Sunday, December 22, 2013
4th Sunday of "How do you Celebrate".............
The history of the little fires is in question. Some say it was the Chinese influence on the Mexican peoples that brought the little paper lanterns into play. Others say it was the French and their papier bags used to light up their parties at night when they occupied Mexico City that gave us the luminarias.
Whatever or where ever they came from it is just a magickal sight to see them by the thousands as candles are lit and people take the walks through them. I have been putting out these little fires ever since I was a small child.
We lived in the south valley of Albuquerque in the Country Club area. Every Christmas eve people from all over the city would come into our neighborhood by the carloads to see that almost every house within a 5 mile area had outlined their front yards with these golden glowing bags. We sometimes couldn't get out of our driveway for a very long time because the traffic was that heavy.
The candles we used back then, we lit by 4pm and lasted until the wee hours of the night and that was the time that they were the most magical. Santa always found his way to my house because my brother and I put an X in the backyard made of the luminarias so that Santa knew we were expecting him. Or so my brother told me. Going out to see how many of the lights were still burning, in the morning was so much fun. Once we had one last until noon. Just the perfect situation, I guess.
I still get a tickle in my stomach when we light the farolitos. Putting them out is also part of getting ready for Christmas eve. It is a bit of work, but well work the effort. Once you have seen the warm, welcoming glow you will never forget how strange it is that paper lunch bags rolled down twice, with an inch of sand in the bottom and a lit votive candle when multiplied, can be so breathtakingly beautiful. There is a sound, like a snowfall, that comes with all the candles burning as well. Magic.
Merry Christmas to all of you.