Or should I say deck the walls?
Traditional Southwest Christmas décor includes luminarias (also called farolitos by people in some regions of the Southwest), which are candles nestled in sand within a paper bag. The candles, when lit, illuminate the bag, offering a soft, cozy glow. According to Wikipedia (the most convenient source in the world), the idea originated with Spaniard merchants, who loved the concept of Chinese paper lanterns, but wanted to use more “hearty” materials. The luminarias are typically arranged in rows to create displays on and around walkways, walls, and the like. Spiritually, the idea was that the light will illuminate a path for the Christ child.
In my neck of the woods, luminarias are as common as any other type of outdoor Christmas light display. There are elaborate displays each Christmas eve with the real deal candle-sand-paper bag variety, and many other people set up electric luminarias so they can enjoy the décor in the days leading up to Christmas eve.
We’re in the former group. Last year we set up luminarias on the sidewalk in front of our house, down our walkway, and around the front porch. This year we’re in a larger, Southwestern style home, and we’re not exactly sure how many luminarias we’ll need. Hopefully 10 dozen will suffice….
Inside, we have a lovely tree – I love symmetry and I don’t love sweeping up pine needles or disposing of tree corpses, so fake it is. My mom gave me a collection of gold ornaments when I was in high school; the carousel is my favorite. We also have snowmen coasters, complete with a real straw broom, with which, it goes without saying, Flo is obsessed.
The normal assortment of snow globes, tins, and stuffed and painted snow beings round out the decor.
The stockings are hung by the chimney with ca– I mean, on the stairs. With care. Note the two adorable little cat stockings. Perfect for stuffing with treats.
*PS – You can find this post over at Tiffany’s blog, Figuring Out The Plot, where I am guest posting as part of her “Deck the Halls” series. She’s having people all over the country (and maybe world – I dunno!) post about their holiday decorations – check it out!
Do you have a favorite ornament? Outdoor decorations – yes or no?