With Christmas now here, the holiday celebrations and traditions have continue at a nice leisurely pace at Casa del Pinguino. Mrsfabp and I long ago became less concerned about the shopping ratrace and more attentive to the moments of joy to the holiday season.
Thanksgiving was the preamble of the season filled with charm and grace this year. All of our friends gathered for a magnificent meal in Karen and Lou’s new kitchen. Everything was wonderful, the friendships warm and the pies delicious.
The unofficial Christmas season kick off is Black Friday with its crazed shoppers looking to save a few bucks, long lines of stressed out people fighting each other for the last cell phone and riots, armed guards and honest to goodness bloodshed. Not quite what we have in mind for our holiday kick off. Instead, we went up to the Bosque del Apache to spend an afternoon watching and shooting pictures of cranes, as was photographed here. A nice lunch at “The Owl” in San Antonio, New Mexico (unfortunately not as good anymore as their neighbor, “The Buckhorn.”) for green chile cheeseburgers. Good friends, good food, good views, all part of a wonderful day.
The second event of this Holiday Marathon was the Noche de Luminarias at the campus of NMSU, as documented here. Same friends, wonderful views, a restaurant stop for drinks afterward, and once again a warm holiday glow. That glow was actually palpable as we talked and laughed and told stories at a new bistro that opened that night in the downtown mall area.
Next up was the Mesilla Valley Chorale Group’s Holiday concert. I referred to it here but just touched on it briefly on the way to another point so I thought I would add a word or two about it. This is the second holiday performance we attended, the first being last year at this time. This group of local men and women are well rehearsed and practiced and their voices help give meaning to the season. The first half was more choral arrangements of songs while the second half was a bit more of the traditional standards one hears at this time of the year. Once again, our friend Karen accounted herself well and we all enjoyed the effort on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. As is becoming our tradition, there was supper at the Bistro, now on day 8 of its existence and still experiencing growing pains. But the atmosphere was wonderful, the company grand, the beer cold and the wine delicious so I guess it meets our criteria for success.
Finally, Sunday the 16th was the Christmas festival at the State Park, that I planned and coordinated in cooperation with the Friends of the Bosque Group and Park Staff. Both groups are overworked and struggling to keep things going which is why I volunteer at the park each week and have become a member of the Friends Group. I have been successful in moving things along for the group including this Festival and the monthly newsletter and have been nominated to be vice-president of the group after elections in mid-January. As for the Holiday Festival, I arranged for a display of photographs by the Dona Ana Camera Club in an exhibit entitled “Winter in the Desert,” arranged for a Santa Clause to be there to have pictures taken of pets with him, for a donation to the friends group, and began the sale of souvenir postcards and notecards of the park. I also helped plan live music, refreshments and holiday lights. Unfortunately, one thing I could not control was the weather which was cool, 45 - 50 degrees, with 30-40 mph winds howling. Most of us huddled around a fire pit fed with Salt Cedar, a very aromatic wood. All in all, over 100 people attended and about a dozen had photographs taken with Santa. Santa, by the way, played by our good friend Jeff, who I described to people at the park as a white bearded old man with a hint of a bowl full of jelly. He was great and there were several kids who were completely enthralled with him.
So, you may be asking, what was next for this holiday season, and a few last things will be posted about real soon. Friday night was the Clair and Bill Zarges holiday party, a rather raucous affair with spectacular food. A little Christmas miracle occurred there last year as was documented here by Clair, in a heartwarming story of prodigal returning proportions. This will be followed by Christmas Eve in Mesilla for the traditional evening of music, dance, food and camaraderie. Finally, Mrsfabp and I will put a period on the season with a New Years Day Brunch for us and our friends. Many of them will have only now found out that it will be on New Years Day at 11am.
So, I hope all of you are have had an enjoyable holiday season. I am reminded of a great philosophers words here that are a good reminder about the holiday:
"It came without ribbons!
It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!"...
Then the Grinch thought of something
he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought,
"doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas... perhaps...
means a little bit more!"
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”
Happy Holidays All!