I was first introduced to the tradition of lighting luminarias when I was dating my husband (a very, very, very long time ago!). Each Christmas Eve, every sidewalk, every driveway, and every section of the street would be lined with luminarias, leaving the neighborhood glowing with the soft lights. It was beautiful, almost magical. Nothing feels more welcoming than literally having the path to your door lined by candle light. I loved it. There was something about the simple glow from the luminarias to remind me that the traditional meaning of Christmas really has nothing to do with wrapping paper and reindeer. Standing outside, in the quiet that you feel when the ground is covered with snow, seeing the glowing lights made me pause for a minute and remember what the holidays really mean.
A traditional luminaria is a votive candle set inside a small paper bag weighted with sand. The bags can be colored and are often perforated with designs which the candle shows as pinpricks of lights. The custom originated in Mexico before spreading to the rest of the United States.
Today, you will see many different variations on using luminarias. I love the mason jars above filled with epsom salts for “snow” with a simple white votive. A pretty and simple way to decorate the entrance to your home and welcome your holiday guests.
So this year, when you are planning your parties and making the inside of your house look fabulous, lighting the candles on your tables, and turning on the Christmas music to set the party mood, why not take a minute and put a little “magic” outside, too? Who knows…you might just start at new Christmas Eve tradition for your family and maybe your entire neighborhood.
Lori is a content writer for Discount Party Supplies. She is married with 3 kids and hosts many family gatherings and parties. In her free time, Lori enjoys taking yoga classes, and in her secret life she likes going to heavy metal concerts (but don’t tell the other soccer moms!).