CHARMING. THAT’S THE WINNING WORD that came out of a meeting during which we were trying to succinctly describe the New Mexico Christmas vibe. “It’s totally different here than anywhere else,” said senior editor Andrew Roush, “but it’s also classic—it feels Christmassy. And people take it seriously.”

That’s for sure! First of all, its religious and spiritual significance is at the forefront. And every year, I’m amazed anew at the many noteworthy manifestations of holiday spirit. In Roamin’ Holiday by Andrew Collins, we’re spotlighting towns that participate in the New Mexico MainStreet economic development program. Naturally, these communities go all out with events and attractions that stoke civic pride and engagement while attracting visitors to come celebrate with them. After all, retailers earn a third of their annual sales during the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas shopping season, according to MainStreet director Rich Williams. He adds that most of our downtown businesses are locally owned mom-and-pop operations. Not only are you likely to find distinctive gifts that have a real sense of place in such shops, but you’re also doing good by shopping well: For every $100 spent locally, $68 stays in town, as opposed to only $43 of a chain-store purchase. The same logic applies to the made-in-NM items we’ve selected for the gift guide, and especially the ones that are New Mexico True Certified. That means they’ve been made, grown, born, and raised right here at home.

I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot better about spending money when I know the profit will help support the economy and the quality of life in New Mexico. And I’m sure that goes for our dear readers who live elsewhere, too. Besides, where else are you going to find great stuff like this?

Here’s one more: We’re raising money to donate the magazine to students throughout the state. See the ad on page 70, and give the gift of New Mexico Magazine—a charming way to greet the new year!

Merry Christmas,


Dave Herndon