"The light of 50 lovingly tended fires flickers and dances across an 800 year old home - in fact, a mountain of home - built and shared by the people of Taos Pueblo, which itself lies against a backdrop of a 12,000 foot mountain. Songs of praise and gratitude rise above the crowd, as Mary - the Mother - is brought out from the chapel for all to see and adore. On good years, there's snow crunching beneath your feet as you huddle close, sing and laugh with strangers, and bask in hope, and each other. Christmas begins here for me." - Rachel P., Albuquerque, NM
As we finished our meal that year, I brought in a package of fabric pens. I asked our family and guests to write something on the tablecloth that they were thankful for. Everyone took turns writing short notes on the cloth, and we have continued to bring out the pens every year. Notes of love for family, our country and our God are arranged in an intricate puzzle across the light yellow cloth. Children's handprints are tucked in next to earnest messages of gratitude, while Great-Grandma Cusumano's shaky writing holds a special place in the center of the mosaic.
10. Carriage Rides & Holiday Lights in Dallas
“The lights decorating the homes in the Park Cities area of Dallas are magical, and I love meeting up with my extended family to take a carriage ride and sip hot cocoa through the neighborhood. Some are elegant and reserved, others are dramatic and sparkly and, of course, there are always a few that have a bit of a Clark Griswald [of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation fame] inspiration. Afterwards, we all enjoy checking out the amazing Trains at NorthPark .” – Kimberly Schlegel Whitman , television host, author, and editor-at-large for Southern Living , Dallas, Texas