Christmas Traditions in Alamogordo

Friday, December 4th, 2020

Christmas in the desert may appear different than Christmas where it snows regularly, however, the traditions still run deep. With Alamogordo being a small town, community involvement is important. 2020 has of course changed things, but Christmas is in the heart of this community.







Christmas kicks off with a charity event

For the past several years, the Christmas holidays kick-off with the Winter Wonderland Christmas Tree Auction sponsored by First American Bank benefitting the Boys and Girls Club. Businesses and individuals donate fantastically decorated trees that are displayed in the bank, then auctioned off with the proceeds going to the charity. The competition is outstanding! This year the event is being held virtually but will hopefully have the same magnificent results.

Christmas parade

The City of Alamogordo hosts an annual Christmas parade that runs through the middle of town. Several companies sponsor floats. The high school band and cheerleaders make their way through town. It’s a great time to get in the spirit of the holiday season. 10th street is lined with families enjoying the festivities. This event unfortunately will have to wait until next year where it will likely be better than ever before.

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

Most towns have an annual Christmas Tree lighting. Alamogordo is no different. There are craft and food vendors, caroling, a reading of the Night Before Christmas and of course SANTA at this annual event.

Christmas Lights at the zoo

Visiting the Christmas lights at the Alamogordo Zoo is a must. The Alamogordo Zoo was founded in 1898 and is the oldest zoo in the South West! Families love to come out and enjoy the festive atmosphere, see the animals and sip on a hot chocolate.

Trail of lights

Like other communities, some streets are in competition with each other to out do one another with their Christmas decorations. Alamogordo is no different. The Chambers in Alamogordo and Cloudcroft partnered this year to make a competition out of it. Participants submitted their addresses to be included for the community to go out and check out all the houses and businesses that are displaying holiday cheer. You might even see a tumbleweed snowman…we are in the desert after all!

Picking your tree in the forest

The Lincoln National Forest allows people to pick out and chop down their own tree for only $10. If you have never done this, it is such a memorable experience and a fantastic tradition.

Visiting Cloudcroft

Cloudcroft offers many things that help you get in the spirit of the holidays. Snow, being number one. A short drive up the hill and you are in a whole different climate. With snow and cold temperatures, you can also find skiing, snow tubing and ice skating! Cloudcroft also offers a fun Christmas craft market.

Visiting Eagle Ranch – Home of Heart of the Desert

The Heart of the Desert store always decks the halls and is full of Christmas cheer. Annually they host some sort of Christmas event, whether it’s photos with Santa, hayrides, tastings or big sales, there is something for everyone to appreciate. This years Holiday Shopping Extravaganza is December 5 & 6 and will be full of great sales. Both the Alamogordo and Mesilla stores are participating.

Holiday Foods

It is quite common to smell roasting chiles in the air during the holiday season. All things green chile are immensely popular in Southern New Mexico. With the drop in temperatures, green chile stew is a great way to warm the belly. No holiday can pass without Biscochitos–a shortbread-like cookie with its own unique flavor profile. They are a New Mexico Holiday Tradition. You can find a recipe here. Carne Adovada, a marinated, slow-cooked pork dish and Posole, a spicy corn and meat stew are also popular at holiday time. And of course, TAMALES! Many families of Mexican decent come together to make tamales for Christmas dinner. The rest of us hope that we will be gifted some.

Christmas is a time steeped in traditions. Every family, community, state and even country has traditions that make them unique. We hope you will take time this year to practice your traditions and maybe start a new one.

From Alamogordo to everyone who reads this, Merry Christmas!

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.