Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NO, NOT FRITOS, FAROLITOS!

Well, you're just going to have to get over this one, because I'm mentioning my battery operated candles again today, okay?  Just breathe...you might actually enjoy this one!  In the early eighties I was fortunate enough to live in one of the most beautiful cities in this country, Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Our family lived in a gorgeous adobe home high atop a hill overlooking Santa Fe and the incredible Sangre de Cristo Mountains (Spanish for "Blood of Christ").  I learned how to ski in the mountains behind our house (well, not in our backyard, but the Santa Fe Ski basin just ten miles away), I met incredible artists, ran around on native American pueblos, fell in love with true, authentic Mexican food (nowhere in the world can one find better sopapillas), enjoyed the Santa Fe Opera in the fall and wonderful southwestern traditions during the holidays, like Los Posadas.  The nine days leading up to Christmas is a time called Los Posadas where house-to-house reenactments take place of Mary and Joseph's search for a room at the inn, accompanied by traditional Spanish hymns.  Beginning at the Palace of the Governors, all are welcome to join in as the procession carries its way through the streets of Santa Fe.  While my family never took part in the reenactments, we did walk the streets of Santa Fe, lit only by traditional farolitos (many now call them Luminaries).  These decorations where a candle is placed on a pile of sand inside a paper bag, have their roots in the 1800's when small bonfires were used to guide people to Christmas Mass. Quite often they were set out during the final night of Las Posadas.  As simple as they are, they are incredibly magnificent to witness in person.  When we first moved to New York state I thought I'd sprinkle some southwestern charm in our cold, northeastern yard.  Wind and weather had another idea entirely, and my farolitos met their maker before the evening started.  This year I plan on lining our driveway with them, only this time I'll keep the tradition alive with my lovely, inexpensive battery operated candles.  Feliz Navidad!
LIGHTEN UP:
Do something a little different this year in your holiday decor department, like these magical farolitos.  It's so easy..grab a bundle of sandwich bags at the grocery store, but about 1" of dirt in the bottom of each (to prevent from blowing away) and drop a flameless candle inside.
(not sure what's going on with todays fonts, but hopefully it will fix itself by tomorrow!)