Taos Aglow – our annual holiday guide

Oil painting "Taos Aglow" by Seamus Berkeley. Watch a time-lapse video of the painting-in-progress at seamusberkeley.com/taos-aglow.

When people are asked the age-old question, “What do you want for Christmas?” many respond with a material item or two, or money. Some, in honesty, say “good health,” “peace on Earth” or “absolutely nothing.”

But, no matter the answer, people really want happiness and that’s exactly what the holiday season can bring. Nothing is more warming or genuine than spending time with loved ones, and no other time of year is filled with more color, song and tradition.

There is no shortage of festive gatherings in Taos and beyond its borders, and there is nothing contrived about them. Whether you are visiting or live here part time, all festivities are inclusive and welcoming.

Even U.S. News & World Report has taken notice. A 2017 travel article ranked Taos as the No. 3 Best Christmas Vacations, just behind Prague and Vienna (t ravel.usnews.com/rankings/best-christmas-vacations/). And recently, TourRadar ranked Taos the No. 1 "Christmas Town in the World" topping Vienna, Austria; New York City, London, England; Nueremberg, Germany; and many other cities around the globe.

And so another three seasons have passed and the final one of the cycle has arrived aquí en Taos. With winter comes the joy and adventure of skiing and boarding; fragrant wisps of cedar and piñon smoke snaking from chimneys; deep red from ristras peeking out from under a blanket of fresh snow; steaming bowls of posole and sweet biscochitos; farolito-lit walkways; carolers and tree-lightings; arts and crafts markets; traditional religious processions; midnight Masses in historic churches; and legendary folk dramas reminding us of the meaning of the season when in times of turmoil and unrest are easy to forget.

This time of year is one of the most anticipated, memorable, heartening and humbling times to experience the rich cultures and gorgeous atmosphere that defines this ancient, sacred land of the Southwest.

Cheers to another beautiful, peaceful and harmonious holidays aglow. May peace reign within us all.

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