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December 2018


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Joel K. Schantz
Owner/Broker, CRB   |   (575) 758-1924

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Holiday Traditions

Taos is a cultural experience.  
With the Taos Pueblo Indians,
Fur Trappers, Spanish, Cowboys,
Artists, etc.

Marny and I recall one year our daughter asking us what part of our Christmas traditions were of our German and English heritage.

Having lived in Taos for many years, it was a question to be pondered. We had assimilated the local cultures into our own holiday traditions.

Familiarities from our childhood mixed with local Taos customs. The English Christmas Carol, The German Christmas Tree, Santa Claus, The Christmas Putz, anise cookies and pumpkin pie PLUS luminaries, tamale stuffed turkey with red chili, Feliz Navidad, biscochitos, pueblo dances, skiing... 
These are now our every year holiday "have-to-do's"... our traditions. 


Sneak peak of near year end Taos Real Estate figures


Single Family Average Sales Price

Condo Average Sale Price

5 acre or less Average Sale Price 
Units Sold                                
Residential Single Family: 240  
Condos: 60
5 acres or less: 77                                           

Days on Market   
Residential: 139                            
Condos: 66                      
5 acre or less: 197

Total market for 2018 in units and sales volume is looking similar to 2017.  
We have seen the average sales price increase.

Holiday YUM... 

Biscochitos: New Mexico State cookie 

Servings: 4 dozen cookies

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1 to 1½ teaspoons ground anise

½ teaspoon salt

½ pound lard, softened

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 large egg

2 tablespoons sweet white wine, brandy, or rum, or apple or pineapple juice

¼ cup sugar and ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon for the topping

Sift together the flour, baking powder, anise, and salt and set aside.

Beat the lard in an electric mixer, gradually adding the sugar, and beat until extremely fluffy and light, about 8 minutes. Don’t shortcut this step. Stop the mixer every couple of minutes and scrape the sides of the mixing bowl.

Add the egg, followed by the wine, and continue beating.

Mix in the dry ingredients, adding about one-third of the mixture at a time. Stop the mixer as you make each addition, and beat no longer than necessary to incorporate the dry ingredients. A stiff pie-crust type of dough is what you’re seeking.

Chill the dough for about 15 minutes for easy handling.

Preheat the oven to 350

Roll out the dough ¼-inch thick on a floured work surface and cut with a paring knife into a fleur de lis, or cut with a small cookie cutter. Avoid handling the dough anymore than necessary, one of the keys to the melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until just set and pale golden.

While the cookies bake stir together the topping.

When the cookies are done, cool for just a minute or two on the baking sheets, then gently dunk the top of each in the cinnamon-sugar.

Transfer to absorbent paper to finish cooling.


December Holiday Events: 

Las Posadas
December 14-22.
Outside of Ranchos Church in Ranchos de Taos, 6 pm nightly. An annual re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging (over nine nights) in preparation for the birth of Jesus. On the final night they, along with their faithful followers who carry candles and sing Christmas songs, are given a room amid singing and rejoicing.

Robert Mirabal & Special Guest Robby Romero and Friends, A Holiday Concert December 19. 7 pm., Taos Community Auditorium Two-time Grammy winning Native American musician and performer Robert Mirabal, returns to the TCA for his annual holiday community concert joined by special guest Native Rock recording artist Robby Romero. For ticket information, visit the Taos Community Auditorium website.

La Noche on Taos Plaza
December 20, 2018.
 Historic Taos Plaza, 5 – 8 pm. People have been gathering on Taos Plaza for centuries. Continue the tradition by strolling around the town square and visiting the Plaza shops filled with a diverse array of offerings — from jewelry to western wear to antiques and souvenirs. Bonfires and hot cocoa will warm your body while the festive atmosphere warms your soul.

Christmas Eve and New Years Eve Torchlight Parade 
December 24, December 31.
 Taos Ski Valley Resort Center, 6 pm. Watch torch-bearing skiers make their way down Als’s Run in the dark with the flares of their torches lighting the way and creating a dazzling light show for spectators. The parade ends at the Base of Chair #1. Dress warm!

Christmas Eve Vespers and Bonfires at Taos Pueblo 
December 24, 5-7 pm.
This 1,000-year old UNESCO site blesses Christmas Eve with the procession of Mary through the Taos Pueblo. Large bonfire displays spark in the cold winter night while gunfire from the rooftops salutes the passage of the procession. You won’t want to miss this most magical experience. And be sure to dress warm! 

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day Ceremonial Dances at Taos Pueblo
December 25, January 1. On Christmas Day, Taos Pueblo alternates between the Deer Dance and Los Matachines Dance. You won’t know which soul-stirring ceremonial you will have the honor of witnessing until the day of the event (or a few days before if the tribal council makes the announcement to the public). The latter dance is rooted in Spanish culture, evolving over hundreds of years with the Moors and adopted/adapted by Spanish colonists who brought it with them to the New World. The Turtle Dance is scheduled for New Year’s Day. Both dances usually start around mid-day. These are sacred ceremonials and as such, the Pueblo asks that you pay the same respect you would in your church at home. No photography is allowed.

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