taos aglow 2015
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DESCRIPTIONNorthern New Mexico Holiday Traditions 2015
N O R T H E R N N E W M E X I C O H O L I D A Y T R A D I T I O N S 2 0 1 5N O R T H E R N N E W M E X I C O H O L I D A Y T R A D I T I O N S 2 0 1 5
No Place Like Home for the Holidays
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volunteers laying adobe
finishing the shed
foundationstudent volunteers placing the vigas
4 taosnews.com/aglow 2015
FROM THE EDITOR4From the Editor Snow and glow
6Christmas storyThe Presence of God by Kimberly Lookis
8San Antonio ChurchResurrection
9Holiday recipesFrom the vault of Fayne Lutz
10Alumbra de QuestaA time to shine
12Christmas storyReturn of the Light by Iris Keltz
14Lighting LedouxAnnual gathering welcomes holiday season
16Bonfires on Bent StreetA very special energy
18Los Pastores yLas Posadas Time-honored folk dramas
2029th annual YuletideCaroling and Tree Lighting
22Holidays at Taos PuebloThe spirit of the moment
24Christmas story Gathering at Grandmas by Emily Wilde
26Peace ChanukahBorn from tragedy to spread good will
28BiscochitosA customary treat
32TamaladasA cherished tradition
34Taos Feeds TaosStopping hunger pains for 30 years
36Taos OnstageA Christmas Story
38Christmas TrainCumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroads special ride
40500 Wishes6 years of putting smiles on childrens faces
42Community Against Violence Angel Tree18 years of yuletide
43Holiday RecipesPonche Navideo
44Taos Community ChorusMexican Baroque: Exploring Our Past
46VolunteeringA helping hand, a happy heart
48Torchlight ParadesNight fire on the mountains
49Christmas storyThe Prescence of God by Kimberly Lookis
50Twirl AglowHolidays come to light
52Dining Out Staying out of the kitchen over the holidays
54Nutcracker Holiday Artist MarketA Russian, Southwestern spirit
56Calendar of holiday events
58Christmas storyAnyone Can Be Santa Claus by Scott Gerdes
SNOW AND GLOWI WENT TO MY FIRST CHRISTMAS EVE celebration at Taos Pueblo in 2004. The Catholicism meshed with American Indian faith-based re-enactments are a special sight to behold and instill a meaningful, lasting memory. I felt a sense of calm and belonging that I hadnt known in a very long time.
That was one of the greatest Christmas gifts I have ever received.
The true ethos of the holiday season is also found in the inclusiveness, charity and morality it encourages as seen in the abundance of giving to Taos Feeds Taos (p. 37), the Community Against Violence Angel Tree Project (p. 46) and 500 Wishes (p. 40). It draws the heavy curtains away from our own reflections as we become more vested in bringing joy to others.
The true holiday spirit is also wrapped around Taos with all the trimmings from the adobe-wall-lined farolitos lighting your way through the heart of Taos Historic District (p. 14, p. 16) to the festively adorned Christmas tree rising into the twinkling night sky on Taos Plaza (p. 18).
And what is Taos if not a hot-bed for storytelling?
Some of the worlds most-loved tales center around holidays.
Hispanic folk dramas, Los Pastores and Las Posadas (p. 19), tell the stories of Mary and Josephs trials in finding shelter, the announcement of Jesus birth to shepherds and their subsequent journey to Bethlehem. They are performed around the region in much the same way as generations before took to street corners to tell these same stories. And the tale of a small Northern New Mexico communities devotion to the reconstruction of its historic Catholic church stokes the flames of the holiday spirit in a most pure and lasting form.
This time of year wouldnt be complete without food, music, song, art and silly fun punctuated with tamales, Ralphie and his wish for a Red Rider BB gun, torchlight parades, arts and crafts markets, religious services, cookies, bonfires and Old Saint Nick.
The holidays are a glorious state of mind and Taos many tastes, scents, scenes, sounds and family stories keep a special light flickering within you long after the holiday season comes to a close.
Scott Gerdes, special sections editor
Robin Martin, owner Chris Baker, publisher Joan Livingston, editorChris Wood, advertising manager Scott Gerdes, special sections editorMichelle M. Gutierrez, lead editorial designer Karin Eberhardt, production managerKatharine Egli, photographer Contributing writers: Andy Dennison, Teresa Dovalpage
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FROM THE EDITOR
6 taosnews.com/aglow 2015
I sit watching the snow fall slightly, thinking of my most memorable Christmas Eve. I was executive director of an interfaith nonprofit in Denver. At a meeting of nonprofits, a tree was hung with names of people who had no one to give them a gift. I chose one (well call her Ruby), who was at a nursing home close to downtown Denver. Her request was a Catholic Bible.
I figured Id go before our Christmas Eve service so I could spend some time with her. I entered the aging building and the smell of months-old urine hit me immediately. I asked for Ruby and was directed to an upper secured (locked) floor. Only God knew what I was in for.
About 30 residents had just finished dinner; adjacent to the common area with a small sparsely decorated artificial Christmas tree. As Ruby walked towards me I saw she carried something. As she got closer, I saw it was a doll wrapped in a towel. I wondered what happened to Ruby.
Did she lose an infant? Did it represent her child(ren) who never visited? Only God knew.
I opened her present and we tried to read together, but it was beyond her comprehension. So I asked if I could read the Christmas story to her. She nodded her head in eager agreement with a big smile on her face. It was story time!
Ruby sat back cradling her doll and listened as I opened to Luke Chapter 2.
Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.
I paused to look at Ruby and saw her just waiting for more. Perhaps shed heard this story before? Perhaps a glimmer of memory somewhere, buried with her doll. Some of the others shuffled to their usual retreat to the common area where we sat. I went on.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to
the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
Again I paused to look up. The remainder of the residents came in and the shuffling stopped. Any sound seemed to vanish as the story progressed. I wondered at the jumping of the synapses in their brains at the hearing of these words. I would bet all of them heard this story during their lifetimes; some hundreds of times, some just a few. They may not know their names if asked, but all had definitely heard these words in their past.
And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her first born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
As I ended the story, you could have
heard a pin drop. It was as though the peace, compassion and presence of God was in that room as none of us had ever experienced; in a room with a mindless woman cradling an infant in a towel, who had asked for a Catholic Bible, where the giver reads a story about a baby wrapped in cloths. In a place filled with humanity that has no remembrance of anything, many with no family member visits, living in a residence that reeks of human waste.
God showed me that Christmas Eve thats where His presence is the strongest.
Kim Lookis, retired, lives just north of Costilla, New Mexico.
ThePresence of GodBy Kimberly Lookis
As I ended the story, you could have heard a pin drop. It was as though the peace, compassion and presence of God was in that room as none of us had ever experienced...