Experiencing New Christmas Traditions – Tamales and Posole, Day 108

Experiencing New Christmas Traditions – Tamales and Posole, Day 108
25 Dec

Today we had the pleasure of experiencing new Christmas traditions with a classic, New Mexico Christmas dinner.

This is the first Christmas that both of us have spent away from home. Even when we lived in different towns, we have always celebrated Christmas and Christmas dinner with our families.

And each year, the same, traditional meal would be served. There would always be ham, potatoes, cooked vegetables and pie on the table.

Of course, each year as the family grew, there would be various additions brought to dinner.

luminaries new Christmas traditions
Just about every town in New Mexico has luminaries that line the streets on Christmas Eve.

From chicken and noodles to corn casserole, there was something for everyone to enjoy!

But this year we had the pleasure of experiencing new traditions when we had Christmas dinner in New Mexico.

New Christmas Traditions – Tamales and Posole

After being able to cook our traditional surf and turf Christmas Eve meal, we were both ready to head out and have something local for Christmas dinner.

tamales new christmas traditions
A week or two before Christmas, many New Mexico families have a tamale making party.

But what we found was completely different than a Christmas meal served in the Midwest.

The few restaurants that were open were serving a limited menu. And once we looked closer at the items on the menu, we were shocked.

There was not one restaurant serving ham or even turkey. But there were plenty serving tamales and posole.

masa on corn husks
The first layer in a tamale starts with masa spread on the husk.

So we decided that since we were away from home that we would partake in an authentic New Mexico Christmas dinner.

Christmas Tamales

As we began to speak to the locals, we learned that it is a huge tradition to make tamales with the family a week or two before Christmas.

Just like when you have others over to bake Christmas cookies, there is usually an assembly line when preparing Christmas tamales.

tamale new christmas traditions
Once all of the tamales are made, they are stored until Christmas day when dinner will be served.

Everyone has a specific job until all of the tamales are wrapped. Then on Christmas day, everyone gets together to enjoy the steamed tamales.

But the New Mexico Christmas tradition doesn’t stop there! Every special holiday often includes Posole.

Red Posole

Posole is a mix between a soup and stew and is traditionally served on Christmas using red chiles.

red posole
Red Posole is often served on Christmas day as well. It is a delicious soup/stew that is filled with tons of flavor.

Although there are many variations of Posole, it is typically made with pork, hominy and garlic.

And we had the pleasure of being served Red Posole (Rojo Pozole) on Christmas Day.

The flavors of this soup/stew is absolutely incredible! It was so comforting and warming to the body that I think that this recipe will become a new family favorite when we return back home!

And we have also made the decision to make tamales and posole new Christmas traditions for us in the future as well!

chile pepper wreath
There are dried Chile Pepper Ristras everywhere in New Mexico. But for Christmas, you will find Ristra wreaths as well!

And of course, a dried chile pepper wreath might become our new Christmas decoration of choice – because they are so beautiful!

Here is to experiencing local cuisine wherever you may travel!

Happy Traveling – Jim and Mary


  • Day 108 of 365
  • States : 14 / 50
  • National Parks / Monuments : 17
  • Stayed In : Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Miles Driven : 247.5
  • Total Trip Miles To Date : 12,091.9
  • Total Gallons Used : 876.22
  • Biking Miles : 0.0
  • Biking Miles To Date : 142.5
  • Hiking Miles : 3.6
  • Hiking Miles To Date : 263.2

About Our Living Simple Tour

On September 9th, 2019, we set out in our NuCamp T@B 400 Teardrop Camper to travel to every state. You can check out all of our dates here : Dates for the States

Follow along by signing up for our twice weekly email updates at the bottom of the page. You can also follow us on Facebook : Live Simple Tour Facebook and Instagram : Live Simple Now Instagram Page.

4 thoughts on “Experiencing New Christmas Traditions – Tamales and Posole, Day 108

  1. Merry Christmas! So happy you were able to experience the Tamales of Posole! Although you weren’t able to stop by the Tri-Cities (Pasco, Kennewick, Richland, WA) this fall, we have still been following your adventures! We almost crossed paths several times on our travels away from home. Anyway, Posole is our go to Christmas Eve dinner! Yes, that was introduced to us when my sister moved to Albuquerque. They love New Mexico and we do too. We hope to get there again for the Hot Air Balloon Festival in October one of these years! That is one event you might want to put on your to do list! Isn’t America amazing? Even though you are visiting all 50 states, there is so much more in each state to visit! We hope to travel through your home area next year!
    Jody & Dwayne Hughes

    1. Hi Jody and Dwayne!! Thank you for continuing to follow our journey from state to state. We have fallen in love with New Mexico and of course the cuisine. Posole will now be on our table frequently and tamales will for sure be a new Christmas tradition for us as well. We have always wanted to come to the balloon festival and we are hoping that we can come back next October and be a volunteer at the festival. Maybe we will see you there! And when you are in our area next year, be sure to look us up! We would be happy to host you!

  2. Aw, the foods of New Mexico ~ Glad you went with tradition, as you would have missed something special! My aunt lives in the mountains above Alamogordo, it’s a beautiful area of the state.
    Merry Christmas & here’s to Wonderful Journies in 2020! Happy New Year from Colorado ~

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