“Oh, there’s no better place for the holidays than at home.”
The sentiment has ringed true for many since Perry Como first sang these lyrics in 1954.
And for those looking to gift a little bit of the Land of Enchantment this holiday season, there are plenty of local options.
No matter how far you’ve strayed, here are some options for those who think Home Sweet Home can’t be beat.
It is well known that the word “Christmas” has a second meaning in New Mexico. If you’re looking to give Christmas gifts this Christmas, Chile Traditions offers a variety of chili items along with salsas, hot sauces, chili-themed decorations and more.
“Everyone loves food,” says Ken De
Wees, owner of Chile Traditions, “especially New Mexico food.”
Chile Traditions carries its own line of products along with products from other New Mexico vendors.
“Green Chili Spice ($7.29) is really popular,” says DeWees. “Put it on popcorn or make a dip with sour cream or dry rubs.”
For those wanting a take-home gift, Chile Traditions offers several gift hamper options.
A holiday basket featuring all Chile Traditions items including Green Chili Stew, Green Chili Cornbread, Posole, Posole Mix and more is $49.95. Would you like to spice up your gift basket even more? For $79.95 you can get the same items along with a choice of three different hot sauces ranging from “mild to wild”. Or you build your own basket.
“Hot sauces are always popular,” says DeWees. Chile Traditions stocks a variety of New Mexico-made hot sauces, including Taos Hum.
Taos Hum hot sauce makers grow their own peppers, says DeWees, and rotate them according to the harvest. “Lots of different hot sauces.”
DeWees says he also expects Timmy Krack Korn Puffs to be a popular item this year. “It’s incredible.”
“Of course, red and green chili,” says DeWees. “You have to have that during the holidays.”
Whether you’re gifting a New Mexico-themed coffee mug and Piñon coffee or the world’s hottest jelly beans, Chile Traditions has a red, a green, and everything in between.
Palms Trading Company
Those interested in supporting artisans in New Mexico this holiday season can contact the Palms Trading Company. While the Palms Trading Company sells jewelry standards like earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings, general manager Peter Berger thinks the connection to New Mexico brings more to the pieces.
“We carry very unique items, handcrafted by New Mexico artisans. It’s not just jewelry, it’s something unique,” says Berger. “I’ve always had the feeling that we have something special.”
For the best value, Berger recommends Santo Domingo Pueblo Slab earrings.
At the high end, Berger says, the store has a variety of squash blossom necklaces, ranging from $700 to $800 and $3,000 to $4,000, or Navajo beaded necklaces, ranging from $500 to $1,500. According to Berger, most of the Palms Trading Company’s inventory, which includes pieces by Santo Domingo, Zuni, and Navajo artists, ranges from just under $100 to just over $300.
“We like to tell people around Christmas, give someone something they’ll remember,” says Berger, “You’re not just buying a necklace or a bracelet, it comes with a story.” We can give you information about the artist. It is a very personal gift.”
In addition to jewelry, the Palms Trading Company also stocks a selection of Native American ceramics, sand paintings and kachinas.
“Things that highlight the culture and traditions of New Mexico,” says Berger.
If your secret Santa has a sweet tooth, check out Buffett’s Candies.
Buffett’s boxes of chocolates come in a variety of sizes and styles, including traditional or piñon assortments.
Box sizes range from a half-pound for $14-$15 to a three-pound box for $110.95. Shoppers can even customize a box and choose their favorites from Buffett’s range of milk and dark chocolate.
You can get a traditional gift basket like Buffett’s New Mexico Basket ($49.95), which includes treats like green chili cheese corn, piñon brittle, a bufforeo (chocolate-covered Oreo), and a New Mexico chocolate mold wrapped in a New Mexico-shaped basket.
But the store is offering something new this year, says operations manager Tyler Buffett.
Buffett’s Sweet Society “took the idea of a gift basket and made a special box…” says Buffett. “I think people will really like it. Four different types of candy, about two pounds, for $35 a month.”
The Sweet Society boxes, which contain a new assortment every month, can be delivered either monthly, quarterly or once a year.
“…You can get a taste of Home every month, every three months,” Buffett says.
Buffett’s also has a special treat for your favorite pooch.
Buffett’s Bones are chicken and rice treats topped with icing and sprinkles.
“People will spend more on their dogs than they will on their kids,” Buffett says.
All three shops offer shipping. DeWees recommends placing orders no later than December 15th.