Susan Guyette



Connecting is the gift of life. As the seasons change and we celebrate ways to appreciate Mother Earth, the harvest and each other, opportunities to support local efforts expand. Before picking up a catalog or making the rushed trip to the big box, consider an outing to the farmers’ market, artists’ market or seasonal arts shows. Locally owned stores, roadside vendors and entrepreneurs often provide the uniqueness of northern New Mexico products.


This holiday season may bring out our inclination toward hoarding versus generosity. The choice is ours to see scarcity or abundance, isolation or awareness of our relations in nature. The words of Rebecca Adamson, the Cherokee economist, point the way.

Maintain the stance of abundance through tough times and through good times by having a spiritual base and good values—by caring about something other than yourself. That’s how you maintain abundance.

Abundance comes not from stuff. In fact, stuff is an indication of non-abundance. Abundance is in the sacred; it’s in the connection of love. We will find abundance through hard times when we find each other.



Choosing to buy locally is not only gifting to your friends and loved ones, but also to local producers. It is a gift to the community—as the future economy is being created with each local purchase. Instead of being caught up in the hecticness of the season, engage in compassion through gifts from our regional ecosystem.


Celebrate the sacredness of the land and learn to take only what we need. This is a way to connect to true meaning. Food is a gift of nourishment from Mother Earth.


Here are some of the handmade local items you can find at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market (Sat. and Tues. 8 to 1): ristras, wreaths, baskets (pine needle, red willow), beauty products, chicos, piñones, lavender sachets, mustard, pecan honey, red chile, green chile, almond garlic, cheese jarred in olive oil, apple cider, hand-knit hats, herbed vinegars, pinto and anasazi beans, salsa mixes, raspberry jam, ginger jam, red chile ginger, local honey, apple chips, cornmeal, atole, dried stew mixes, sage sticks, candles, homemade soaps, lip balm, sheepskins, beaded feather fans, dried herbs and tinctures. Some of these items are artistically grouped in gift boxes. If you include a recipe or local history with your gift, the product will be transformed into an especially meaningful New Mexican treasure.


The Artists’ Market on Sundays at the Farmers’ Market Pavillion (1 to 4 pm) features local authors’ books, teas, jewelry, paintings, photographs, aprons, scarves, hats, ponchos, tinwork and toys. In addition, the Farmers’ Market Gift Shop is open both Saturdays and Sundays during market hours.


Santa Fe’s art markets are renowned worldwide and bring in thousands of tourists every year. Art shows abound during December—featuring New Mexico pottery, Native American arts, traditional Hispanic arts, weaving, paintings, photography, sculpture and contemporary arts. Here are a few:


Santa Fe Artists’ Market (Saturdays, 8 to 2) Manhattan at Market St.

Dec 1-2: Winter Spanish Market (SF Convention Center).

Dec 4: Last Minute Tin Gifts, Santa Fe Community College

Dec 7: Poeh Winter Show (4-7 pm), Poeh Center (Pojoaque Pueblo)

Dec 7-8: Contemporary Hispanic Winter Market (SF Convention Center)

Dec. 8-9: Artisan Market Holiday Show (Sat., 4 to 8; Sun., 10 to 4) SF Farmers’ Market Pavillion


Gallery art shows are listed online at or on’s calendar of events.


A gift to local organizations helps keep both land and traditions alive. Consider the Santa Fe Farmers’ Institute, Center for Southwest Culture, Río Grande Return (gift packs support conservation efforts), Santa Fe Watershed Association, Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship, Bioneers, Nature Conservancy, Quivera Coalition, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Audubon Society, Trust for Public Land, New Mexico Land Conservancy and People for Native Ecosystems.


Some of the locally owned stores featuring NM traditional and contemporary products can be found in the following directories:, , , and





The holidays are an opportune time to become attuned to life by the seasons. As beings in nature, we too are a part of nature. Eating mindfully during this time restores and replenishes the immune system and good health. This can be a cleansing time, preparing for seasonal change, rather than one of excess. Imagine a holiday season of rejuvenation, nourishing foods, true connectedness and joy!


Living life by the seasons reminds us of the circle of life. In many Native American cultures, winter is the season of the north, represented by the color white—and winter is a time for reflection, renewal and spiritual contemplation.


May you enjoy a season of restoration and the sharing of wisdom—through connecting to others while supporting local efforts. Give the gift of compassion, as we learn to pull together in challenging times. Celebrate local!



Susan Guyette, Ph.D. is Métis (Micmac Indian and Acadian French) and a planner specializing in cultural tourism, cultural centers, museums and native foods. She is the author of Planning for Balanced Development, co-author of Zen Birding: Connect in Nature, and the author of several texts for American Indian Studies.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email