New Mexico Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, bloggy friends! We spent Christmas with my parents this year, drinking Costco eggnog (delicious) and playing Mexican Train Dominoes. We didn't even bother to decorate our house, lazy folks that we are. Actually, I did put out a holiday hand towel. Does that count? (Totally counts.)

Christmas (2020) 

It's unusual for SN and I to spend a New Mexico Christmas at home, all alone. As much as I'd like to say we made the most of it, celebrating another COVID holiday with just the two of us seemed a bit...old? 

Repetitive? Pointless?

We had our tinsel in a tangle. At first, it seemed like Christmas was just going to be like any other day. Another boring quarantine breakfast followed by another boring quarantine lunch. But then...

We were visited by Santa's reindeer!

Deer in NM mountains
What do you mean that's just a normal deer outside our window? It's clearly Blitzen.

New Mexico home
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow, Olive and Bernadette were consumed by holiday magic. 
That quickly wore off and they barked like crazy, demanding Santa's reindeer vacate their property at once.

I'm pretty sure our visitors had stopped by because they'd heard we had no Christmas spirit. Suddenly, SN and I were excited to celebrate. Thanks, Santa!

New Mexico Christmas

It was already late in the day and we hadn't done anything special. To compensate (okay, to overcompensate), we went all in. Alexa blasted holiday tunes, we sipped homemade apple cider, and I baked a batch of gingersnaps.

Homemade candied ginger
You know my gingersnaps are the best because I candy the ginger myself. Not bad considering I'd woken up as a grinch.

New Mexico cookies Biscochitos
Of course, this being a New Mexico Christmas, I really should have baked our state cookie, the biscochito. Want a few cookie tips? Rather than mess with cookie cutters, just roll out your dough and slice it with a pizza cutter - no rerolling and no waste! No lard for your biscochitos? Use bacon fat.

We opened a bottle of Christmas wine. Did you know that if you mix hot apple cider with red wine, you get mulled wine? Ta da! I am just full of helpful tidbits today.

best Christmas wine
The logo looks like a wreath, therefore this is a Christmas wine. Unfortunate that it's named Stones & Bones though. Just think of the third spirit to visit Scrooge, the creepy one, and it makes sense.

Something was still missing. We had a tiny tree and we had Christmas treats. We had a cozy fire burning with the scent of pinon warming our home. What else is needed to celebrate a New Mexico Christmas?

Oh, I know!

Dogs wearing sweaters
We dressed the girls in their Christmas sweaters. Doesn't Olive look sooo happy? 
I needed to take a photo sooner, as Bernadette promptly flexed her muscles and ripped the neck of her sweater, Hulk-style. When that still wasn't enough to get out of her adorable outfit, she sat by the fire and panted, looking like a dog about to spontaneously burst into flames. 

Sweaters removed, I sent the pups outside to play.

NM weather in December
It's not really Christmas without a fight between siblings. They sat like this forever, staring each other down, each aware that the other was going to get them.

While our girls played fought outside, SN and I prepared our Christmas feast. The original plan had been for me to make a homemade lasagna, as this is what we enjoy every year with my family in Tucson. 

Lasagna for Christmas
Not to brag, but my lasagna is heavenly, especially paired with a nice Chianti or Sangiovese. I even make the noodles from scratch. Alas, this is a photo of a previous lasagna. We were out of mozzarella.

I'd recently brought home 10 pounds of mozzarella - my goodness, SN and I eat too much cheese! He suggested I make us a lasagna using cheddar instead. Who tops a homemade lasagna with cheddar?

(Typing this, it just occurred to me that I could have made some sort of Tex-Mex lasagna. Ooh, or embraced the spirit of our New Mexico Christmas with a green chile lasagna. Damn, that sounds good.)

SN made us a ham. Remember those gingersnaps I baked earlier? They became the crust of the then *technically* it's like I made the ham, right?

Yeah, he didn't buy that reasoning either.

Alton Brown's ham with cookies and brandy
On Thanksgiving, we made the best turkey ever with a recipe from Alton Brown, so it only made sense to make the best ham ever by using another recipe from Alton Brown. He coats hams in cookies and brandy. He's like a crazy food scientist.

I was in charge of the biscuits.

How to fix burnt biscuits
Oh no! I discovered another use for my Microplane zester - shaving off any trace of black from these biscuits before SN saw them. The perfect crime!

We brought Olive and Bernadette back inside. They were clearly tuckered out from their romp.

Funny dog photos
She really fell asleep like this, while visions of sugar plums danced in her head. Weird little babe.

After their nap, we captured a few Christmas photos.

White House Black Market sweater

Holiday fun with dogs
The following night, SN and I took Biscuit out for a drive to see the Christmas lights in our neighborhood. It seemed like a sweet idea, especially considering this might be her last Christmas, but she seemed a bit scared throughout the car ride. Merry Christmas Biscuit, we're going to the vet!

Hey, I did say it was her last Christmas.
(This cheerful holiday post just took a dark turn. Betcha didn't see that coming.)

Photos taken, we sat down for our meal.

New Mexico Christmas
Colorful Christmas decor
Can you tell I like color just a little?

fine china from grandma
I made sure to have hot cider in one of my grandma's teacups. I like to think that she was with us on Christmas.

Christmas bloopers
SN set the timer and we staged the perfect photo of our holiday toast. Or so we thought.

family photos
Much better.

Last but not least, do you remember SN's Thanksgiving shenanigans with Dapper Squirrel? He brings us so much joy throughout the year. It seemed only right to include him in our celebration.

Drunk squirrels