Albuquerque Homes and Lifestyle Blog


Red Chili Christmas Tree

Red Chili Christmas Tree

My wife and I really enjoy our tradition of a Red Chili Christmas Tree.  You guessed it we decorate with gifts from Mother Nature.  The chill’s are grown near here in Hatch NM.   We have collected pine-cones while on hikes throughout the state and the star on top of the tree is made of grapevine. The small berries and red apples are store bought.  No bows, balls or tinsel are to be found on our tree it’s all back to nature for us.

So what’s your Christmas Tree tradition?

Red Chili Christmas Tree Albuquerque NM

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Comment balloon 36 commentsJohn McCormack • December 04 2011 12:01AM


I love it!  The perfect Southwest Christmas tree!  Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Posted by Valerie Crowell, Broker Associate (Keller Williams) about 5 years ago

Very nice, John.

   I have been to Hatch, New Mexico on a Road Trip...  there were Chili Stands on both sides of the road, as far as you could see!

Posted by Fred Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Frederick Griffin, Exclusive Buyer's Broker) about 5 years ago

I think a Christmas tree is beautiful no matter what ornaments adorn the branches!  Your tree reminds me of when we used to string popcorn and make red and green paper chains to decorate our family Christmas tree!   My tree tradition has changed over the years.  When my children were younger our tree consisted of alot of handmade ornaments.  As the kids collected through the years those ornaments then decorated trees in their rooms!  I started an ornament collection many years ago of nativity, angels, crosses etc.  Now the tradition of our tree has become a living nativity scene I have over 150 ornaments!  This year due to time, I just did not have the energy to unpack them all so I did a simple tree of poinsettia blooms, and florist ornamentals I picked up at the flower shop :)

Posted by Marilyn Boudreaux, Lake Charles LA Century 21 Realtor (Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s) about 5 years ago

Q: You have a very talented family. I can see that you both have an eye for beauty. Your tree is lovely and so is the picture of it!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) about 5 years ago

Beautiful tree John and you all did a great job! The chili peppers are really cool (little oxymoron) and unique! I just started decorating today - have a lot to go but I'm looking forward to it!

Posted by Kristine Ginsberg, NJ Home Stager (Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC) about 5 years ago

John:  You and your wife have just a lovely tree.  I have to say though, that tall present to right immediately reminded me of "Christmas Story".  Very similar shape and size to the Red Rider BB gun.      The whole effect is just gorgeous.

Posted by Cathy McAlister, Sacramento DRE#00648507 (Cathy Ashley McAlister, GRI CDPE - Broker / Sacramento ) about 5 years ago

That's one beautiful tree, John - I love the simplicity and the gorgeous red colors!

Posted by Karen Hawkins, MBA - Langley & Surrey, BC (Royal Pro Real Estate Network) about 5 years ago


It is a beautiful tree!  Now if you can get lightening bugs to work for you next year....

Posted by Marge Piwowarski, Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC (Phoenix AZ Horse Property) about 5 years ago

John - What a great tradition.  Your family has done a beautiful job of decorating a tree that really reflects who you are and has personal meaning to you.  Enjoy your Holidays!

Posted by Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale, Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers (Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260) about 5 years ago

Very cool, or I should say "hot" idea Q the back to nature tree.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) about 5 years ago

Hey John-I think that is a great idea for a Christmas tree and after Christmas you can eat it!

Posted by Marco Giancola, Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida (Beachfront Realty) about 5 years ago

Very nice John!  I used to put my miniature Dallas Cowboys helmet on top of the tree as the star, then I got married.  :)

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 5 years ago

That's a really neat tradition John.  Sadly, my trees (5 of them) are all themed with store bought "things".

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) about 5 years ago

Good morning, John.....your Christmas tree is beautiful....I love red Christmasy....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 5 years ago

Hey John,  Now that is a way to decorate a tree,  I saw on facebook, someone had a great day, you are the man!

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) about 5 years ago

John, What a beautiful tree and a great tradition...the red colors all around are delightful!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists (Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) about 5 years ago

I love your passion and creativity in this tree. I love that you grasped nature as well. Have a fabulous day and take care my friend.

Posted by Cathy Criado, Making Real Estate Profitable (Green Commercial Realty) about 5 years ago

I really like your red chile Christmas tree!  You are ahead of us.  Our tree is not yet up.

Good Sunday morning. We have a beautiful day in Maryland. Have a great week and enjoy the holidays as you prepare for an outstanding new year.

This is a good time of the year to visit Colonial Williamsburg.  Dolores and I like to see all of the decorations that are made with natural materials.

Colonial Williamsburg on Thanksgiving Day.  Photograph by Roy Kelley.

Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) about 5 years ago

Good morning John.

Posted by Joshua Zargari, MJ Decorators Workshop (MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating) about 5 years ago

I really like the red chili's... They are very vestive and very "green".

Posted by Debbie Holmes, Gets the job done! (Gold Key Real Estate) about 5 years ago

John, That tree is hot, hot, hot! We purchase a live tree and then plant it in the back yard. It's our way of contributing to nature and to our memory banks!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin, St. George Area Preferred Real Estate Agent. (Preferred St George Utah Area Real Estate Agent | PK Real Estate Utah South) about 5 years ago

Hi John,

Your tree is beautiful and so unique. I love the ornaments. I am going to do a special tree in my kitchen this year. I will be blogging it next week when I get it decorated.

Thanks for such an enjoyable post: Red Chili Christmas Tree . Joni is right, you are very talented.

Posted by Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor, (909) 557-6966, CDPE, SFR, CHS-Redlands/Loma Linda (Keller Williams Realty) about 5 years ago

Hi Valerie,  Wishing you a very Merry Christmas as well.

Hi Fred,  Hatch is all about the Chili..That's what makes them famous! When the crop suffers so does the community.

Marilyn,  It sounds like a lot of great memories for sure in all those collected ornaments over the years.  I bet the Poinsettia blooms look fabulous on your tree.

Hey Joni, Thanks for the compliments, we enjoy the tree and keeping it simple!

Hi Kristine,  LOL love the "Really Cool" oxy.  The tree does create interesting conversation.

Hi Cathy,  We both love "The Christmas Story" its on our TO SEE list each season.  Your gonna shoot your eye out! :>)

Hello Karen,  We do like to keep it simple but fun and interesting as well.  Thanks for sharing!

Marge,  Now that would be the ultimate natural..Lighting Bugs to adorn our tree.. How fun is that!

Hi Laura,  I think that is exactly what a tree should do, reflect who and what you are.  Tradition and personality.

Hi Roger,  Well if we ever run out of Red Chili for our kitchen creation we always pluck a few from the tree. 

Marco,  Actually we normally spay the Chili with lacquer to enhance color and shine, might not taste real nice. :>)

Jared..LOL That is too funny!  its amazing what marriage can do to those brilliant ideas we had as single men..

Anita.. Are you kidding me? 5 Different Trees?  What do you live in the White House? LOL  I am sure each is very lovely.  I never met a Christmas tree I didn't like!

Barbara..Ahh the new word of the day Christmasy..Love it!

Hi Will,  We love the tradition and setting up the Chili Tree.  It was a good day indeed, offers are good..Accepted ones are even better and closed ones are why we do all of this. :>)

Hi L&S,  Glad you enjoyed the Chili Tree! It is fun to do!

Hey Cathy,  Thanks for your kindness and comments on our little tree.  We do love the great outdoors and enjoy bringing the outside in when possible.  Except for the dirt according to my lovely bride..LOL

Roy,  Maybe no Christmas Tree yet but that Wreath is beautify!

Good Morning Josh

LOL Debbie,  I like that..Red Chili being "Green" You clever girl!

Hi Wanda,  Smiling at HOT HOT HOT Tree.  I think you have a brilliant Idea planting those trees.  We would do that if we had the land necessary.  That is truly "Green" as Debbie pointed out!





Posted by John McCormack,, Albuquerque Homes Realty (Albuquerque Homes Realty * about 5 years ago

John your tree is so in tune with your southwestern decor. I love southwestern! Had my last home in southwestern decor, and when I moved, I just could not make it work in the new home without doing a huge makeover, so I changed style. :(

Southwestern is VERY popular in the Redlands Mesa neighborhood that I live in, so lots of folks really scored at my yard sale.

I miss it, it went with my personality! But I have finally embraced my new decor and am happy again!

Love your tree! Now I want some chips and salsa! Yum!

Posted by Cheryl Dickson, Retired Realtor, GRI / Retired Home Inspector (Wichita Falls Association of Realtors - Staff) about 5 years ago

Hey Mac,  That is one HOT tree.  Its hard to believe it is decorated with nature's gifts.  It looks just as festive as any other tree.  Good job my friend!

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) about 5 years ago

Hi Cheryl,  We completely understand about the changing of the Tree, we both came from very different traditions at Christmas so we just started over with something new, different and us.  It works!  I am sure your new tree decor is fabulous! Enjoy the Holidays!

Posted by John McCormack,, Albuquerque Homes Realty (Albuquerque Homes Realty * about 5 years ago

Hi John,

What a great Xmas tree.  It is wonderfully creative incorporating Mother Nature in your tree.  Wishing you al the best. A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing (Napa Consultants) about 5 years ago

John, what a novel idea!     I used to do "color" themes, but have not thought of this!   

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 5 years ago

John ~ what a clever way to decorate a Christmas tree!

Posted by Dawn A Fabiszak, The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience! (Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado) about 5 years ago

Q - That is awesome. We are pretty simple, lots of lights and lots of decorations, some from pass downs from family and some items we have collected over the years and my wife always makes the tree look great. I love your concept. Thats is one tree you can say ... is on fire!

Posted by David Shamansky, Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg (US Mortgages - David Shamansky) about 5 years ago

What a gorgeous tree, I love the southwestern lifestyle! 

Posted by Erika Rogers, St George Utah Real Estate & local info. (Re/Max First Realty) about 5 years ago

John, That is a great tradition.  I love the idea of decorating with the red chili peppers.

Posted by Gary Coles (International Referrals), Latin America Real Estate (Venture Realty International) about 5 years ago

Well I must say you have taken loving Albuquerque to a whole new level! Love it. As for me I love special ornaments from family and friends and use them each year. Some are over 40 years old. :0)

Posted by Martha Brown, Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403) about 5 years ago

Beautiful tree John! Makes me regret making a decision to forego the tree this year. We are donating the money to charity that would have purchased our tree. We're empty-nested and going to one of the children's houses for Christmas, where they will have a tree!

Posted by Vickie Nagy, Top Rated Real Estate Agents in Dublin on Xfinity (Vickie Nagy, Broker Associate Realty ONE Group BMC Associates | BRE#01363932) about 5 years ago

Hi Kristin,  Thanks for your being so kind, I hope I get to see your new kitchen Christmas tree, its always fun to see how other trim the tree!

Hello Belinda,  We have Chili Ristras and other Chili decor in our main living area sot he Chili idea was not hard to come up with.  It fits what we do. Thanks for you compliments..always appreciated!

Hi Ron and Alexandra,  Mother nature created the tree so why not adorn it with other things el natural. Glad you enjoyed!

Hi Joan,  We enjoy the look and feel!  The coloring is perfect for our decor and feel!

Hello Dawn,  Its fun to prepare the Chili for the tree, pick it, dry it, varnish them and run hangers through the stems.  Good fun!

David,  That is the best part of tree trimming, they are all as unique as we are individually!  I'm sure your tree is awesome!

Erika,  Mixing it up a bit during the season keeps it all interesting, we don't want to all do the same we?

Gary,  Glad you like the concept of the Red Chili Tree.

Hi Martha,  Oh I know those treasured ornaments all have such special meaning and bring back all those memories from days gone by, my Mother is classic at doing just that!

HI Vickie,  I love the idea you are donating to those in need in lieu of the tree.  Someone will appreciate your gift and you still get to enjoy a family tree with your kids.

Posted by John McCormack,, Albuquerque Homes Realty (Albuquerque Homes Realty * about 5 years ago


Thanks for sharing the photo!

Best wishes for a Very Merry Christmas :) :)


Posted by John Wingate, Salisbury MD Real Estate, 302.339.5185, Salisbury, MD Homes (EXIT Shore Realty) about 5 years ago