The extended family gathered outside Santa Fe over Christmas and we were treated to a few glorious snow storms which blanketed everything and gave my grandson, Malcolm, several chances to go skiing in very good conditions. The Santa Fe ski basin is about 40 minutes from the ranch. The kids had snow ball fights and Troy pulled Malcolm on a sled behind a 4-wheeler up some of our hills. (In some parts of the country 4-wheelers are called Quads. Just learned that).
I went 2 days early to put up the Christmas tree which is 14 feet tall. The tree is always a central focus of Christmas for me. Probably this is because my father always put a great deal of time and attention into the tree we had, whipping Lux soap flakes in water (Had to be the exact right ratio of flakes to water) till it because a thick foam that he would spread on each branch. It looked like snow. Like him, doing the tree has become my own little –or not so little–work of art. I have collected decorations over many decades and they are like old friends that I unwrap each winter and greet anew.
Here are some that I made while I was filming “Barefoot in the Park”–just to give you an idea how far back this goes. I make them from paper mach over styrofoam shapes.
And here are some decorations I made four years ago when I still lived in Atlanta
And here are some of my favorite decorations that I’ve collected over the years. I’ve never featured them individually before. Troy took pictures too. He loved the tree as much as I did.
The wooden angels are made in Germany and I’ve had them since childhood.
Many of the glass balls were made by the famous glassblower, Frabel, whose studio is in Atlanta
I also have some ceramic decorations made by artist Jill Ruhlman who is based in Atlanta
Someone made this for me when the Jane Fonda Workout first started. That’s me as an angel lifting dumbbells! Cute, huh?
One key trick to doing a good tree in my opinion, is to create depth by putting some balls deep inside the tree, not just all on the outer branches.
Opening presents Christmas morning
We played a lot of games including, here, Malcolm taking his turn at Taboo with Paul Vanwinkle, his stepdad, monitoring him. A great game and his team won. We also played Balderdash, Scattagories and an enlightened game of Hide The Object.
We went out to dinner one night to the wonderful Pasquale’s on Don Gaspar. Tulea liked it too.
Here we are at Christmas dinner which was scrumptious, cooked by chef Roland from Joe’s Dining in Santa Fe.
Turkey, cranberry sauce, bread stuffing with nuts etc, brussel sports, green beans with almonds, mashed purple potatoes, baked sweet potatoes,
And for dessert, pecan pie and lemon creme brule. Yummy.
And just for show off, here’s a brown trout I caught and mounted.
I hope all the friends I have on social media had a lovely, happy holiday and I send you all wishes for a prosperous, healthy more peaceful New Year. I also hope the year goes more slowly. I mean really, last year (or what is almost last year–not quite–) seemed about two weeks long.Tags: Atlanta, Christmas, Forked Lightning Ranch, frabel, Joe's Dining, Malcolm, new mexico, Sante Fe, Scattagories, Taboo, Vanessa Vadim