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Show us your holiday décor


One of my favorite holiday decorations are the luminarias in New Mexico. Little paper sacks filled with sand along with a votive candle glowing inside light the driveways, courtyards, and rooftops of our homes to welcome holiday guests.   

If you are visiting the northern part of New Mexico, you might hear luminarias referred to as a farolitos, or “little lanterns” in Spanish. Back in the 1800’s, little bonfires were lit on street corners (as they still are in Santa Fe and in small mountain villages) to guide people going to Christmas Mass at night. These fires are made of square, stacked pinon and juniper wood and fill the air with their fragrant scents as they burn.

We first discovered luminarias when my father, who was in the military, was stationed in New Mexico. Lighting luminarias was a tradition that stuck with our family for all the moves after that. The smiles on our unsuspecting neighbors faces when we’d set the luminarias out in the warm weather in So. California, or the snowy east coast towns was especially fun. (This was back when I was a kid in the stone ages, mind you. I realize luminarias are fairly well known these days :0)

Alas as time passed, and my family decided to settle in New Mexico permanently, technology made it much easier to deal with the high winds we often have here that made tending to the blown-out candles in the little bags (or the bags that caught fire) an all evening job. Now my husband gets out the plastic bags all strung together like Christmas lights, and just plugs them in. They are even on a timer so they turn themselves on and off with no effort from us at all. But luckily, we can still take a short drive and see the lovely longstanding church in the center of the square lit with thousands of little glowing bags . They even light little fires here and there so it smells like Christmas back in the 1800’s.  It makes for a truly glorious sight.

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What are your favorite holiday decorations?


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