Spend the Holidays Immersed in the Beauty of Santa Fe

December in Santa Fe is a magical time. The holidays are celebrated with the timeless traditions from Spanish, Native American, and Old West cultures that give the city a unique look and feel of warmth and tradition. Enjoy skiing the nearby Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Relish the spicy smell of local piñon wood in fireplaces. Indulge in seasonal dishes such as tamales and biscochitos (New Mexico's flakey, sugary state cookie). Even amidst the quiet solitude of winter in Santa Fe, the simple magic of this quaint town with its culture, the arts and activities remain the same. Shopping is heaven in Santa Fe during the holiday season with boutiques and galleries filled with special gifts for everyone on your shopping list - and maybe even a treat for you too!

November 23rd, 4pm - Holiday Tree Lighting on the Plaza
The holiday season kicks off with the Holiday Tree lighting on the Plaza. Festivities include live entertainment and a special visit from Santa Claus. The tree lighting will take place at approximately 6pm.

December 1st and 2nd- Winter Spanish Market
This smaller version of the Summer Spanish Market is one of Santa Fe's favorite events. The Spanish Colonial Arts Society, through the annual markets and Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, preserves and encourages traditional arts that have existed in Santa Fe throughout the past 400 years. Some of these arts, including tin work, weaving, embroidery, straw appliqué, and the carving and painting of images of saints, are only found in Santa Fe. Spanish Market is juried and artists must meet very high standards to participate. There is a pre-market show and sale, WinterNite, on November 30. Both events are held at the Santa Fe Convention Center.

December 1st and 2nd- The Nutcracker
A tradition in Santa Fe the Nutcracker is performed by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company at the Lensic in a spectacular show with more than 60 dancers, actors, circus artists, costumes and lavish sets.

December 9, 5:30 to 7:00 P.M- Las Posadas
This traditional and popular Spanish folk play reenacts Mary and Joseph's search for a room on Christmas Eve. It starts at the Palace of the Governors and winds around the Plaza with spectators following along. There are some funny moments and the Devil is always a popular character. Enjoy cookies and cider afterward in the Palace courtyard.

Christmas Eve-  Canyon Road Walk
Don't miss out on Santa Fe's favorite tradition- Canyon Road walk. Canyon Road and the nearby neighborhoods are lined with farolitos and luminarias twinkle in the night. The community walks the streets, chatting and caroling during one of the city's most festive evenings.

Christmas Eve- Noche Buena, the Midnight Mass of the Rooster
This service incorporates a folk story about the animals in the manger who, on Christmas Eve, were dismayed that no humans had come to visit the Christ child. An elderly rooster flew to the rafters and crowed the news of the child's birth to the world. Basilica Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi, 505-982-5619.

The Lensic- Located steps from the Eldorado Hotel & Spa, The Lensic, Santa Fe's Performing Arts Center, presents a myriad of events during the month of December. Shows include performances by the Golden Dragon Acrobats and a special Christmas Eve performance by sensational 11-year old virtuoso pianist and composer Emily Bear.