving, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Three hours before serving, put the pork fat side up in a small roasting pan and place in the oven. Roast 2 hours, then turn the roast over and roast another 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to rest 30 minutes to an hour. Whack the roast into large, bite-sized pieces and pile on a serving plate. Serve with posole and garnishes. Note: For a more traditional take on posole, combine any remaining pork and posole and cook until pork is tender. (Based on a recipe by Alice Waters)

2012 Feliz Navidad


Lighting the way home Celebrating endurance on Hanukkah

story By Patricia Greathouse Photos By ryannan Bryer de hickman

For Jews, lighting the menorah at Hanukkah — which starts on December 8 this year — celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. For eight days, families light menorahs, say prayers, sing psalms and songs, and sometimes give small gifts, leaving their candles to burn for at least an hour after dark. The celebration — also called the Festival of Lights — dates to the time of the Maccabean Revolt in the second century BCE. Judeans had been allowed to practice their religion and customs under the laws of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt and also under King Antiochus III of Syria who followed. However, because of internal political strife in the Jewish community, Antiochus IV, a Hellenist, was persuaded to attack Jerusalem, kill a number of the opposition, and defile the temple. He raised a statue to Zeus, sacrificed pigs on the altar, and outlawed the practice of Judaism. During this time, Jews were forced to study the Torah in secret, so whenever the soldiers appeared, children and scholars alike pretended to be playing with four-sided spinning tops called dreidels — the origin of another Hanukkah tradition. The Maccabees, a prominent religious family, fled with their followers to a fortified mountain hideout to


2012 Feliz Navidad

plan the retaking of Jerusalem. Upon taking back the temple, though, the Maccabees found that almost all the ritual olive oil had been profaned. Only one container that had been sealed by the high priest was available for the resanctification ritual. There should have been only enough oil for one day; however, legend says that the oil continued to burn for the next eight days. Today, lighting the Hanukkah menorah commemorates this miracle. (Some scholars say the legend of the oil was made up by rabbis in Babylonia 500 or 600 years after the retaking of the temple so that the holiday would focus on a “miracle” rather than on “military might,” which could tempt young men to rise up against their rulers.)

Delicious traditions Another way many Jews celebrate Hanukkah is through preparing special food. In the United States, latkes — potato pancakes fried in oil — are the most common food served during Hanukkah. In the Sephardic tradition, though, Jews from the Mediterranean and Africa often prefer a doughnut called sufganiyot, a popular holiday treat in Israel. Latkes and sufganiyot are eaten during the holiday because they necessitate using lots of oil, and oil is what kept the sacred lamps burning in the Temple in Jerusalem. But not everyone loves doughnuts — no matter how symbolic they might be. Santa Fe resident Bonnie Ellinger, who spent most of her life in Israel, said she hasn’t tasted sufganiyot “in about 40 years.” She said she

refused to eat them during Hanukkah because they were too greasy and fattening and that she “used to tell [her] female students before the holiday that they were not allowed to eat more than one per day, as they would not fit through the door of the classroom when they returned.” Sufganiyot doughs vary greatly, but almost all contain yeast, milk, butter, and eggs in addition to flour. Traditionally, the rich dough gets a quick pass through hot oil and a piped-in filling of strawberry jam. However, nowadays, fillings can include any flavor jam as well as chocolate, pistachio, and halva. After filling, they are sprinkled with powdered sugar. After trying three recipes for sufganiyot, all of which produced an unwieldy, gloppy batter, we found a recipe that works beautifully — a rich brioche dough, full of butter and eggs. While sufganiyot are good for several hours after frying, they’re best served while still warm. Take care, however: Six of us managed to eat 22 sufganiyot!


Janna Gur, founder and chief editor of Israel’s leading food and wine magazine, Al Hashulchan Gastronomic Monthly, and author of The Book of New Israeli Food, where we found the winning recipe, writes that “preparing doughnuts at home takes some motivation. So if you decide to go to the trouble, make a lot, freeze them and fry some each day.”


(Makes 30 regular doughnuts or 50 mini-doughnuts) For the dough: 2 ounces fresh yeast (can substitute 2 tablespoons instant yeast) 5- 1/2 fluid ounces (or 2/3 cup) lukewarm milk 2 pounds and 4 ounces (or 7 cups) flour 5-1/2 ounces (or 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) sugar 2 teaspoons salt 8 eggs at room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Zest of half a lemon Zest of half an orange 3 tablespoons rum or brandy 6 ounces soft butter For frying: Sunflower oil (burns slowly and has no aftertaste) For the filling: 1 cup strawberry jam (or whatever flavor you prefer) To serve: Confectioners’ sugar

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup milk. Put the flour, sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla extract, citrus zest, rum or brandy, and the remaining milk in a mixer bowl fitted with a kneading hook. Add the dissolved yeast and knead for 5 minutes. Add the butter gradually and continue kneading for 10 minutes at medium speed, until the dough is smooth. Sprinkle some flour over the dough in the bowl, cover with a moist towel and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. Knead the dough for another minute, form a smooth ball (it should weigh about 4 pounds at this point) and place on a work surface, preferably wood, sprinkled with flour. Cover with a moist towel and allow to rise for 15 to 20 minutes. Divide the dough into 30 doughnuts (or 50 minidoughnuts) and arrange, evenly spaced, on greased baking pans sprinkled with flour. Transfer the pans to a warm oven preheated to 110 degrees F. Place a saucepan with boiling water at the bottom of the oven to provide the dough with the necessary moisture. Allow the doughnuts to rise in the warm oven until they double in size.

Heat the oil for deep-frying to 365 degrees F (the temperature that worked best for us). Make sure there is no excess flour on the doughnuts, which can burn and cloud the oil, and fry the doughnuts in batches. Place them in the hot oil with the bottom (the side on which the doughnut was resting) facing up. The dome (top side) will develop a crust while the bottom will swell up slightly and the doughnut will take on a perfect round shape. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Taste the first doughnut to be sure it has been fried properly; if it’s brown on the outside and still moist and sticky on the inside, the oil is too hot. Arrange the doughnuts on a rack to allow the excess oil to drip off. To fill the doughnuts: Use a special syringe or a pastry bag with a long nozzle. Puncture the doughnut in the center, and press to release the filling. If the jam is too thick, mix in a little water. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve. Recipe adapted from The Book of New Israeli Food by Janna Gur (Schocken Books, 2008)

2012 Feliz Navidad


photos Kitty LeaKen

Chris Milligan, bartender at the Secreto Lounge in Santa Fe’s St. Francis Hotel, has created a number of signature drinks with Santa Fe Spirits’ Silver Coyote, including this holiday’s Santa’s Sour.

Local spirit

Time is on the side of small New Mexico distilleries By James selBy In the rhythm of modern life, we rely too frequently on ready-made options, leaving behind slower traditions, missing the benefits and simple rewards of taking our time. Cranking ice cream. Writing a letter. Distilling spirits in small batches. The people behind KGB Spirits, Don Quixote Distillery and Santa Fe Spirits, the three micro-distilleries now operating in New Mexico, followed dreams, endured brambles of governmental oversight, undertook tremendous investment and persevered through years of painstaking — drip by drip — analyses to join a national boom in the production of artisanal, small-batch spirits. Small craft sells big, and though overall production is tiny compared to large industrial distillers — a few thousand cases a year in contrast to 40,000 per day — profits can be substantial.

Small distiller, big plans



2012 Feliz Navidad

Gauges, pipes, pumps, vats, tanks, gaskets and valves, serpentine coils, fractionating columns, swan’s necks, boilers, condensers, diffusers and pots, fitted and stacked in a room with a high ceiling, emit esters, vapors, musts, heads, tails and hearts. These aren’t the apparatus of a Jules Verne saga or even Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil. Rather, these are the run-ofthe-mill tools of a master distiller. “We’re in the third year of our five-year business plan,” said Colin Keegan, owner of Santa Fe Spirits. “We expect to be profitable in the fourth.” The process is a slow one. “First years were about setting up

the distillery and honing our products. Now, we’re in the wild, woolly bugbear of getting them in the marketplace.” Small distillers compete against big name brands to earn placements on a shelf. Keegan, born in England and an architect by profession, became interested in distilling when he was approached by young brewer Nick Jones about using apples from Keegan’s orchard in Tesuque to make brandy. Santa Fe Spirits was founded in 2010 with Jones as its master distiller. Initially, along with a Calvados-like apple brandy, they produced Silver Coyote, an unoaked, clear, or “white,” whiskey. Chris Milligan, bartender at the Secreto Lounge in Santa Fe’s St. Francis Hotel, has created a number of signature drinks with Silver Coyote, including this holiday’s Santa’s Sour, using fresh lemon juice and spiced honey syrup, shaken and strained into a cocktail glass. Keegan has high hopes for the broad appeal for Expedition, a maizebased vodka released last spring, and the new Wheeler Peak gin, redolent of sage. Meanwhile, potential income rests untapped in oak casks. Keegan’s single-malt whiskey, made from mesquite-smoked barley, must age another year before bottling. Like his business plan, it’s a process that requires time, patience and nerve.

Home is where the spirits are

Don Quixote Distillery began like many other cottage industries — in the family kitchen — when Ron Dolin crafted a stovetop still for his wife, Olha (pronounced Ol-yah). Born in the Ukraine, where her father and grandfather distilled vodka, Olha is Don Quixote’s master distiller. Ron, keeping his full-time

job at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, is the master builder. Eventually, he constructed a proper distillery behind their White Rock home, built a larger copper alembic pot still and began jousting with the regulations governing distilleries. In 2005, Don Quixote became the first licensed and bonded distillery in New Mexico. Like pioneers, they made the licensing process an easier, shorter route for those who followed. The legendary Line Camp Roadhouse on U.S. 285 in Pojoaque has become the Dolins’ primary showroom, offering tastings, wine and spirits classes, and a venue for private events. With its new dance floor, lighting and a welcoming bar, it retains the feel of the honky-tonk it once was. Shelves display a full line of spirits, wine, sangria, extracts, ports, liqueurs and Don Quixote’s mainstay, Blue Corn Bourbon. Sourcing local organic blue corn, Olha does her own malting, a complicated process of soaking, germinating and drying the grains before distillation. “It gives the corn a beautiful flavor and texture that reflects in the spirit,” Olha said. Stefanie Gallegos, manager at the La Casa Sena Wine Shop in Santa Fe, has championed the product. “It’s bourbon with a clean palate of corn husk, corn silk minerality,” Gallegos said. “Customers are pleasantly surprised at the high quality and value.” Her husband, David Sundberg, chef of the Blue Corn Brewery in the Southside, added, “We rolled out a Don Quixote Blue Corn margarita, with tequila and fresh lime — the Don Querita. The woody character of the bourbon takes a traditional margarita to the next level.”

Well of inspiration

“We have a magic well,” said John Bernasconi, the president and master distiller, along with Steve Jarrett, of KGB Spirits. “Our branch water is alkaline, with a high pH, giving our spirits a uniquely soft, seductive richness.” Bernasconi is at once a man of science and philosophy, a brilliance he’s used these last half-dozen years to develop KGB’s Los Luceros Destilaría, which occupies a large straw-bale building in a quiet, lonely spot near the Rio Grande in Alcade, southeast of Taos. KGB’s Taos Lightning single-barrel brands of rye and bourbon became immediate successes upon release in 2011. Absinthe, classically called la fée verte — the green fairy — and Naranjo, an orange liqueur, are new releases. The recipe for their Brimstone Absinthe, overseen by Jarrett, a former chef, uses the “holy trinity” of wormwood, anise and fennel and can be sipped on its own or used in cocktails. Natasha Aasgaarden, director of restaurants at the Inn and Spa at Loretto, said, “We use Taos Lightning Bourbon in our house Manhattan and John’s Hacienda Gin in a rosemary-infused gimlet. Our customers come from all over. It’s lovely to provide them with an amazing local spirit.” Despite taking several medals at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including silver for his Viracocha Vodka, Bernasconi is a reluctant salesman. “I’ve come full circle,” he mused, “from expecting [that] to be successful we’d have to sell outside the state, to realizing New Mexico can consume everything I produce. We’ve been welcomed by the community. I need to supply New Mexico first.”

Santa’S Sour

2 ounces Santa Fe Spirits Silver Coyote 3/4 ounces spiced honey syrup (recipe below) 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice Cherries Put first three ingredients in a mixing glass and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry. For spiced honey syrup: Toast 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon cloves and 1 cinnamon stick until fragrant. Add to an 8-ounce bottle of honey and let macerate at room temperature for 24 hours. Thoroughly mix spiced honey with 2 ounces of hot water and refrigerate. Recipe by Chris Milligan, Mixologist/Secreto Lounge manager, St. Francis Hotel, Santa Fe;

EnchantEd Manhattan

3/4 ounce ruby port 5 drops Bitter End Mexican Mole bitters* 2 ounces Taos Lightning Rye Whiskey Garnish: Drunken cherry (recipe follows) Stir whiskey, port and bitters in a mixing glass, with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a drunken cherry. To make drunken cherries: In a small bowl, cover sour cherries with Taos Lightning and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. *Bitter End Mexican Mole bitters are made by hand in Santa Fe. For more information, visit Recipe by Natalie Bovis,

Santa’s Sour

Where to find New Mexico’s small-batch spirits Not every shop can stock all items, but if a product — spirits, wine or beer — is sold anywhere in New Mexico, your favorite independent store, and some chains, will be able to procure it for you. With a few days’ notice, most are happy to special order any quantity, whether one bottle or more, at no extra fee beyond normal markup. Where allowed, some distilleries will ship directly to outof-state customers. For general distribution information, check the websites listed below. Santa Fe Spirits is off Airport Road in Santa Fe, offering tours and

tastings. Its products are available for sale in the tasting room, along with gift sets of small format bottles, T-shirts, glassware and flasks. The public is invited to tipple a bargain-priced cocktail at the distillery’s English pubstyle bar while observing the distillery and barrel room behind glass walls. For the do-it-yourselfer, ask about purchasing a kit that allows you to age your own whiskey at home in 2-, 5- or 10-liter oak barrels. 7505 Mallard Way, Santa Fe; 505-467-8892;

Don Quixote Distillery and Winery has two tasting rooms, with a

full line of products and related gifts available for sale. In Pojoaque, the tasting room hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m on Sunday. Los Alamos/White Rock hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; closed Monday. Call 505-695-0817 for information and directions, or visit

KGB Spirits, Los Luceros Destilaría does not have a tasting room, sell directly or offer tours to consumers. Kokoman Fine Wine and Liquor in Pojoaque, Susan’s Fine Wine and Spirits in Santa Fe and Jubilation Wine and Spirits in Albuquerque have selected individual single barrels (250 bottles) of Taos Lightning, unique to their stores. For more information,

KGB Spirits, Los Luceros Destilaría

2012 Feliz Navidad


Visit the Railyard & Guadalupe District

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San Francisco, CA Washington, DC Kansas City, MO Henley-on-Thames, UK Chicago, IL (opening soon)


2012 Feliz Navidad

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345 W. Manhattan, Santa Fe, NM Across from the Train Station (505) 984-1256

2013 Season begins mid-January

2012 Feliz Navidad


Sonic celebration

Ensembles set the table for a feast of holiday music

Schola Cantorum of Santa Fe


By Craig Smith

Georgian singing tradition is fascinating. Exciting lines moving in parallel motion give it a rustic and exciting quality. The change from the Gregorian chant to the exotic Georgian folk style gives our singers a chance to show off the variety of tone that they are known for. Mathias’ ‘Hodie’ is a return to the traditional, in this case well-beloved, English choral tradition.” The ensemble also will perform a setting of the Latin text “O magnum mysterium” — something that’s become a hallmark of these Christmas concerts. This season’s choice is by Ola Gjeilo, who Habermann identified as “a Norwegian composer now living in the US. His longarched soundscapes and gorgeous melodies capture the wonder of the season.” A lighter-side concert, and one that permits audience members to join in on favorite songs and carols, takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at Cristo Rey Church — The Big Holiday Sing. Habermann and the SFDC will be joined by the University of New Mexico Concert Choir directed by Bradley Ellingboe and the Rio Grande Youth Chorale directed by Sue Passell. Limber up your vocal cords and give it a go! For those who like their year-end holidays with a touch of popular music, The Lighter Side of Christmas, a gala event, is set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the LewAllen Gallery downtown. The concert will be preceded by champagne and hors d’oeuvres, and the event includes a silent auction and popular selections by Habermann and the singers. Finally, A Toast to the New Year gives several opportunities for listeners to ring in 2013 — at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28, Saturday, Dec. 29, and Sunday, Dec. 30 — in Loretto Chapel and at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, Sunday, Dec. 30, and 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, at the Church of the Holy Faith. Former music director Linda Mack will lead this repertoire with eight singers. Visit www.

The holidays are a perfect time for celebrations — and that means music. As usual at this time of year, a number of ensembles have planned December concerts that include repertoire from Corelli and Vivaldi to Beethoven and Mozart, not to mention Broadway favorites and contemporary classical music. Here’s a list of what to hear, and when, in alphabetical order by ensemble. Note: Ticket prices depend on event, venue, and seat location. Unless otherwise noted, tickets for all concerts can be ordered through Tickets Santa Fe at the Lensic, 505-988-1234. Venue addresses are on page 29.

Santa Fe Concert Association ($10-$95)

With everything from choral music to Broadway on the stage, the Santa Fe Concert Association is appealing to just about every taste in December. The superb 12-member male vocal ensemble Chanticleer kicks off the month’s offerings with a 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, concert in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The next Monday, Dec. 10, the celebrated guitar quartet, The Romeros, joins conductorviolist Massimo Paris and Concerto Málaga, a string ensemble from Spain, in St. Francis Auditorium in the New Mexico Museum of Art. “Chanticleer promises to be a magical evening,” said SFCA artistic director Joseph Illick, “and the Romeros’ concert will also focus on holiday music.” Eleven-year-old pianist and composer Emily Bear joins the SFCA Orchestra and conductor Illick at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, for works including the first movement of Schumann’s Piano Concerto and several of her own compositions; Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony completes the program. Illick chose Bear not just because she’s a prodigy, he said, but because of her “musical gifts and amazing compositional authority. … Emily has performed at the White House, the Hollywood Bowl, Ravinia, the Montreux Jazz Festival and at Carnegie Hall. “She also has released five CDs of her own music. Her


2012 Feliz Navidad

Emily Bear

courtEsy photos

performance will include a new orchestral piece that she has composed for Santa Fe as well as a short film score.” Broadway actor, singer and dancer Sutton Foster takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27. And at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, the acclaimed Harlem String Quartet, which drew bravos in its SFCA performance last season, joins Illick and the SFCA Orchestra. The group will perform as soloists in a concerto for string quartet by Randall Fleischer, based on themes from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. The program will open with the overture to Bernstein’s Candide and conclude with Brahms’ First Symphony. (A New Year’s Eve gala follows; call 505-984-8759 for information.) All three concerts are in the Lensic Performing Arts Center. Visit www.

Santa Fe Desert Chorale ($10-$65)

The chorale’s 2012 Winter Festival runs from Dec. 14 through 31. Carols and Lullabies, which combines holiday fare with lullabies from around the world, can be heard at the cathedral basilica at 8 p.m. Friday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday — Dec. 14, 18, 20, 21 and 22 — conducted by music director Joshua Habermann. The repertoire includes William Mathias’ “Hodie Christus Natus Est”; Franz Biebl’s ever-popular “Ave Maria”; Spanish carols including “Ya Viene la Vieja,” “A la Ninata Nana” and “De la Montañas Venimos”; and a medley of American spirituals. Habermann said, “The opening set pairs the traditional and beloved (‘O Come Emanuel’) with the unexpected: ‘Alilo’ from Georgia — the country, not the state! The

Santa Fe Opera (free event)

The Santa Fe Opera offers a local holiday concert with two of its fine 2012 season apprentices, tenor Matthew Grills and soprano Mary-Jane Lee, at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at Cristo Rey Church. The concert is free and open to the public; doors open a half-hour before performance for general admission seating. These usually fill up quickly, so get there early. Visit

Santa Fe Symphony Santa Fe Desert Chorale

terry behal

Santa Fe Pro Musica ($20-$65)

Baroque to Mozart fills out Santa Fe Pro Musica’s December slate. Returning this year will be the always popular (and sold-out) Christmas concerts, which take place at 6 and 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, through Monday, Dec. 24. The nine-member Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Orchestra will accompany soprano Liesl Odenweller and mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski (on alternating concerts) in Vivaldi’s solo cantata “Nulla in mundo pax sincera.” Other works programmed are a suite drawn from Purcell’s incidental music to The Fairy Queen, Corelli’s Christmas Concerto in G Major, the Handel aria “O had I Jubal’s Lyre” and traditional carols. The intimate Loretto Chapel is the venue. “We have performed our Baroque Christmas concerts for many years in Loretto Chapel,” said Pro Musica founder and conductor Thomas O’Connor. “We take pleasure in sharing some great Baroque instrumental and vocal music, performed on period instruments, with our audiences. The chapel is well-suited to the softer, more nuanced sounds of gut strings and Baroque winds.” Pro Musica then rings in the New Year with an allMozart set of two concerts at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30, in St. Francis Auditorium in the New Mexico Museum of Art. Violinist Stephen Redfield and violist Kimberly Fredenburgh will solo in the Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major, while soprano Kathryn Mueller takes the stage in the solo cantata Exsultate, jubilate. The Symphony No. 40 in G Minor wraps up the proceedings. O’Connor said the Mozart concert, like last year’s late-December performances of the Bach Brandenburg Concertos, is a programming choice that reflects audience interest. “The Baroque Christmas concerts sell out, and we are frequently asked by visitors who can’t get tickets to them if we have other concerts before New Year’s. Now we can say yes. This is a concert of Mozart hits, with three works that are among his most popular.” And of the often-heard G Minor Symphony, O’Connor promised a different take: “Not the saccharine sound bed with added drum track you might hear in a waiting room, but rather a revolution and revelation that set the table for Beethoven.”

Santa Fe Symphony ($20-$70)

Schroeder’s favorite composer is again on the cards for the Santa Fe Symphony’s annual Beethoven Fest. This year the concert, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, offers a wide range of popular favorites by “the Lion of Bonn” — the concert overture to Egmont, the Symphony No. 7, and the brilliant Triple Concerto with the Weiss-Kaplan-

Newman Trio as soloists: pianist Yael Weiss, violinist Mark Kaplan and cellist Clancy Newman. Music director Steven Smith conducts. “The symphony has a long tradition of performing Beethoven’s works,” said founder Greg Heltman “Beethoven worked with a craftsman-like discipline at his compositions; he was a real artisan, with sketchbook upon sketchbook working out ideas. “I feel his music has an ‘everyman’ quality to it,” Heltman added. “In the Symphony No. 7, the final movement’s triumphant and galloping call to action is not sweepingly melodic; as in so much of Beethoven’s work, it is the rhythmic and harmonic drive that grabs listener and players alike.” As for the Triple Concerto, one of the big and bestbeloved pieces in the concerto literature, Heltman noted, “The programming committee has wanted for some time to present the Triple Concerto. … We listened to several different ensembles and we were particularly impressed by the individual virtuosity of the Weiss-Kaplan-Newman Trio members, as well as their musical maturity, finesse and excellent ensemble.” Visit

Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble ($16-$35)

Thirty-two years is a charm for the Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble, which celebrates its annual holiday artistic observances with a Winter Festival of Song. This year, performances are in two locations: the intimate Loretto Chapel at 7 p.m. Friday, Sunday, and Friday — Dec. 7, 9, and 14 — and at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, in the charming Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel at 50 Mount Carmel Road in Santa Fe. The 12-voice female group has maintained a strong presence on the Santa Fe music scene not only because of its reputation for smooth blend and attractive vocalism: From its earliest years, the group has been devoted to commissioning new music. In fact, the Women’s Ensemble won the 2012 Chorus America/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award — a prestigious national recognition. This holiday season, contemporary music and more standard fare are on the agenda. The featured work is “That Passeth All Understanding” by New Mexico composer and University of New Mexico faculty member Bradley Ellingboe. The group will perform a set of six English carols arranged and accompanied by Santa Fe composer and guitarist Gregory Schneider, plus more contemporary pieces by Stephen Paulus, Willametta Spencer and Ivo Antognini. For tickets, call 505-954-4922 or visit

Schola Cantorum of Santa Fe ($15-$20, some

Santa Fe Pro Musica

photo peter norby

a Santa Fe native and former director of music at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, has a number of concerts scheduled in Santa Fe for the holiday season. From 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, the group joins the monks of the Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert in the New Mexico History Museum lobby for Gregorian chants and 16th century masterworks. The collaborative program is part of the History Museum’s programming for the current exhibition, The Saint John’s Bible and Contemplative Landscape. The concert is free with museum admission. On Monday, Dec. 17, the Schola will perform Schola Christmas in Loretto Chapel at 7 p.m.; a concert preview takes place at 6:30 p.m. From favorite carols and Gregorian chant to Italian Renaissance music, the event celebrates sacred music associated with Christmas. A special feature is the inclusion of 14th-century Irish chant to provide a Celtic flavor to the repertoire. Tickets are available through The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the site for a 7 p.m. concert Sunday, Dec. 23. Titled “Noël Nouvelet — The First Christmas,” the free event offers carols, medieval Christmas music of Spain and Ireland and Northern New Mexico alabados. Irish musician Gerry Carthy joins the ensemble on tin whistle. And at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, the Schola rings in Christmas with a Gregorian Chant Christmas Eve Mass at San Miguel Mission. There is no charge for admission.

Concert Venues Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, 103 Cathedral Place Church of the Holy Faith, 311 E. Palace Ave. Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 417 Agua Fría St. Cristo Rey Church, 1120 Canyon Road Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, 50 Mount Carmel Road Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco St. LewAllen Gallery Downtown, 125 W. Palace Ave. Loretto Chapel, 207 Old Santa Fe Trail New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Ave. St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 W. Palace Ave.

events free)

San Miguel Mission, 401 Old Santa Fe Trail

This a capella ensemble, founded in 1990 by Billy Turney,

Scottish Rite Center, 463 Paseo de Peralta

2012 Feliz Navidad


photoS By RoSAlie o'CoNNoR

A land of enchantment

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ an entertaining twist on a holiday classic By Craig Smith

Gisela Genchow has seen scores of performances of Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet The Nutcracker — perhaps more than a hundred. But for the eager, personable director of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s Santa Fe dance school, familiarity has never even bred displeasure, let alone contempt.

Details aspen Santa Fe Ballet presents The Nutcracker at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 1 and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday, December 2 Lensic Performing arts Center 211 W. San Francisco St. tickets: $20-$62 For reservations or more information, call 505-988-1234 or visit


2012 Feliz Navidad

“I especially love this production,” Genchow said in an interview a few weeks before rehearsals began for this year’s Nutcracker presentation — two performances each on Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2, in the Lensic Performing Arts Center. “It has that magic you think about when you think about a wonderful ballet. It’s fresh and it’s really pretty, every year, and it tells the story wonderfully.” This production has been an ASFB standard for a number of years. It begins, as usual, at a holiday party in the home of Clara, her brother, Franz, and their parents. Family friends are there with their children, who enjoy playing together as well as snatching cookies from the maid and opening their presents. It’s a perfect night for happy revelry. But then a strange man enters, and everyone draws back in consternation. Surprise — it’s Clara and Franz’s Uncle Drosselmeyer, a quirky toymaker and magician. He entertains everyone with life-sized dancing dolls, including a skater and a wild acrobat, and then gives Clara a special present — a soldier nutcracker. Franz smashes the toy, but Drosselmeyer comforts Clara by putting the nutcracker’s head back onto his shoulders with what he assures her is a magic handkerchief.

After the party, Clara falls asleep on the sofa with the nutcracker by her side. As midnight strikes, a band of thieving mice enter and start to take away all the presents. But Drosselmeyer suddenly appears and magically brings the nutcracker to life as a soldier prince, who leads the animated toys in battle against the wicked Mouse King and his minions. When Clara helps the nutcracker defeat the mouse army, he shows his gratitude by taking her first to the Land of Snow, and then to the Land of Sweets, where Clara is welcomed by the Sugar Plum Fairy. This point is where Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s production makes a charming departure from the usual scenario: The Land of Sweets is a carnival, complete with carousel, acrobats, toothsome treats, and all the fun of a succession of characteristic dances. Clara is delighted with the tribute, and when it ends, she finds herself transported home with the gratitude of all the toys and magical beings. Has she dreamt the adventure — or lived it?

Pulling off the magic Genchow has a big task ahead of her when Nutcracker begins rehearsals. Not so much because of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s professional dancers, who are old hands onstage, but for the need to effectively integrate young, local student dancers into the story. “Acting is so important for the young dancers,” Genchow said. “It’s not just about learning the dances. They have to be in the story the way actors do, otherwise it doesn’t look like it’s the right kind of make-believe. It’s a very imaginative production and they have to understand that from a child’s perspective.” There are plenty of children to fit into the performances, too — more than 100. Their roles range from party guests to mice, from soldiers to candy canes, from toy blocks to animal toys, from ladybugs to

bumblebees. Those little insects, by the way, fly in and out among the moving flowers in the famous “Waltz of the Flowers.” For the young dancers, learning their parts is only the beginning. As Genchow notes, they have to become part of the show and feel comfortable onstage. “The 3- and 4-year olds are not quite ready to be in the show, but the 5- and 6-year olds are the bumblebees and ladybugs,” she explained. “We have four casts of bumblebees, three casts of candy canes, and so on. A lot of it has to do with height — who you can cast in what part so they look right as well as being able to dance.” While The Nutcracker is the hands-down winner for a holiday-time ballet in the United States, it’s very seldom performed in Europe, Genchow pointed out: During her own years of training and professional dancing abroad, the work never came her way. “They say it is the one ballet that everybody does in this country — every school, every company. I don’t know why it’s become such a tradition here. I never did it in Europe. We always did something for children; we did Sleeping Beauty or Pinocchio or Cinderella, a big story ballet for Christmas. But not Nutcracker.” When the ASFB Nutcracker completes its performances here, it won’t be the final curtain for either the professional dancers or the students. The company goes on to Omaha, Nebraska, to do a long series of shows, then heads back home to Aspen to close off the run. In both locations, students from local studios will need to be integrated into the production. And studio sessions and classes will go right on for the local Santa Fe youngsters. “We do continue with classes right until the week of Christmas,” Genchow said with a smile. “It’s the muscles, you know. If you don’t use it, you lose it. There’s already a two-week break over the holidays — so no, we keep going right up to the end.”

2012 Feliz Navidad


Child’s play Dave Dillman (aka Papa Dave), center, reads to (left to right) Eliza Badner-Lane, 6, Tulah Stanford, 8, and her brother, Tate Stanford, 5, at the Bee Hive bookstore on Montezuma Avenue. story By Beth surdut • Photos By kerry sherck

Creativity, curiosity, and attention to quality — as well as a decided lack of electronics — are the common elements in five of Santa Fe’s locally owned children’s book and toy stores. The personal interests and tastes of the individual shop owners filter through the selection of books, toys, games, musical instruments, art supplies, clothing, and science experiments on offer. Bee Hive

328 Montezuma Avenue 505-780-8081 This compact bookstore — about to celebrate its first birthday — is owned by Christian Nardi, who is committed to sparking the imaginations of children of all ages. “I have two small children who had to be raised in a town with a store full of books where they could see more than just a book cover. The idea started and just kept rolling along,” Nardi said. “You can start reading to kids when they’re in the womb.” Among Nardi’s favorite works are a bilingual edition of My Friends by Taro Gomi, a board book for children up to three years old; Red Sings from the Colors, by Treetops: A Year in Colors Joyce Sidman, illustrated by


2012 Feliz Navidad

Moon Rabbit Toys

Pamela Zagarenski; and the Caldecott Honor book All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee. “The illustrations are gorgeous and it is lovely to read out loud,” Nardi said. “It rhymes and shows you where you are in nature, family, and community.” A wealth of classic titles sits on Bee Hive’s shelves like old friends dressed in new packaging and illustrations. Nardi noted that parents tend to pick out the classics — such as Treasure Island, Winnie the Pooh, Anne of Green Gables, and Little House on the Prairie — as gifts, while the kids are more likely to choose newer authors. “To get a kid involved in the classics – so timelessly engrossing—is the biggest gift you can give.” Nardi reached for two hefty books by Brian Selznick that she believes are bound to become classics — The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the source of the movie Hugo, which features close to 300 fabulous, full-page illustrations, and Wonderstruck, which charts the adventures of two children, one whose story is told only in words, the other’s only in images. You’ll find more recommendations from Nardi — as well as a blog and newsletter —on the shop’s website. Bee Hive stocks a strong selection of titles in the Young Adult category and, like all the stores listed here, knows that adults are just kids who have been around longer — and offers a monthly book club for them, too.

Merry Go Round Children’s Store

150 Washington Street 505-988-5422 A large selection of dragons from France and Germany — three-headed, fire-breathing, forest, ice, crystal, plush, and more — have taken up temporary residence in downtown Santa Fe, along with beautifully crafted unicorns, horses, and fairy companions that travel with butterflies. For the humans who adopt them, there are dragon T-shirts and princess or fairy outfits to match at Merry Go Round Children’s Store, just off the Plaza. “Science and dragons are huge,” said owner Jennifer Forman, searching for her favorite, an armored girl riding her trusty armored dragon. Forman, Merry Go Round’s proprietor for 17 years, recently expanded its inventory by merging it with her Toyopolis store formerly on Marcy Street. A best-selling baby gift is an invitingly soft blankie with a small stuffed animal head

Left, Merry Go Round Children's Store offers a large selection of dragons, among other games, clothes and toys. Right, Serena Simpson of Albuquerque, 16 months, left, tries on a $5 fire hat at The Santa Fe Children's Museum, as her mother, Teresa, looks on. The museum has a variety of toys and gifts in the $1-5 range, among other items.

attached to one corner, child safe and chewable. Forman is also enthusiastic about the Sea Monkeys, Magic 8 Balls, Lincoln Logs, and Legos. Forman’s son serves double duty as the in-house toy tester. “My little guy started playing Banagrams (a favorite for word gamers) when he was seven,” Forman said, and she went on to recommend a variety of word and math games for all ages, including Shut the Box and the 4-Way games. “I have people coming in for games for an 80-year-old,” she said, pointing out the memory games. “Some people want educational [games] and some just want fun.” Others want both — such as the kits to build clocks powered by lemons or potatoes. “What I love about being here,” said Forman, “is that it’s always a celebration.”

Moon Rabbit Toys

112 West San Francisco Street (upstairs in the Plaza Mercado) 505-982-9373 In the 1920s, British archeologists unearthed boards and game pieces at the gravesites of the 5,000-year-old Mesopotamian City of Ur, but the rules of the game were unclear — perhaps lending credence to the idea that he who dies with the most toys, wins. At Santa Fe’s Moon Rabbit Toys, the game of Ur is accompanied by instructions developed by owner Shana Hack. Both she and store employee Will Culbert have also developed brand new games for ages 5 and up. Hack recommends a German game called Catan, which is an economic strategy series for ages 10 to adult. “In Germany,” Hack said, “board games are considered an art form. Catan started the Euro-gaming trend and is one of the best selling games in the world.” Moon Rabbit stocks over 150 games with playing times ranging from 15 minutes to 5 hours for one called Arkham Horror, based on H.P. Lovecraft characters. Wandering through the shop — whose motto is “real toys for unreal times” — is a global meander with sturdy, color-laden animals from Sri Lanka and designated Fair Trade games made by women who come from India to sell at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. Still, Hack says, about 40 percent of her products are American made. Wood plays a big part in the inventory, including New York banjos and ukuleles, Vermont baby rattles, Amish blocks and marble building sets, and intricate high-end Liberty Puzzles from Colorado.

The Children’s Museum

1050 Old Pecos Trail 505-989-8359 Because Meri Frauwirth, supervisor of the shop at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, wants everyone who visits to be able to go home with something interesting and safe at a minimal cost, she provides many items in the one to five dollar range. “Good stuff, not junk. [Every] item in here has been certified safe by the federal government,” she said, pulling at the eye of a miniature stuffed animal to make her point. The Indestructibles, picture books with beautiful graphics about world cultures, also live up to their name. “You can chew on them, wet them, and they hold up. “Kids are very fast in picking up how to put things together,” Frauwirth said. Kids can build robots that really work — robots that wander, clean, and perhaps clean up after the ones that scribble as they move around the house. Frauwirth, who has a master’s degree in mathematics, chuckled gleefully at the suggestion that a scribbling robot was a parent’s nightmare, then created a diversion by picking up an Energy Stick. “Here, touch this and hold my hand.” The electricity in our bodies created a visible current through the stick. Many of the toys at the museum shop are experiential — including a Dinosaur Skeleton Excavation Kit and a Smithsonian Rock and Gem Dig. The Potato Chip Science Book and Stuff holds “29 incredible experiments in one bag!” The Children’s Museum also bugs people — literally! — thanks to an extraordinary collection of mounted insects provided by Oliver Greer, who also teaches kids the art of preservation. An outstanding gift from this venue is a yearlong family membership to the museum (which includes the babysitter, nanny, and grandparents) or a gift certificate that covers four visits to this unique community resource.


500 Montezuma Avenue (in Sanbusco Market Center) 505-820-3338 At Play, a sturdy rope swing hangs from the ceiling like a thick vine in Tarzan’s jungle. “Children immediately run to it, and an 80-year-old put down his cane and swung,”


said former buyer Annamaria O’Brien, who still stops by regularly. Play owner Nina Koh and her staff have created a place where “kids are welcome to play while parents shop” — and the definition of “kid” is as fuzzy as the baby alpaca fur in Oeuf’s high-end clothing line. Play’s clothing selection — delicious sweaters, accessories, embroidered dresses, and color-saturated felted slippers from Sweden — are so appealing, Koh said, that adults try to squeeze into them. Budding fashion designers can pick up a Design Your Own Superhero Cape. But Play is more than a fashion statement. The store also is the sole supplier in New Mexico for Kickboard scooters, in three sizes for kids 3-6 years, 6-11, and adults. O’Brien, who has small children, describes the scooters as “easier than learning a bike and really safe.” On a smaller scale, Playforever makes sleek and sculpturally interesting molded retro-modern cars, motorcycles, and planes propelled by hand and mind. For do-it-yourselfers, France-based Moulin Roty puts together wooden boxes filled with high-quality essentials for the traveling woodworker, tea party hostess, and gardener. Many of the toys, projects, and goods at Play are also friendly to the environment or local craftspeople. Colorful magnetic building blocks from Honduras support Fair Trade, and bamboo swaddling blankets help the planet. Locally made items include wooden toys by Matthew Ellis, soothing calendula salve by Nancy O’Mara and beautifully designed felted slippers with ravens and bluebirds by Byzaleth. KidsonRoof offers a Totem series of large build-your-own butterflies and other creatures from recycled cardboard parts.

2012 Feliz Navidad


A uniquely New Mexican children’s book How Hollyhocks Came to New Mexico/Cómo llegaron las Varas de San José a Nuevo México By Arin McKennA

Imagine what the Holy Family would have seen had they been transported to New Mexico instead of fleeing to Egypt after Herod’s decree to kill all male infants in Bethlehem. That is exactly what author Rudolfo Anaya has done in his new bilingual children’s book, How Hollyhocks Came to New Mexico/Cómo llegaron

How Hollyhocks Came to New Mexico By Rudolfo Anaya Illustrations by Nicolás Otero Translation by Nasario García (Rio Grande Books, 2012) From 2-4 p.m. on November 25, the Main Library of the Santa Fe Public Library (145 Washington Avenue) hosts a “Meet, Greet, & Sign: Rudolfo Anaya’s Newest Book” event in the Community Room. Illustrator Nicolás Otero will be on hand, as will Anaya if his health permits. For more information, call 505-955-6780.

las Varas de San José a Nuevo México. México


The hollyhocks in his own backyard inspired the story. “All of my work takes place here with people and customs and traditions and history and language and landscape,” Anaya said. “So for several years, I’ve had the most beautiful hollyhocks in my backyard, and the question is, how did they get here? “And since in Spanish we call hollyhocks Varas de San José, the flowers from the staff of St. Joseph, it kind of fit to do something creative with the story and say that once upon a time the Holy Family visited New Mexico, and when they left, St. Joseph stuck the big staff that he carries in the ground, and that’s where the hollyhocks started.” In Anaya’s story, an angel named Sueño (Sleep or Dream), warns the Holy Family about Herod’s decree and offers to carry them to safety in Egypt. But, true to his name, Sueño falls asleep during the journey and wakes up over New Mexico. He mistakes White Sands for the Egyptian desert and the Río Grande for the Nile and deposits his charges there. The Holy Family journeys through both time and space as they follow the Río Grande into Northern New Mexico, where they encounter ancestral Puebloan people living in cliff dwellings, as well as their descendents living in adobe pueblos. The Holy Family learns to cook and enjoy New Mexican food, a healer teaches Mary about herbs, and Jesús blesses the earth in Chimayó to infuse it with healing power. When Sueño realizes his error and returns for the Holy Family, Joseph plants his staff in the ground as a gift to the people who helped them. After the monsoons, the staff flowers into a hollyhock plant that scatters its seeds throughout New Mexico.

Picturing New Mexico Nicolás Otero — a santero, or artist who depicts saints — modeled his illustrations for Hollyhocks after traditional New Mexico retablos (two-dimensional images of saints). “Some other illustrator might have done a traditional angel with big white wings and golden hair,” Anaya said, “but Nicolás just nailed it in terms of presenting a very New Mexico feel to the illustrations.” Otero received a rough draft with a few notes from Anaya and publishers Barbara Awalt and Paul Rhetts of LPD Press/Rio Grande Books about what they envisioned. Then the artist began his own research. He read every book Anaya has written — well over 40. “I did that so that I could find out common themes in his writing,” Otero said. “The whole theme around his work, in my opinion, is the traditional Hispanic ways. So it just seemed like using the retablo style fit like a glove.” His research also helped Otero select images to highlight the text. “You read a page and say, what’s really going on here? What would a child want to see? What would a reader want to see pictured with this text?” Otero’s illustrations capture Anaya’s love of New Mexico and its people — one of the author’s motivations for writing children’s books. “There was a vacuum in books for children that deal with our New Mexico experience, so I felt it was time to bring that back,” Anaya said. “The hollyhock may not have appeared in folktales, but it’s part of us. They’re the poor family’s flower. They’re so beautiful, they require so little care, and they just bloom most of the summer. It grows against every wall in New Mexico, in every back yard, and it’s got that connection to the staff of St. Joseph. It’s all about those relationships and being creative.”

In Spanish we call hollyhocks Varas de San José, the flowers from the staff of St. Joseph pHoto Clyde Mueller


2012 Feliz Navidad


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here is something sacred about standing quietly in the predawn darkness on a cold January morning, waiting for the rising sun to silhouette Deer Dancers on twin hillcrests towering over the Pueblo of San Ildefonso. Likewise, seeing Taos Pueblo on Christmas Eve, radiant with luminarias and farolitos (bonfires and candle-lit paper bags) for the Procession of the Blessed Mother evokes a similar response. The sacred is what the pueblo dances are meant to evoke. This ancient form of prayer uses song, drumming, and dance to give thanks for the Creator’s blessings and to every form of life that sacrifices itself to give the people life. Elmer Torres is a tribal member and former governor of San Ildefonso Pueblo. “All of the feast days I view as a day of celebration,” he said, “celebrating with your family, your friends, and others from throughout the entire community, whether it be non-Native Americans or Native Americans. I would say the whole thing is about life — about having a good life, sharing our blessings, giving ourselves up and sacrificing for the dance. Dancing all day, you make that sacrifice. And at the end, you feel good, and some of the blessings that come with that, you share with all the folks.” The dances most often presented in the winter months are the animal dances, such as the Deer Dance or Buffalo Dance. “These are the animals that we harvested, and we’re dancing in respect for them, and in hope that throughout the coming years that harvest is there for tribal members for food,” Torres said. “It’s giving back for what we get from them, being respectful. And a lot of people forget that, the simplest things that are out there. It’s giving back to Mother Nature and protecting what’s out there.” As the Christmas Eve procession at Taos and other vespers ceremonies so


clearly illustrate, the Puebloan people move freely between the Catholic faith brought by the Spanish and their far older religious traditions, often merging the two. Many pueblos celebrate ancient dances in churches after Midnight Mass, and their patron saints preside over feast day dances, following a mass honoring the saint’s day. During the Christmas season, several pueblos still dance the Matachine dances introduced by the Spanish. Torres recalls how his grandfather, who was from Ohkay Owingeh, played violin for Matachine dances both at his pueblo and for the Hispanic community of Alcalde. Torres often educates visitors to Than Povi Art Gallery, which he owns with his wife Deborah, about how to respectfully enjoy the dances. The gallery website ( has a schedule of pueblo feast days and guidelines for pueblo etiquette. Non-Native visitors are welcomed at most dances, provided they approach the ceremonies with the respect due any religious observance. Torres suggests visiting a pueblo a few days in advance of its dances to ask questions about the ritual and what behavior is appropriate. Disturbing tribal members to ask questions during a ceremony is as disrespectful as disrupting a church service. One important thing to bear in mind is that the plazas are sacred space for these ceremonies. Stay to the edges of a plaza and by no means intrude on the dancers. “The plazas are called our sacred shrines, almost like the ones you see in the National Cemeteries. You don’t want to walk over them or disturb them. It’s the same thing,” Torres said. San Ildefonso’s feast day is January 23. After a break following the Deer Dance, the pueblo holds Buffalo and Comanche dances. Although San Ildefonso rarely dances at Christmas or New Year’s Day, most other pueblos do. See the adjoining schedule for details. “I would encourage people who have never been to a feast to come out and experience it one day at least,” Torres said. “Don’t be shy about coming out to the pueblo. Just come over, enjoy the day, and without being disrespectful, just sit there and enjoy yourselves.”

Sharing the Blessings 2012 Feliz Navidad

Dances of devotion


Schedule of feast day dances All dances are subject to change. It is best to check with the pueblo a few days in advance to confirm dances, access and protocol. Pueblo offices are usually closed on the feast day. December 12

December 27

December 24

December 28

• Jemez Pueblo, Matachines Dance • Pojoaque Pueblo, Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day • Nambe Pueblo, Buffalo Dance following Christmas Eve Mass • Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Torchlight Procession of the Virgin, Vespers and Matachines Dance • Picuris Pueblo, Matachines Dance • Taos Pueblo, Vespers and procession of the Virgin Mary with dancers and bonfires • Tesuque Pueblo, Christmas Eve procession

December 25 • • • • • • • • • • •

Acoma Pueblo, Christmas Day dances Jemez Pueblo, Buffalo and animal dances Laguna Pueblo, Harvest Dance Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Matachines Dance Picuris Pueblo, Matachines Dance Santa Ana Pueblo, to be decided Santo Domingo Pueblo, Christmas Day dances San Felipe Pueblo, Christmas Day dances Taos Pueblo, Deer or Matachines dances Tesuque Pueblo, Christmas Day dances Zia Pueblo, Buffalo Dance

December 26 • • • • • • •

Jemez Pueblo, Buffalo and animal dances Laguna Pueblo, Harvest Dance Ohkay Owingeh, Turtle Dance Santa Ana Pueblo, to be decided Santo Domingo Pueblo, Corn Dance Tesuque Pueblo, to be decided Zia Pueblo, Buffalo Dance

• Laguna Pueblo, Harvest Dance • Santo Domingo Pueblo, Corn Dance • Zia Pueblo, to be decided • Laguna Pueblo, Harvest Dance • Picuris Pueblo, Holy Innocents’ Day Children’s Dance • Santo Domingo Pueblo, Corn Dance • Zia Pueblo, Corn Dance

January 1

• Jemez Pueblo, Matachines dances • Picuris Pueblo, Transfer of Canes Ceremonial Dance • Santo Domingo Pueblo, Corn Dance • Taos Pueblo, Turtle Dance • Tesuque Pueblo, Turtle Dance

January 5

• Jemez Pueblo, Buffalo and animal dances

January 6 • • • • • • • •

Jemez Pueblo, Buffalo and animal dances Nambe Pueblo, Three Kings Day Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Three Kings Day Pojoaque Pueblo, Three Kings Day Santa Ana Pueblo, to be decided Santo Domingo Pueblo, Three Kings Day Taos Pueblo, Deer or Buffalo Dance Tesuque Pueblo, Three Kings Day

January 22

• San Ildefonso Pueblo, Vespers Evening with firelight procession

January 23

• San Ildefonso Pueblo, Deer Dance at dawn, followed by Buffalo and Comanche Dances

Acoma Pueblo: 505-552-6604 or 800-747-018 or www. South on I-25 to I-40 West and take Exit 102. Turn right and follow the curved road toward Sky City Casino. Turn right at the stop sign, and travel approximately 16 miles south to Sky City Cultural Center. Jemez Pueblo: 575-834-7235, or www. North on U.S. 84/285 to N.M. 502. N.M. 502 becomes Trinity Drive in Los Alamos. Follow Trinity Drive until it ends at Diamond Drive and turn left. Turn right on N.M. 501, then right on N.M. 4 to Jemez. Laguna Pueblo: 505-552-6654 or South on I-25 to I-40 West and take Exit 114 to N.M. 279. Nambe Pueblo: 455-2036 or North on U.S. 84/285 to N.M. 503. Two miles to pueblo entrance on the right. Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo: 505-852-4400. North on U.S. 84/285, which becomes N.M. 68. Left on N.M. 74 (north of Española), then one mile west to pueblo. Picuris Pueblo: 575-587-2519. Take U.S. 84/285 north. Turn east on N.M. 503. Continue 11 miles to Juan Medina Road, then turn left. Turn right when Juan Medina Road ends at N.M. 76. Continue on N.M. 76 when it turns left at Truchas. Turn left when N.M. 76 ends at N.M. 75. The pueblo entrance is a quarter mile down on the right. Pojoaque Pueblo: 505-455-2278. North on U.S. 84/285. Turn right at second stoplight in Pojoaque, with an immediate left on Cities of Gold Road. Continue past the Cities of Gold Casino and up the hill to the church. San Felipe Pueblo: 505-867-3381. South on I-25 and take Exit 252. San Ildefonso Pueblo: 505-455-3549. North on U.S. 84/285 to N.M. 502. Six miles west on N.M. 502. Sandia Pueblo: 505-867-3317 or Call in December for schedule of dances. South on I-25 to Exit 234. Northwest on N.M. 556 two miles, then north on N.M. 313 for three miles. Santa Ana Pueblo: 505-867-3301 or South on I-25 and take Exit 242 to U.S. 550/N.M. 44 west for 10 miles. Santa Clara Pueblo: 505-753-7330. Call in advance to determine whether the pueblo is dancing. Take U.S. 84/285 north to N.M. 502 West. North on N.M. 30 to the pueblo entrance. Santo Domingo Pueblo: 505-465-2214. South on I-25 and take Exit 259. Go north four miles on N.M. 22. Taos Pueblo: 575-758-9593 or North on U.S. 84/285, which becomes N.M. 68. Pass through Taos to entrance. Tesuque Pueblo: 983-2667. Go north on U.S. 84/285 nine miles. Zia Pueblo: 867-3304. South on I-25, take Exit 242 to U.S. 550/N.M. 44. Go west for 18 miles.

Pueblos welcome respectful observers to ceremonial dances

By Arin McKenna Photo: Rick Romancito

2012 Feliz Navidad


Los Matachines dancers amid the Christmas Eve procession of the Virgin at Taos Pueblo.

Rick Romancito

Rules of etiquette foR pueblo visitation Visiting pueblos or attending feast day dances are remarkable opportunities to experience another culture and religion. Showing respect for pueblo regulations and etiquette allows you to have a rich and rewarding experience without mishap.

gene peach

The Abuelo (or grandfather) is a clown-like figure who helps direct the dancers and interacts with the audience at Matachine dances.


2012 Feliz Navidad

• Call ahead to confirm event dates, as well as access to tribal lands. There are times when tribal leaders need to restrict access because of private ceremonies and other reasons. • Although most pueblos are open to the public during daylight hours, the homes are private. Enter a pueblo home as you would any other — by invitation only. • Pueblos are not amusement parks or living history museums but residential communities. Behave as you would want others to in your community. • Some pueblos may charge an entry fee. Camping and fishing fees are charged where such facilities are available. Call ahead to find out if there are fees associated with visiting. • Sketching, recording, and any other means of audio or visual reproduction is prohibited at most pueblos, although most do allow photography with the purchase of a camera permit. Permits usually cost $5 to $15 and may be purchased at tribal offices or visitor centers. (At many pueblos, camera permits may only be purchased at tribal offices Monday-Friday.) Never photograph an individual or private property without asking permission. Tribal officials may confiscate cameras, cell phones, or other equipment if regulations concerning photography are violated. • Refrain from bringing a cell phone onto pueblos. Tribal officials could confiscate cell phones if they feel they might be used for photography or recording. Also, the ring tones and personal conversations can disrupt other visitors’ experiences, as well as daily tribal life. • Tribes value traditions, customs, and religion. Some actions and/or questions could be offensive, so refrain from pressing for answers. • Do not climb ladders or on walls and other structures. Structures may be several hundred years old and easily damaged. • Do not remove artifacts, pottery shards, or other items. • Kivas and cemeteries are off-limits to non-Puebloan people. Churches may also be off-limits, and are definitely closed to non-Pueblo people if surrounded by a cemetery. • Alcohol, weapons, and drugs are not allowed in the pueblos. • Do not bring dogs to the pueblos.

• Nature is sacred on the pueblos. Littering is strictly prohibited. • Obey all traffic and speed limit signs. Children and pets play near the roads. Also be cautious of livestock on or near main roadways. • Observe all signage indicating OFF LIMITS while visiting a pueblo. • If organized tours are offered, stay with your tribal guide at all times.

Rules of etiquette during ceremonial dances:

• Pueblo dances are religious ceremonies, not performances. Observe them as you would a church service, with respect and quiet attention. Do not interrupt nondance participants by pushing in front of them, blocking their view, asking questions, or visiting with friends. • Photography is usually prohibited on feast days. • Silence is mandatory during all dances and pueblo ceremonies. This means no questions about the ceremonies or dances while they are underway and no applause during or after the dance or ceremony. • Do not talk to the dancers or approach them as they are entering, leaving, or resting near the kivas. • Plazas have been blessed for the dances and are considered holy space. Do not walk across a plaza even if the dancing has stopped: keep to the edges. • Tribal communities do not use the clock to determine when it is time to conduct activities. Acts of nature, as well as the sequence of events that must take place (some not for public viewing), usually determine start and finish times for ceremonies. • If you are fortunate enough to receive an invitation to a feast day meal, there are some simple guidelines. If the table is full, join those waiting in the living room until everyone who arrived before you has had a chance to be served. Do not linger at the table. It is polite to take your dessert with you as you leave so that others can be seated. Thank your host, but a payment or tip is not appropriate. (This information was accumulated from several sources, including

Visitors stay warm around a bonfire on Christmas Eve at Taos Pueblo.

Rick Romancito

Puebloan ceremonies are a lifelong commitment


s part of their religious devotion, pueblo members commit tremendous effort and resources to their feast day dances and other ceremonies.

gene peach

Santa Clara Pueblo Matachine Dance on Christmas Day. El Toro (the bull) is said to represent paganism.

gene peach

Santa Clara Pueblo Matachine Dance on Christmas Day featuring crownwearing El Monarca (Montezuma) and La Malinche (young Indian mistress of Cortez). Matachine dancer regalia includes the cupiles headdress and palma hand wand.

Many long hours are dedicated to preparing for the rituals, both physically and spiritually: Dances must be learned, ceremonial clothing assembled, and food prepared for the dancers and the feast that follows. Finally, during the ceremonies, dancers and drummers persevere all day, dancing for hours regardless of frigid temperatures or oppressive heat. “We take this seriously, but in the end it’s rewarding,” Elmer Torres said. According to Torres, ceremonies are about more than devoting a few days a year. They involve a lifelong devotion: “The dances are those that have come from our elders for years and years and years, and it’s a tradition that’s been carried on for generations and generations. And those are things that we want to teach our kids and our grandkids that are coming up, so they can carry that on, especially the songs.” Children begin their lessons in the kiva at an early age, listening to the songs and learning the dances by imitation. Along the way they also pick up the traditional language. “That’s the most important thing — learning the language,” Torres emphasizes. “Because without that, you can’t do the dances, you can’t do the songs and you can’t do the preaching that goes with that. … When the language is gone, there’s going to be silence throughout the whole community, and we’ll lose everything.” As with any religion, this is a living tradition that grows and changes. Torres feels encouraged by the interest of the new generation: “We have a lot of the younger men and younger boys now coming in, and I would say they have a lot of good songs themselves. It comes from within themselves. … These dances are something that we do year after year after year, and it’s something that is hopefully going to carry on with our next generations that come up. It’s a matter of maintaining our culture We’ve lost so many elders already. Now it’s our turn to carry those things on.”

2012 Feliz Navidad


Dashing through the snow Old-fashioned winter fun at the Valles Caldera National Preserve

story and photos By Karl Moffatt The musky scent of horses and the creak of a wooden sleigh slipping across a brilliant sea of snow — it’s an enchanting winter excursion at the Valles Caldera National Preserve. “There is just something so magical about the sound of the bells as the horse-drawn sleigh transports you across our winter landscape,” said Kim DeVall, Recreation and Education Specialist at the 90,000-acre public preserve in the Jemez Mountains. “It’s a unique experience most people will never forget.” The preserve, off N.M. 4 between Los Alamos and Jemez Springs, sits in the bowl of an ancient collapsed volcano that once held a massive lake. Today, vast meadows and stands of towering ponderosa pines dominate the landscape. Great herds of elk make the preserve their home and trout streams sluice their way through its expansive pastures. But in winter, when the snow arrives, the landscape is blanketed in white and outdoor recreationists flock to its fields. While snowshoeing, crosscountry skiing, and other activities are popular during the winter months, it’s the sleigh rides that many visitors find so magical. Gathered together in a gently swaying open sleigh, about a dozen riders per trip enjoy an approximately one-hour ride with a guide who offers information about the preserve’s history, wildlife, and other details. During the holidays, there are several rides available each day. See the preserve’s website at for reservations and more information about available dates. Reservations to ride the sleighs between December 21 and February 18 can fill quickly. (If the winter produces little or no snow, a wagon will be substituted for the sleigh.) Costs are $30 for adults; $24 for those 62 and older and for kids between 4 and 15. Children under 4 ride free. Dress warmly in layers and bring sunscreen and sunglasses to deal with the bright winter landscape.

Fireworks and bonfires Riding along in the crisp, clean mountain air with sleigh bells tinkling and horses huffing is just one of the many public recreational programs offered at the preserve during the holidays. Another special event is a New Year’s Eve celebration featuring a professional fireworks show, said Emily Blumenthal, Special Events Coordinator at the preserve. The event should be a spectacular sight, she said, with the vast preserve and star-studded night sky serving as a backdrop to a breathtaking light show.


2012 Feliz Navidad

The New Year’s Eve event runs from 5 to 9 p.m., with the fireworks going off at around 8 p.m. instead of the more traditional midnight, Blumenthal said. “We want to make sure it’s a family-friendly event.” Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are also available that evening on several of the preserve’s groomed trails, with hot beverages and snacks available at bonfires set up along the routes. The price of the evening’s entertainment is $25 for adults; those over 62 pay $20, as do kids 6 to 15 years old. Children 5 and under are free. For more information about other preserve activities — such as hiking, elk and turkey hunting, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and photography clinics — visit the preserve’s website or call its recreation and reservation hotline at 866-382-5537.

If you go from santa fe head north on U.s. 84/285 to pojoaque and turn off onto n.M. 502, the road to los alamos. follow to the White rock turnoff and then stay on n.M. 4 through the mountains to the preserve. It’s about 65 miles from santa fe.

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TibeTan monks Transform The spiriT of sanTa fe Meditative mandala promotes peace By Staci Golar

At 2 p.m. on December 8, a group of 10 Buddhist monks will begin to sing and chant mantras to consecrate the space at Seret & Sons Gallery, where they will spend the next month producing a sand mandala — a meditative ceremony that involves the pouring of millions of grains of colored sand into a prescribed pattern of ancient spiritual symbols and geometric shapes. The mandala they will create this year is the Akshobhya Buddha. “This mandala is often created during times of national conflict, political unrest or other human crises,” said Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, a senior lecturer Schedule in the department of religion at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, director of events of the Emory-Tibet Partnership, and Mandala sand painting, December president of Drepung Loseling 8 to December 31, Seret & Sons Gallery. Monastery Inc., the organization (The gallery, at 121 sandoval st., is behind the main seret & sons store, near alpine sports.) that oversees the monks’ • opening ceremony and beginning of the Mystical Arts of Tibet tours. creation of the sand mandala, 2 p.m., “Akshobhya mandala December 8, free. is believed to resolve • Mandala construction and viewing, 10 a.m. to differences and promote 5 p.m., December 9 to December 30, free. peace.” • closing ceremony, 10:30 p.m., December 31, $12 The monks’ visits to suggested donation. Seating is limited. Santa Fe almost always Daily chanting, 4:30 to 5 p.m. December 9 to December include a mandala sand 31 (except December 22 and December 23), Seret & Sons painting that’s based Gallery. Free, but donations are appreciated. on requests made by “Sacred Music, Sacred Dance” performance, 7 p.m., their Santa Fe hosts — December 15, James a. little theater, 1060 cerrillos road. $20 per person, tickets available at the ark Marcia Keegan, Harmon Bookstore, Seret & Sons Gallery, Project tibet, and Houghton, and Ira and at the door. tibetan momos (dumplings) made by Sylvia Seret. the local tibetan community will be sold at the Keegan and Houghton, performance. who own Santa Fe’s Clear “Spirituality for a New World” lecture, 7 p.m., Light Books, connected December 21, Seret & Sons Gallery. $12 suggested donation. Seating is limited. with the Tibetan community after meeting the Dalai Lama For more information about any of Drepung loseling Monastery’s Mystical in 1979, and they helped bring arts of tibet schedule of events or the centuries-old sand mandala to schedule a home or business ceremonies to Santa Fe and other parts blessing, call Marcia Keegan of the Southwest in 1988. at 505-660-3352. Ira and Sylvia Seret, owners of the Inn of the Five Graces as well as Seret & Sons store and gallery, became champions of traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture in 1999, after their son Ajna studied at the Kopan Monastery in Nepal. The Serets formed the Jindhag Foundation and, after a chance meeting with Keegan and Houghton, became major supporters of the Mystical Arts of Tibet tours and Drepung Loseling Monastery. “I think this year we picked [a mandala] that everybody can understand,” said Houghton. “But really, the basis for all of the Tibetan Buddhist practices is dispelling anger, ignorance, desire, jealousy, and pride, and doing that through prayers for generosity, ethics, patience, and perseverance. It all boils down to dispelling those five [mental] poisons, no matter which mandala is created.” “From what we’ve seen, when the monks create a mandala, it brings the community together,” Geshe Lobsang said. “People respond to how inspired and peaceful they feel when they visit. They find a moment to slow down, to rest and let an awareness


2012 Feliz Navidad

unfold about their fellow family members, our fellow community of human beings. Just to be around the monks stands for a certain kind of peace and healing in a nonjudging way, so we want people to come and let the inspiration sink in.” Sylvia Seret put it a little differently: “I feel like [the monks] are in the center of town, and they are putting out this energy of prayer that will radiate out to all inhabitants and sentient beings of the state. I just feel better knowing they’ve been here a couple times a year.”

With the Dalai Lama’s blessing Drepung Loseling Monastery, with which the monks are affiliated, relocated from Tibet to India in 1959 to escape persecution after China invaded the country. Now considered one of Tibet’s most important university monasteries, even in exile, Drepung Loseling continues to grow and needs financial support to feed, clothe, and instruct its thousands of students. When the prospect of raising money for the monastery through cultural tours was proposed, the Dalai Lama blessed the idea, but he placed one condition on the program — that the monastery keep in mind, first and foremost, how its touring could contribute to world peace and healing. In other words, the monks shouldn’t visit communities with the sole expectation of gathering donations. Instead, they were to visit each city with the spirit of giving back and mindfulness, important parts of their belief system. And with that blessing, the monks’ Mystical Arts of Tibet tours began. Geshe Lobsang first visited Santa Fe as a monk performing with the group and eventually became the director of the tours. He holds a Ph.D. as well as the highest degree one can obtain in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. His research on how meditation affects physiology has helped bridge the East and West in contemporary academia. He noted that the monks who specialize in sand mandala art can learn the creative techniques in as few as five or six months. But, Geshe Lobsang said, “learning the ideas, meditations, and underlying principles associated with each [is what takes] years of study. The mandalas are an external representation of what should be taking place internally. The creators work to make an environment that is conducive to unfolding and invoking an enlightened presence.” Geshe Lobsang describes the monks’ motivations for touring, including visiting Santa Fe: “One, we want to share the spirit of promoting peace and healing. Secondly, we wish to resolve the political issues in Tibet through peaceful means. This is not an easy task when we are dealing with a quite brutal regime, but hopefully through dialogue and awareness we can put international pressure on China to resolve these issues. And, of course, we are raising money to support the Drepung Loseling Monastery. We are so, so blessed by having friends like Ira and Sylvia Seret and Marcia Keegan and Harmon Houghton,” he added. “They have been steadfast and gracious supporters.”

The work of healing While they are in Santa Fe, the monks also will perform sacred music and dance on December 15 at the James A. Little Theater; bless houses (for which donations are requested); and on December 21 give a talk about embracing the future and a year of transformation titled “Spirituality for the New World.” (The 21st was intentionally chosen for this lecture because it’s the day the 5,124-year-long Maya Long Count Calendar ends. Some believe the Earth’s inhabitants will begin to undergo a spiritual or physical transformation that day. Others think some catastrophe, possibly the end of the world, will occur. Still others dismiss all such thoughts.) The mandala ritual will end with a public closing ceremony on New Year’s Eve. At 10:30 that evening, the monks will literally sweep away what they have created — a symbolic gesture about the impermanence of life — to distribute blessings to those in the audience and, later, to a body of water. “Rivers are connected to the oceans,” Geshe Lobsang said, “oceans make rain, rain falls all over the world, so we believe that distributing the sand in this manner will spread healing to all beings.”

Courtesy photos

2012 Feliz Navidad


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2012 Feliz Navidad



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2012 Feliz Navidad



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Feliz Navidad 2012  

Feliz Navidad magazine celebrates New Mexico's winter holiday culture with special features that include local and regional events, special...

Feliz Navidad 2012  

Feliz Navidad magazine celebrates New Mexico's winter holiday culture with special features that include local and regional events, special...