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Christmas Past


When I hear the song, “I’ll be Home for Christmas“, this is the picture that comes to mind. It’s the casita where I spent many of the 22+ years of either Christmas or Thanksgiving holidays in Santa Fe.

The pleasant little courtyard connected rooms and casitas with the main hacienda. Early in the morning, fresh snow crunched under my slippers as I slipped across to fill my mug with hot coffee from the kitchen’s carafe.

The French doors to the courtyard let in the clear white light that makes New Mexico such a favorite with artists. Many afternoons were spent with watercolours spread out on a little table drawn close to the doors. Evenings were usually spent in a deep cozy chair beside the blazing little piñon fire — with a bottle of red wine and a great book.

Midnight Mass at St. Francis Cathedral was a special Christmas tradition. The hacienda was only a short walk from the cathedral, and sidewalks were dotted with people going to worship. The music was heavenly and the service was a fantastic blend of Hispanic, Native American, and Anglo traditions. Walking back to the casita in the dark starry Christmas morning was always a most joyous and reflective time.

Santa Fe was my Holy Place.