By Paul Weideman
“Mistletoe: inspired holiday decorating” is a new offering from Clemens & Associates. The Santa Fe company, with truckloads of greens coming in from Oregon, can do anything from a custom wreath or dining-table centerpiece to the whole house.
“For me, just being an artist, I’m always looking for an opportunity to do something,” said Catherine Clemens, a landscape architect whose other gig is all about beautifying people’s yards. “The thing about holiday decorating that’s fun is you can just be as extreme as you want, because it’s going to be up for two weeks or whatever and then it goes away — so sparkly and gaudy, things that you typically wouldn’t do. It’s fun to express a different aesthetic.”
Clemens and Kristin Erchinger, a horticulturist and Clemens & Associates employee for two decades, love doing themes. “Rustic and glittery are both fun to do.” They may weave raffia and burlap ribbons, pieces of cholla-cactus skeletons, and chile ristras. They like doing twig-sprays at the tops of their Christmas trees.
But Mistletoe can also simply focus on the preparation. “The hard part is getting the tree, getting it inside, getting it in the stand, and getting the lights on,” Clemens said. “If you have that all done, you can just come in and have your cookies and eggnog and tree-trimming. That’s kind of a nice feature for people.”
Clemens purchased the 30-year-old business Wreathes Fir Fun from Don Rogers in 2017.
“We did it together for a little bit, because there were 120 clients that we needed to take on,” Clemens said. Don did really good work — his placement of materials was really exact — including for commercial clients in town. He did a bunch of garlands along Guadalupe Street, which we do now. Last year we did it all on our own.
“This just seemed like a good fit for us, because it’s more of the down season for landscaping and we can keep our people busy.”
Mistletoe does holiday decorating at several hotels. The firm also works with some of the property management companies, for example Casas de Santa Fe and Lotus Home Management. It can fix up a place for clients who may be arriving just before Christmas and don’t have a chance to decorate.
“I live near Canyon Road and have an open house every year on Christmas Eve,” Clemens said. “I love providing my friends an opportunity to warm up with goodies and Christmas cheer, so my personal holiday decorating at home is a place to show off. I create a different theme every year.”
One year she found a selection of small, tasseled Chinese lanterns at a discount store and decorated on a Chinese New Year theme. One of the hotels wanted a New Mexican theme, so she used little Navajo blankets, chile clusters, and pressed-tin ornaments.
Mistletoe does Christmas trees, custom wreaths, evergreen garlands, and rooftop farolito lighting — all kinds of interior and exterior decor, for homes and businesses. But don’t wait too long.
“We have to order materials and make a plan for each client,” Clemens said, “so we encourage people to let us know soon.”
Call Mistletoe by Clemens & Associates at 505-983-0130.