My family has a long history in the Southwest, and the images of the desert are a familiar part of my past. As a small child, we would drive around the neighborhoods of town on Christmas Eve and one of my favorite parts was to see the luminaria along the driveways. A luminaria is a a brown paper bags, weighted with sand, and it holds a single lit candle. At night people place these in front of their homes, on walk ways, drive ways and along the road at even intervals. The effect is stunning.
The luminaria were originally placed out to light the way for the Christ child to come to each person’s house on Christmas Eve. More recently, they have become a more secular decoration. Either way, they are lovely.
For Christmas this year, I put our a few luminaria, out in front of the apartment, and in the windows. I used the fake flickering candles, but it felt nice to be honoring the past of my family.