New Mexico History Museum

Holidays at the Palace

November 28, 2011


Steep your holidays in time-honored traditions at the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors this year.

Our annual lineup—Christmas at the Palace, Las Posadas, and the Young Native Artists Show—is graced this year with several new additions, including the First National Bank’s beloved toy train. Because of the bank’s Main Office renovation on the Santa Fe Plaza, the train will be set up in the History Museum’s lobby from Tuesday, Dec. 13, through Saturday, Dec. 31.

“Trains are such part of the celebration of Christmas and the winter holidays,” said Dr. Frances Levine, director of the History Museum. “We are so pleased to collaborate with First National Bank and the Santa Fe Train Club to host their annual train display.  We know this will also give many people in our community and their visitors an opportunity to see the New Mexico History Museum.”

Since 1991, members of the Santa Fe Model Railroad Club have maintained and operated a model train set each Christmas for the First National Bank. Along with some volunteer help, members will be running the familiar 0-scale 3 rail Lionel trains at the History Museum, along with models of the Hogwarts Express, the Polar Express, and a special holiday freight train.

Other holiday events:

A performance by Schola Cantorum and the monks of Christ in the Desert Monastery. At 2 pm on Sunday, December 4, in the Museum Auditorium, the Santa Fe-based sacred-music ensemble joins the monks for this event, tied to the exhibitions Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible and Contemplative Landscape. Expect to hear the sounds of Advent, the ancient pre-Christmas period with its roots in the seventh century. Free with admission; Sundays free to NM residents.

Christmas at the Palace. From 5:30-8 pm on Friday, December 9, enjoy an evening of hot cider, live music, piñatas for the children, and the annual visit of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, all in the legendary magic of the Palace of the Governors. A free, family event for all.

(The History Museum and Palace will close at 3 p.m. to prepare for this event. Enter through the Palace at 105 W. Palace Ave. The History Museum will remain closed during the event.)

Las Posadas. From 5:30-7 pm on Sunday, December 11, join the community for this annual favorite. The candle-lit procession of Las Posadas travels around the Santa Fe Plaza and concludes in the Palace Courtyard. This version of an old Hispanic tradition recreates Mary and Joseph's search for a place to give birth to the Baby Jesus - and throws in a few devils for good measure. Stay for carols in the Courtyard, along with cookies and refreshments. Free and open to the public.

(The History Museum and Palace will close at 3 p.m. to prepare for this event.)

Young Native Artists Show and Sale. On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17 and 18, children and grandchildren of the Palace Portal artisans will display their own creations in the museum’s John Gaw Meem Room. (Enter from Washington Avenue.) Pick up some nifty Christmas presents and support the next generation of Native American artisans.

While you’re at the Museum, take in Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible and Contemplative Landscape. Featuring both a world-class example of the calligraphed book arts and an ecumenical exploration of how New Mexicans connect to their spirituality, the exhibitions offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Holidays at the Palace are made possible in part by the City of Santa Fe Lodgers Tax, the Capitanes, a group of volunteers for the museum, and Los Compadres, a support group of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation.

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