Annual traditions you don't want to miss.
Plaza Tree Lighting
The day after Thanksgiving isn't just the first day of holiday shopping, it's also the day the Plaza is transformed into a winter wonderland with a community tree lighting. Come out before dusk and watch the lights go on. Free. Nov. 26.
This traditional re-enactment of Joseph and Mary's journey in Bethlehem is as popular as the carols and hot drinks afterwards. Free. 7 pm, Dec. 12. Plaza
Winter Spanish Market***image1***
This is a great venue to pick up holiday gifts, made by traditional artisans-everything from pottery to retablos. Artists' demonstrations, music and food make this an annual favorite event. Free, 9 am-5 pm, Dec. 4. 9 am-4 pm, Dec. 5. Sweeney Center, 201 W. Marcy St.
Santa Claus and More
This Christmas event includes musical performances, cookies and Santa Claus. Donations of food for the homeless encouraged. 5:30-8 pm, Dec. 10. Palace of the Governors, 105 W. Palace Ave.
An unusual annual tradition featuring these marionettes,
stories and snacks for the holidays. Bring food items for The Food Depot, 1-4 pm, Dec. 19. St. Francis Auditorium, 107 W. Palace Ave.
There's no holiday tradition more beautiful than Santa Fe's annual trek through the Canyon Road area to see the houses lit up. Free. Dusk, Dec. 24
There are numerous ways to help the less fortunate during the holidays. Here are a few suggestions:
Visit nursing homes and retirement communities on Christmas morning to carol and hand out handmade cards made by local children, as well as gifts. 992-1008
The Food Depot
If you make a financial contribution to this Santa Fe nonprofit, each $1 pays for enough food for six meals. You also can donate non-perishable food items or get ambitious and hold your own food drive. For hands-on volunteerism Monday through Friday, call to schedule a time to help out. 471-1633
Volunteer for this worthy organization that helps feed a variety of Santa Feans during the time of year when everyone needs a helping hand. 471-7780
Bring an unwrapped toy or school supplies by SFR's office. We will be a drop-off point for Children, Youth and Families' foster-child program. 132 E. Marcy St.