Christmas was always my favorite holiday. I was a big fan of Santa Claus – I loved the decorating, cooking, baking, and preparing for his visit. My mom created some great holiday traditions, and it was the one time that seemed to bring our disfunctional family together for the enjoyment of one another. And I can’t deny that a stocking full of presents and presents under the tree thrilled me as a kid.
Today my Christmas traditions have morphed into a bit different scene. I still enjoy the baking, and a modicum of festive decor. What I enjoy most is enjoying time with family and friends – and the down time these holidays seem to allow in my life.
This year my husband and I took a much needed long weekend away together. It has been a busy year of change, and it slipped away with almost no roadtrips in our trusty (& cozy) camper van, Samwise.
We are a family, and together we explored camping in winter near Santa Fe. Christmas Eve we woke to sunrise at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. The morning sun created this incredible shadow from the old cantilever truss bridge that is the 5th highest in the United States.
That evening we braved the crowds on Canyon Road to experience the annual Christmas Eve Farolito (paper bags filled with sand and lit with a votive candle) Walk. Despite the crowds of people, the beauty of the farolitas and the coming together of so many people was a site to behold. And a continuation of the light we sent to our friends and family on the Solstice.
We drove up black canyon to camp night, snuggling into our cozy van on that cold winters night. In the morning we woke to blue sky – but the sun was a long time in reaching us. We enjoyed a relaxing breakfast – and even a few presents. Before a little snowshoe adventure on the near by trail, we also took time to relax and enjoy down time together.
After snowshoeing we decided to try a new camp spot for the night – and drove down out of the canyon and across Santa Fe to the Caja Del Rio Plateau. Here we explored what I affectionately call the ‘cholla garden’, and spent Christmas night enjoying a lovely meal – and the time together.
After a ‘Trader Joes run’ in the city the next morning, we headed to Ojo Caliente for a soak in their healing mineral waters before heading home.
This is my Christmas of now – spending time with my little family – relaxing and not letting the challenges of our everyday lives enter my mind. As I reflect I realize some things really have not changed at all.
What kind of traditions hold meaning for you?