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I’m going to make some assumptions that most people give gifts, its a part of your family and traditions in some way.  In my family gifts are given at Christmas and birthdays but gifts are also given as thank yous too.  This past weekend when my mom, sister and I went to Gallup, NM I knew my uncle liked to have the occasional beer and that Gallup probably had a limited selection of craft beer. I had a small selection of some of the beers Tom and I review each week on AM Colorado, so I took the variety six packs I had for him.  In Santa Fe we stopped at the outlet stores and went into the Coach store, where my mom found a gorgeous green bag for my aunt’s birthday.  Gifts in hand off we went to Gallup, NM; once famous because of the western movies filmed around there in the 1950s and 60s, the El Rancho Hotel was were the movie stars stayed (I once stayed here but the plumbing was unimpressive).

El Rancho front El Rancho El Rancho sign



Gallup is also known as the “Indian Capital of the World” and when you are there you fully understand what that means.  The majority of the population is Native American but it is also the nearest town to the reservations, Navajo, Hopi and Zuni, among others.  I believe it’s because my family is from Gallup that the Native American arts and crafts has always been an interest and it was this knowledge that made it easy to manage southwestern art galleries.  On Route 66 you see many places selling Native American jewelry and art and on this trip I brought a couple of things back but not because I went shopping for them, they were gifts.

This brings me back to gift giving.  We took gifts with us because we were taking them as a housewarming gift and a birthday gift.  They say that giving gifts is more for the giver than it is the recipient but I disagree this time.  One evening when we were leaving for the night to return to our hotel we were given a bag and told there was one for each of us.  When we opened the bag there were 3 gifts each.  As it turned out my uncle decided he wanted to give us each a gift but he couldn’t decide on just one thing.  We were nearly in tears, not just for his generosity but because it was so unexpected.  Here is what he gave to us:


The necklaces are both Navajo made, the bear claw is considered the symbol of a good omen and also the protector of the west, the sun is often seen as the giver of life and warmth.   The wedding pot is made with horsehair and etched with the sun, each of the pots had a different etch on it.  These are gifts each of us will display and we will literally wear close to our hearts.  A reminder of how much our family means to us, how much fun we had visiting, and a rare trip for all of us.

Tell me about your traditions of gift giving.  I often wonder who gets more pleasure with gifts, the giver or the recipient?