All of Sedona Sparkles Throughout December


November 30, 2018


presentsHere comes December! Gift list? Check. Decorations? Check. Calendar? Marked!

We’re just one week away from one of Sedona’s favorite traditions – the Tree Lighting and Santa visit. Coinciding with the 1st Friday in the Galleries, it is guaranteed to be a spectacular night out for everyone. The very next night is another holiday favorite, the Festival of Lights kickoff at Tlaquepaque.

The four-evenings, Sedona Northern Lights show is up next, beginning December 13. This fantastic display of projected 3D holiday-themed art on Camelhead Rock is an event unique to Sedona, and I am pleased to announce a special guest this year. Santa reports he will be at the Visitor Center each evening during Northern Lights, located at 331 Forest Road! He will be giving away cookies, gifts, and hot chocolate and cider too!

December is an excellent time to help local schools and nonprofits while slashing your state income tax bill. Married couples filing jointly can contribute up to $800 to nonprofits and $400 to schools. For singles, the amount is $400 to nonprofits and $200 to schools. The contributions are a tax credit, meaning the amount is subtracted from your state income tax bill. You don’t have to contribute the maximum amount to qualify for the tax credit, and you can select more than one recipient.

Wondering about impact? The Sedona-Oak Creek District says if everyone who voted ‘yes’ on the recent budget override contributed the maximum, the total would come to $750,000, just $80,000 less than the override amount.

You have until April 15 to file and contribute, but since many people review tax decisions in December, we thought you’d like a timely reminder.

Santa, Toys, and Song mark strictly local events

December also brings unique local events. Santa puts in his first Sedona appearance at ‘Breakfast with Santa’ tomorrow morning from 8–10am at the Hub at Posse Grounds Park. Enjoy a free hot breakfast courtesy of Sedona Parks and Rec while getting some Santa face time and the chance to pet a pony reindeer.

Music instructor Jeanie Carroll has been preparing her youth singers at the Holiday Vocal Performance Program since mid-November. Students from Verde Valley schools ranging from 3rd to 8th grade will offer three public performances before Christmas. Visit for information.

Toys for Tots is once again helping needy local families in December, with the Sedona Fire District and the Sedona chapter of the Marine Corps Reserves running the show. Help them help others by dropping an unwrapped gift at any Toys for Tots box or at Fire Stations 1, 3, 4, 5, or 6 or at the Chamber’s Administrative Office located at 45 Sunset Drive.

Thank you, Sedona Fire District!

The tragic fires in California continue to reverberate. Six SFD firefighters and a pair of accompanying wildland fire engines have helped stamp out the horrific Woolsey fire, saving property and lives. We want to salute their courage and sense of duty to others. Thank you, first responders!

This unprecedented disaster personally touches many Sedonans. Some are from the fire-stricken areas. Many have friends and family who are suffering. Please let them know that you are thinking of them. The best way to help those in immediate need is to contribute to the American Red Cross at

The fires are also a sobering reminder to us in Red Rock Country to be on guard. SFD recommends a 30-foot cleared area around our homes and businesses. Let’s be fire smart at home and work, and extra careful in our beautiful wild areas.

Next week: As freezing weather settles in for an extended stay around the country, we will update you on how we draw visitors to Sedona during the winter months.

–Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO