The word that best describes Santa Fe at Christmas is ‘magical’. The official start to this festival of lights is the annual Christmas tree lighting in the historic Santa Fe Plaza. The festive event, held the day after Thanksgiving, draws lots of folks. Downtown is alight as is the historic East Side (including Canyon Road) and the Guadalupe and Railyard Districts. You’ll find more lights at the Santa Fe Botanic Garden on Museum Hill, starting the first Wednesday of December when their annual Glow event begins. The holiday season in The City Different also brings concerts, the Aspen-Santa Fe Ballet’s annual The Nutcracker, the Canyon Road Christmas Eve Farolito Walk and dances at the Indian Pueblos. Want to shop? Besides unique boutiques, there’s SWAIA’s Winter Indian Market and other holiday sales including Recycle Santa Fe offering handcrafted items that make unique gifts. The city (originally named La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís), is a town that remains strongly Catholic. Religious events such as Las Posadas and Midnight Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi are not to be missed. If you want to get an even earlier start to the holiday season, there’s Holiday Pie Mania. Bid on scrumptious pies for your holiday table, baked and donated by local chefs (and you get to taste before you bid). And if it snows during the holidays: nirvana! Check dates and times before you go as things change from year to year.