Friday, December 31, 2010

Catron Historical Society Throws Old-Fashioned Christmas Party

By Lisa Blessing
For the Mountain Mail

The Quemado School cafeteria on Dec. 11 was transformed into an old fashioned Christmas for the third annual Catron County Historical Society Christmas Party.
Members and their guests walked past sleds piled high with packages and guarded by a reindeer to enter doors hung with twinkling boughs of pine and large sprays of beribboned and belled juniper. Hot spiced cider and hot chocolate were waiting near the door to take away the December chill.
Tables lit by luminarias displayed items for both a raffle and a silent auction. Catron County businesses generously donated gifts and gift certificates while many talented CCHS members provided home crafted gifts that ranged from a lovely afghan to a hand forged BBQ fork, handmade dolls, art, edibles and gift baskets. A cowboy boot stocking was hung for donations to share with those less fortunate than we this season and was bulging by evening’s end.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Gatlin/La Luz Photography
Creating a homey feeling, the main wall was covered by a large mural of an old fashioned living room. A genuine old rocking chair on a braided rug with assorted antique furniture brought the mural into the room, as packages spilled out from under an old fashioned decorated Christmas tree topped by a red cowboy hat. On the edge of the living room the harp of Rebecca Ketts filled the hall and hearts with traditional seasonal music from the moment of welcome all the way thru dinner.
After an invocation, all headed for the buffet table where the Quemado FFA served a delicious traditional meal of ham, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with two kinds of gravy, candied yams, cranberry sauce, green beans, corn and rolls. Everyone appreciated not just the generosity and the effort of the FFA, but its success in creating such an elaborate and tasty meal for 60 people.
Some CCHS members contributed elaborate desserts, and as people finished a delicious variety of taste treats and coffee the entertainment began. Stories and poems about Christmases in different places and times were shared to delight and applause. Some adventurous women did a turn at line dancing followed by the raffle and silent auction. Even the artificial but artfully decorated Christmas tree in the living room went home with a lucky winner.
No gathering this time of year is complete without group caroling and the CCHS was fortunate to have Laurie Vance playing the guitar and leading the singing. Finally, the lingering strains of “Silent Night” gave way to folks gathering up their treasures from the auction and raffle, wishing their friends and neighbors “Merry Christmas” and heading home filled with the warmth of the season, of good friends, and good food.

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