Not interested in cooking? Pick up a Christmas dinner to go in Aztec

Organizers expect to feed 300 to 350 people during annual event

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — San Juan County residents who don't have any interest in setting foot in the kitchen nevertheless can enjoy a home-cooked meal for the holiday when the Aztec Community Christmas Dinner takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 25.

The dinner, which traditionally has been served as a sit-down affair, will be held on a delivery or drive-thru basis again this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Diners who live in Aztec or the immediate surrounding area can arrange to have a meal or meals delivered to them by calling 505-402-1072 or 757-663-0222.

Others can pick up a meal by driving to the senior center at 201 W. Chaco St., where a volunteer will be waiting with a prepackaged dinner.

Connie Hutcheson, a senior center employee who helps present the event, said she and other organizers plan on serving 300 to 350 meals, although they will have enough provisions to feed up to 400 people. The event has been held for the last 17 years, but it was changed to a drive-thru and delivery basis last Christmas for the first time.

Connie Hutcheson, left, Melissa York and Elaine Lawson prepare meals to go in the kitchen at the Aztec Senior Center on Dec. 25, 2020, as part of the annual Aztec Community Christmas Dinner.

"It was difficult, but did all right," Hutcheson said. "We missed having all the people in here."

Hutcheson said the menu includes turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls and dessert. She said the senior center normally delivers meals to approximately 100 homes each weekday, and she expects a similar number of diners to request a holiday dinner.

Santa Claus and Cindy Iacovetto greet a visitor with a hot meal during last year's Aztec Community Christmas Dinner at the Aztec Senior Center.

The event is run entirely by volunteers and funded by donations. Hutcheson said she has six drivers lined up to deliver meals on Christmas and a full crew committed to working in the kitchen. She said volunteers plan on taking any leftover meals and distributing them to homeless people in Farmington on the afternoon of Dec. 25.

The meals are free, but donations are accepted, Hutcheson said.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or Support local journalism with a digital subscription.