The Twelve Days of New Mexico Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….

A roadrunner in a piñon tree

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On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Red and Green chiles
And roadrunner in a piñon tree.

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On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
3 lift tickets
Red and green chile
And a roadrunner in a piñon tree

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On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Four hot air balloons
3 lift tickets
Red and green chile
And a roadrunner in a piñon tree

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On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
5 turquoise bracelets!
4 hot air balloons
3 lift tickets
Red and green chile
And a roadrunner in a piñon tree

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On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….
6 sopaipillas
5 turquoise bracelets
4 hot air balloons
3 lift tickets
Red and green chile
And a roadrunner in a piñon tree

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On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….
7 bowls of posole
6 sopaipillas
5 turquoise bracelets
4 hot air balloons
3 lift tickets
Red and green chile
And a roadrunner in a piñon tree

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On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
8 bright red ristras
7 bowls of posole
6 sopaipillas
5 turquoise bracelets
4 hot air balloons
3 lift tickets
Red and green chile
And a roadrunner in a piñon tree

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On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
9 margaritas
8 bright red ristras
7 bowls of posole
6 sopaipillas
5 turquoise bracelets
4 hot air balloons
3 lift tickets
Red and green chile
And a roadrunner in a piñon tree

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On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
10 pork tamales
9 margaritas
8 bright red ristras
7 bowls of posole
6 sopaipillas
5 turquoise bracelets
4 hot air balloons
3 lift tickets
Red and green chile
And a roadrunner in a piñon tree

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On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
11 biscochitos
10 pork tamales
9 margaritas
8 bright red ristras
7 bowls of posole
6 sopaipillas
5 turquoise bracelets
4 hot air balloons
3 lift tickets
Red and green chile
And a roadrunner in a piñon tree

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On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
12 luminarias/farolitos
11 biscochitos
10 pork tamales
9 margaritas
8 bright red ristras
7 bowls of posole
6 sopaipillas
5 turquoise bracelets
4 hot air balloons
3 lift tickets
Red and green chile
And a roadrunner in a piñon tree!

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These are a few of our favorite things!

A Roadrunner in a Piñon Tree
There is probably no State Bird more closely connected to the people of the state than the Greater Roadrunner is to the citizens of New Mexico. Early settlers for example were told that if you got lost a roadrunner would always lead you back to the path for which you were searching. Many Native American groups said that the spirit of this bird has supernatural powers. Hopi tribes used the "X" on Kachina figures to confuse evil spirits because the "X" footprint of a roadrunner doesn't show which direction the bird is traveling.

Red and Green Chile
In 1996 the New Mexico State Legislature passed a House Joint Memorial declaring "Red or Green?" as the official state question. This refers to the question always asked whether one prefers red or green chile when ordering New Mexican cuisine. This measure was passed to signify the importance that the chile industry has on the economy of the state. New Mexico produced 99,000 tons of chile in 2000, valued at nearly 49 million dollars, the number one cash crop in terms of sales in the state. With the adoption of this state question, New Mexico is acknowledging the financial gain and national recognition that chile generates for the state.

Lift Tickets
With over 300 inches of snow each winter and over 300 days of sunshine each year, winter sports in New Mexico include exceptional downhill skiing and riding, picturesque high-mountain Nordic skiing, snowmobiling, inner tube riding, and snowshoeing. In the New Mexico mountains there is fun for everyone.

Hot Air Balloons
Albuquerque is "the Balloon Capitol of the world." The skies are full of hundreds of beautiful, colorful, and unusual shaped balloons from all over the world every October. On the ground are thousands of spectators stretching their necks to view these sights and their pocketbooks thereby assisting the economic stability of the state.

Turquoise Bracelets
Hundreds of years before the Spanish explorers arrived, the Navajo and Pueblo Indians of the Southwest were mining and fashioning ornaments out of this gemstone in combination with shell and coral from the California coast they acquired in trading with other tribes. Turquoise set in silver by numerous silversmiths is a big industry in New Mexico and beautiful and authentic pieces may be purchased on reservations.

Sopaipillas
Sopaipillas are warm fluffy pillows of joy. Rebecca Orchant of the Huffington Post says "Stuffed with eggs, they're breakfast. Stuffed with meat and covered in chile, they're lunch and dinner. Smothered in honey, they're dessert. Served with butter, they're a bread-basket."

Bowls of posole
Posole or Pozole is a spicy corn stew traditionally made with pork. New Mexicans have been enjoying posole for centuries. Posole is a ceremonial dish for celebrating life's blessings. Traditional posole is made with large kernel white corn that has been soaked in a solution of lime and then is dehydrated. Hominy is often used as a substitution for true posole.

Bright Red Ristras
Ristras are the strings of chile you see hanging along fences, on patios and on portals all over New Mexico. In the Fall, you can buy ristras at farmer's markets and roadside stands. Ristras are sometimes used for decoration, and are said to bring good health and good luck. More often, they are hung up to dry for later cooking and eating.

Margaritas
Margaritas are New Mexico's favorite cocktail. Some bars and restaurants have developed drinks with green chile in them for that extra kick!

Pork Tamales
Tamale-making has been a tradition for thousands of years—there is evidence that Mesoamerican peoples made tamales in what is today Honduras as far back as 10,000 years ago. Here in the Southwest, maize (corn) has been integral to the culture since ancient peoples began farming it sometime around 1250 b.c. These pre-Colombian tamales, however, looked different from the varieties familiar to us today—like that of pork and red chile. Ancestral Puebloans didn't raise pigs, and therefore had no pork or lard. So, tamales don't necessarily require pork. In fact, tamales are much like sandwiches: You can fill them with just about anything. The configuration is limited only by your imagination.

Biscochitos
The biscochito is a small anise-flavored cookie, which was brought to New Mexico by the early Spaniards. The cookie is used during special celebrations, wedding receptions, baptisms, Christmas season, and other holidays.

Luminarias/farolitos
A luminaria or a farolito is a small light or lantern (commonly a candle set in some sand inside a paper bag) which has its origins as a Spanish Christmas-time tradition dating to the 16th century; small bonfires were set along roads and paths to light the way to Midnight Mass.

Happy Holidays from the New Mexico Tourism Department

Download The Twelve Days of New Mexico Christmas Poster here.

Click on the image to open it in a new window and then save to your computer.

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