NEW MEXICO IS A GIFT. The kind wrapped in the indigo, rose, and purple of the mountains at sunrise. The kind best appreciated with each new trail or back road traveled. The kind that reveals new meaning the more you learn about its history and people. The kind where each bite comes seasoned with tradition, where creativity draws inspiration from the earth and gets handed down through generations.

It’s also the kind you enjoy giving. Last year, my wife and I wrapped up our shopping list for Ohio family and friends with a decorative ristra from the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, handcrafted soaps scented with piñon and lavender, a commemorative charm from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, a throwback green chile New Mexico United jersey, and cute little dangly sugar skull earrings.

This year, Santa has his eye on copies of The New Mexico Magazine Centennial Cookbook: A Century of Flavors. (Shhh! Don’t spoil the surprise.) You can pick up this fabulous collection of essays and recipes—as well as one of our 2024 calendars or commemorative 100th-anniversary posters—for someone special on your holiday list at

Add a little extra enchantment to your Christmas tree. Photograph by Tira Howard.

This month’s “Merry Makers” feature offers up an entire North Pole workshop full of ideas for adding a little extra enchantment to your holiday celebrations. We get inside some year-round Christmas shops—including two on the same street in Santa Fe—to see how they spread cheer 365 days a year. We talk with artisans who craft Native nativity sets, Spanish crosses, St. Nicholas retablos, storyteller Santas, and cheery ornaments. We even gather decorating ideas from some of the jolliest spots in the state so that you can bring New Mexico home for the holidays no matter where you live.

That’s what Liz Kingswood, owner of The Christmas Shop, in Old Town Albuquerque, tries to do every day. “People who come here want memories of what they love about New Mexico,” she says. You’ll find other ways to do that sprinkled throughout this issue as well, including treats for your table and tomes for your bookshelves.

Indeed, New Mexico is the kind of present that reveals its beauty in moments big and small. That’s why I love sharing the wonders of this place each month—and especially during this very special holiday season.

Read more: On the same street in Santa Fe, two year-round Christmas stores spread cheer near and far.