Above: Ruidoso comes alive with holiday festivities all weekend long. Photograph courtesy of Discover Ruidoso.
1 Light it up in Ruidoso.
Experience the glow of giant holiday-themed light displays, shop a makers’ market, see a tree lighting, and thrill to a drone show this weekend in Ruidoso. The Trail of Lights at Wingfield Park, open through January 16, includes twinkly displays that will spark the spirit of the holidays. On Friday, the trail includes caroling and hot chocolate from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The skies over the White Mountain Sports Complex become a feast for the eyes when a synchronized drone show lights the night with 150 drones on Saturday at 6 and 7 p.m. The Enchanted Vine barn, home to Noisy Water Winery’s wine-making, hosts the Jingle Mingle makers’ market on Saturday (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), which includes a tree lighting ceremony on Saturday at 6 p.m.
2 Shop till you drop.
The Downtown Holiday Art Market fills Gallup’s El Morro Events Center with holiday cheer and works by 21 local artists and makers on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “Supporting artists is a really meaningful way to celebrate the holidays,” says Rose Eason, executive director at gallupARTS. “By supporting local artists, you give back to your community, energize the local economy, and help to strengthen communal ties.” The market includes paintings by Beverly Blacksheep (Diné), prints and stickers by Tierra Begay (Diné), and mixed media works by Demetria Dale (Diné). “Art is the gift that keeps on giving,” Eason says. “It is wonderful to give and receive something creative, inspirational, and beautiful.”
Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery hosts the sixth annual String of Lights Holiday Market (formerly held in the Santa Fe Railyard) with more than 35 regional artists and craftspeople featuring jewelry, ceramics, one-of-a-kind artworks, bags, botanicals, knitted goods, organic teas and elixirs, glass ornaments, and perfumes. Enjoy hot chocolate, face painting, food trucks, photos with Santa Claus, and drink specials on Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. “One of my favorite things about Santa Fe is what a small, close-knit community we are,” says Lisa Evans, the event’s organizer. “To be able to support our incredibly diverse and talented local maker scene with this market feels really special.” If you can’t make the in-person event, shop these makers online year-round.
It’s full steam ahead for the Holiday Market at the Rail Yards on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Featuring more than 150 vendors spread over 24,000 square feet of indoor space and 40,000 square feet outside, the two day event makes for a winter wonderland of shopping fun for everyone on your list from foodie treats by NM Prickly Pear Jelly and Ah-La Mochi to art works by Radish Woman Pottery and Nihzoni Ceramics, and even a little something for your fur babies from Pawsitively Appetizing. And don’t miss the collaborative booth by the artisans of Indigiechange, including Lightning and Fire Jewelry, Just Peachy Biscochitos, and more.
3 Unwrap a Victorian Christmas.
The Silver City Museum hosts its annual Victorian Christmas in the outdoor courtyard Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Make birdseed ornaments, see a skit of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas performed by Silver City’s community theater, play cornhole, and sip mulled cider. Heat lamps will warm attendees, and the museum store will be packed with unique gift options that come with complimentary gift wrapping. Inside, guests can make ornaments and decorate trees in the Dodge Gallery. When the sun goes down the museum’s extravagant outdoor decorations will light for the first time.
4 Dress for protest.
Fashion makes a statement as the Museum of International Folk Art opens Dressing with Purpose: Belonging and Resistance in Scandinavia on Sunday. The exhibit, which runs through February 19, 2023, explores textile traditions from the region and how they evolved over two centuries of social and political change. “Dress helps us fashion identity, memory, community, and place,” says curator Carrie Hertz. “Throughout history dress traditions have served as symbols of progress and stability, the exotic and utopian, oppression and freedom, belonging and resistance.”
5 Ring in the holidays.
Let your heart sing with the New Mexico Gay Men’s Choir this weekend with holiday-themed performances at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe (Friday at 7:30 p.m.) and the Hiland Theater in Albuquerque (Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.). Ring in the Season, the group’s first in-person performance since the pandemic began, includes seasonal favorites like Feliz Navidad, Jingle Bells, and The First Noel. “As we present our first live concert in two years, I know we would not be here today if so many of you had not believed in our mission—to change the world through music,” says Aaron Howe, the group’s artistic director.