Thursday, December 29, 2016
Christmas Eve dawned with a lot of screams of "Christmas Eve Gift!". The kids each opened a present and had breakfast. Keith and Tiffany headed up the mountain to ski and Michael and I took Kade and our boys up the other mountain to sled. After a wonderful sledding trip, we had lunch at five star burgers before picking up tamales for our Christmas Eve dinner.
That evening, we left Keith and Kade and GG at home and the rest of us drove out to the Pueblo for their Christmas Eve procession of the Virgin Mary and the bonfires. We had to park pretty far down from the Pueblo and walk, but we all had on snow boots and warm clothes so it was fine. The pueblo was filled with people and huge, towering piles of wood. Several were lit and were flaring against the darkening sky. About a minute after we arrived, the procession came through with the Native Americans walking through the crowd, shooting rifles, carrying the Virgin statue and singing on a path to the church. It was something pretty amazing to see. We weren't allowed to take photos, but I pulled some off the internet to share with you here. After the procession, we watched young men climb to the very top of the bonfire towers and light them and then scramble back down before the whole thing caught fire. It was exciting and terrifying and very beautiful. It was a lovely Christmas Eve tradition.
After a while we headed back to the car and came home for our tamale feast. We ate fabulous New Mexican tamales with green and red chili and then settled by the fire in the living room to watch the Muppet Christmas Carol. Soon after we laid out our stocking with care and put out carrot sticks (one for each reindeer) and cookies. We headed to bed early in the hopes that St. Nick would find us in all that snow.