Let Holiday Traditions Shine in Your Heart
The melting pot of Santa Fe has been endlessly enriched by the starry presence of those drawn through the centuries to make this their home. We’re ever so fortunate to live in New Mexico, and we know it! Throughout the year, we’re treated to a panoply of unique characteristics that distinguish our state from the other 49 that make up our great union. And at no time does this feel more apparent than during the holiday season, when age-old traditions light up the Yuletide spirit in our hearts.
Of course, Santa Fe is hardly alone in possessing heritage holiday events. The French celebrate with a Yule Log, sprinkled with red wine to scent the air and left burning all night, with food and drink set out should the Holy Family decide to make a visit. Ethiopians who practice the Orthodox faith use the old Julian calendar, so their Christmas is actually celebrated in January, followed twelve days later by the Timkat holiday, memorializing the baptism of the infant Jesus. The Finns like to claim Santa Claus as their own, quite understandable with the vast reindeer herds native to Lapland. In Scotland, Christmas plays second fiddle to Hogmanay, New Year’s Eve, celebrated with special oatcakes for which the holiday is named. The first person to set foot in a Scots household on the first day of the new year is thought to affect, for good or ill, the fortunes of those who live there; and strangers are believed to bring good luck.
At the Teahouse, we are delighted to be in a prime location to welcome both friends and strangers who embark on the annual farolito pilgrimage up Canyon Road. We all have a favorite farolito streetscape tucked somewhere in our historic neighborhood, and every year brings a set of different memories as weather shifts and walkers ebb and flow. Said to originate in old Spain as an homage to the Chinese paper lanterns that roving adventurers encountered on their travels, the farolito eventually made its way to the territory of New Spain, now our homeland. The humble votive candle in its paper sack took on a holiday meaning as it morphed into a symbol of welcoming the Christ Child into the homes and hearts of the residents of New Mexico. And the fact that the City Different lights up in this festive way on one night only – Christmas Eve – makes this evanescent tradition especially evocative.
Whether you’re strolling early or walking late, the lights will be on at the Teahouse to welcome you for an hour’s respite on Christmas Eve. We’ll be serving until 11pm that night, ready with appetizing meals and warming beverages for cold hands and weary feet. If you need to fortify before hitting the trail, our slow-cooked meal of the day will give you calories enough to keep the chill off. You can say “Wassail” with a midway stop for a cup of hot cider or mulled wine to get both the banter and the blood flowing. And any of our signature hot chocolates can sweeten up the waning hours as the candles burn lower and little heads nod sleepily. We invite you to make a visit to the Teahouse part of your Santa Fe Christmas Eve, as we share our home with both old friends and wandering strangers seeking a warm place to roost awhile on a dark winter’s night.