December 1-3 (Thurs – Sat) – 41st Annual Red Rock Balloon Rally in Gallup; and the Festival of the Cranes at Bosque del Apache in Socorro.
December 3 (Sat) – ABQ Twinkle Light Parade in Nob Hill, Albuquerque; Starlight Parade and St. Nick Night in Corrales; and Winter Letters From the Reservation at Bosque Redondo Memorial at Ft. Sumner.
December 5 (Mon) – 36th annual “Noche de Luminarias” on the NMSU campus.
December 9-10 (Fri – Sat) – Light Among the Ruins at the Jemez Historic Site
December 10 (Sat) – Elephant Butte Luminaria Beachwalk
December 17 (Sat) – New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque.
December 24 (Sat) – Farolito Walk on Canyon Road in Santa Fe.
December 24 (Sat) – 57th Annual Luminaria Tour by ABQ RIDE.
December 31 (Sat) – Las Noches de Las Luminarias at Ft. Seldon State Monument.
2002 December 4 – U.S. President George W. Bush creates the Old Spanish National Historic Trail through signature which designates the Old Spanish Trail as a National Historic Trail.
1992 December 14 – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designates Taos Pueblo as a World Heritage Site.
1987 December 31 U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs An Act to establish the El Malpais National Monument and the El Malpais National Conservation Area in the State of New Mexico, to authorize the Masau Trail, and for other purposes, creating El Malpais National Monument and changing the name of Capulin Mountain National Monument to Capulin Volcano National Monument.
December 11 – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designates the Chaco Culture World Heritage Site. The Chaco Culture World Heritage Site includes Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Aztec Ruins National Monument, and several smaller Chaco sites managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
1980 December 19 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs An Act to designate certain National Forest System lands in the State of New Mexico for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System, and for other purposes, that changes the name of Chaco Canyon National Monument to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and changes the name of Gran Quivira National Monument to Salinas National Monument.
1931 December 3 – U.S. President Herbert Hoover issues an executive order creating Cibola National Forest.
1906 December 8 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt issues a proclamation creating El Morro National Monument.
1859 December 26 – The Historical Society of New Mexico was established when a group of 25 influential men, including Bishop Lamy, voted for its establishment. The mission of the new organization was to collect and preserve all “historical facts, manuscripts, documents, records and memoirs” relating to New Mexico, as well as to collect “Indian antiquities and curiosities, geological and mineralogical specimens, geographical maps and information, and objects of natural history.”
1845 December 29 – The United States admits the Republic of Texas to the Union as the slave State of Texas but declines to define its borders. The Mexican Republic maintains that Texas is still its territory by the Treaty of Limits of 1828 and states that it will fight to regain Texas, but does not. The border issue between New Mexico and Texas is ultimately resolved when the Compromise of 1850 is enacted, which set the current borders. Still, some have argued that much of West Texas, including El Paso, should be included in New Mexico’s territory.
1821 December 26 – Spanish Gobernador Facundo Melgares receives orders that Santa Fe de Nuevo México is now an intendance of the Mexican Empire. Melgares swears fealty to the empire and becomes the first Mexican Géfe político de Santa Fe de Nuevo México.
1803 December 20 – France turns its colony of La Louisiane over to the United States, which creates a new border between the United States and Spain, both of which disagreed over the border. The United States maintained that Louisiana included the Mississippi River and its entire western drainage basin, while Spain claimed that its territory included (1) all land west of the Continental Divide of the Americas including Alta California, and (2) all land south of the Arkansas River and west of the Medina River including Santa Fe de Nuevo México, and (3) all land south of the Red River and west of the Calcasieu River including Tejas. In New Mexico, the area in dispute included the northeastern portion of the future State of that is in the Mississippi River watershed.