Some of the best deals of the season can be found before Santa comes down the chimney or your crazy uncle dons a lampshade for the New Year's Eve party.

The Columbine Inn and Conference Center near Taos Ski Valley has put together some pre-holiday packages that rival the ones that sit under the Christmas tree. Each deal includes lodging at the 20-room, alpine-style inn and all-day lift tickets on northern New Mexico's steep-n-deep mountain.

The promotion begins when Taos Ski Valley opens Nov. 24, Thanksgiving Day, and runs until Dec. 19, the Sunday before Christmas.

Each package keeps the nightly rate around $40 per person while including a lift ticket that sells for $72 at the mountain ticket window. Two nights and two days' skiing costs $185 per person. The price remains the same for a second person, with an added charge for any additional skiers or snowboarders who come along.

Three nights and two days on the hill cost $229 a person, four nights and three days runs $319 for each visitor, and five nights and four days totals $409.

The family-owned inn has suite, loft, and first-floor deluxe room styles, and serves a complimentary breakfast before visitors head out for a day on the slopes. The base of the mountain is a five-minute drive away.

More information.