Yuletide, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanza – however you choose to honor or celebrate, there’s nothing quite like Christmas in Taos.
The entire month of December becomes a living Advent Calendar up here, where we take Christmas (the Holidays) very seriously.
First of all, if we are lucky enough to have snow fall, we can boast picture postcard perfection everywhere you look, and even if we don’t, we live in a magical setting year ‘round; the Mountain, the vistas for miles, the big skies and the starry nights that rival Van Gogh’s.
The farolitas have been lit, luminarias are burning and all month-long, locals make their way from their favourite galleries to small tucked away boutiques, to pick up last-minute gifts for friends and neighbors.
Shopping local is a given.
But all this shopping can quickly make a person hungry which brings me to the foods that announce Christmas has arrived Aqui en Taos!
Tamales,Empanadas, Posole, Carne Adovada and most of all Biscochitos, a holiday cookie staple in New Mexico. In fact, the biscochito is New Mexico’s official state cookie, as declared by the New Mexico Legislature in 1989.
Tomorrow night, the annual Bonfires on Bent Street, street fair, will continue the festivities which began last week on the Plaza and Ledoux Street. Firelight lights the way through the John Dunn Shops all the way up and down Bent Street, with plenty of stops for (a few of the the aforementioned) refreshments and a chance to savour the sounds, scents and flavours of the Season.
Why not start at the Michael McCormick Gallery – go in through the entrance on Juan Largo Lane, just past Manzanita Market and Chokola – and take a look at Miguel Martinez’ mysterious Madonna’s to really put yourself in the Christmas mood. They exemplify everything about Christmas up here in the Land of Enchantment, painted as they are by one of Taos’ most gifted Native Sons.
Miguel is a constant here on taoStyle at Christmastime, because to me, his soulful Madonnas simply capture the Spirit of the Season,
Right now the McCormick Gallery (who represent Martinez exclusively in Taos) has a great new selection of Miguel’s icons, both originals and enhanced giclees. The latter make fabulous and affordable gifts for the Art lovers you know.
“Miguel is internationally renowned, collected all over the world, especially for his unique sensitive portrayal of his beautiful Madonna, icons, and saints.” Michael McCormick says in an eblast the Gallery put out this week, but that’s a huge understatement.
Martinez’ icons have been included in Chapels and Churches and have impacted the lives of so many in deep and mysterious ways; these Madonna’s convey a mystical, feminine energy that transcends the ordinary.
Pick up a print for the perfect gift for a friend at a distance (the Gallery will even ship it for you), before heading out the door onto the John Dunn Boardwalk.
So many things to see and buy and do! From accoutrements for the foodie in your life (Monet’s Kitchen), to clothes and more for the kids at Amina’s, leather bags and belts (at Letherwerks) for the lucky few on your list, to books from Op.Cit or baubles and bibelots from MoMo and perhaps a little bit of luxe for you, from Chocolate and Cashmere. You deserve it after all this exhausting activity, as well as a bite to eat at the Bent Street Cafe, where Kimberly is bound to have a steaming hot and tasty spread set up outside. Right before you turn right, up Bent, with a stop at Sam’s Shop before your final destination; Taos Blue.
Here’s where you know you’ll find everything you are looking for, and everything that has eluded you thus far.
The newly expanded Taos Blue has even more of a selection of stunning American Arts and Crafts than before, if you can even imagine that – and the tree filled windows (plus the gorgeous tree inside), really make you feel as if you’ve entered an Enchanted Christmas Wonderland, the moment you arrive. Sue’s sure to have some refreshments on hand to really make you feel the *hygge. In these times, we all need a cosy Christmas.
From there, arms loaded with bags, you can finally go across the street to the Taos Inn for that well-earned margarita!
Over the next two weeks, I’ll be taking you to a few more of my fave spots to pick up a little something for someone, but if you click on the highlighted links above, you’ll find a good few already covered here on taoStyle.
For more on Miguel Martinez, please visit the McCormick Gallery site linked below.
All images c/o the Michael McCormick Gallery
Photographs of Miguel Martinez in his studio taken by Jamie Garrison on her phone.