This little table-top Christmas tree is adorned with treasures that my husband and I have picked up over the years when traveling to New Mexico. From its Milagros ornaments, chile peppers, prayer cards, turquoise balls and burlap ribbons, the tree represent many of the things we love about the state.
Milagro, also known as an ex-voto, means miracle or surprise in Spanish. These tiny religious folk charms are historically used for healing purposes. You’ll find them all over New Mexico attached to altars, shrines and sacred objects in places of worship.
Chile peppers grow in abundance in New Mexico. Red, green or Christmas (red and green) are key ingredients used in the savory sauces that are ladled over many dishes in New Mexican cuisine – everything from enchiladas and tamales to cheeseburgers and pizza (yes, pizza) can be smothered in chiles and often is.
Turquoise – who can resist the rich and calming color of turquoise stones which embellish everything from jewelry and cowboy hats to cow skulls and horse saddles.
Our prayer cards were found in an off-the-beaten-path monastery surrounded by desert and mountains.
And of course…burlap, which represents the rustic beauty of the land.