Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

December 24th
It was Christmas Eve morning; sometime before lunch.
We headed north towards Taos for Christmas,
but instead of driving straight through,
we made a few stops.

Our first stop was Santa Fe,
where we meandered the halls of the
Inn and Spa at Loretto.

The Inn and Spa at Loretto is next to the Loretto Chapel.
This gothic chapel was commissioned by nuns.
The current site of the hotel was once a school for girls.

The north side of the chapel was in the cold of the shadows
with snow still on the ground.

The Santa Fe Plaza was busy!

I posed for a picture on the stone that marks the end 
of the Santa Fe Trail.

 Luminaria bags lined the walkways.
It must be a beautiful sight at night!

We walked past the St. Francis Cathedral
before continuing our journey.

About half-way between Santa Fe and Taos
there is a turn-off into the more rural areas of the mountains.
It was here that we visited the holy site of 
El Sanctuario de Chimayo.

This is a site of miracles, of prayers for healing,
and for thanksgiving.
Many faithful have left crosses, rosaries, or other tokens of faith.

The sanctuario was decorated for Christmas
with several Christmas wreaths, lights, 
and electric luminarias.

After our stops in Santa Fe and Chimayo,
it was time to continue on to Taos and our Christmas Eve dinner.

December 25th
Merry Christmas!

By late morning, it was time to get out and see a few sights in Taos.
We visited the historic
Ranchos de Taos mission church shortly after their morning services.

Luminarias lined the adobe walls.

We didn't stay long as it was still quite cold out,
but it was a beautiful and quiet place to visit for Christmas.

We hope that all of our friends,
near and far,
had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Need a Christmas NOW!

With just a few days left before Christmas,
I wondered what was going on in Old Town.

 Holiday decorations adorned many corners,
inviting visitors to come in for a closer look.

The big tree had been lit earlier this month.

Some kind of film crew with dressed actors
roamed around.

Once I walked around the tree a bit,
I found a photo spot.

 I admired Santa from afar,

 but he smiled at me!

A tiny plaza off to the side continued
with the Christmas spirit.

Up and down and all around..

 Winter was hiding behind the bows and red ristras
in the leafless trees and the afternoon shadows,
but it is part of Christmas just the same.

 Back at the church,
people were busy getting ready for holiday events.

The nativity was set up as I walked around,
but the baby Jesus had not been placed in the manger
before I left.

More men came out to set up the luminarias.

These preparations may be for an evening church service,
for the luminaria tour on Chrismas Eve.

Bringing light into the darkness of winter,
and warmth into the cold.

Feliz Navidad!