Making Luminaries

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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Making luminaries is a whole lot cleaner and easier now than it was when we were kids. In the past, you had to buy big bags of messy sand, haul them back to your house, and fill up each paper bag with a large quantity of sand. Making luminaries took so much time, and was such a pain in the neck, that a lot of families gave up on it.

For awhile in the 1970s, every single house in the suburbs seemed to set out Christmas luminaria. This created the perfect visual--an unbroken string of glowing lanterns. However, as time passed, some families stopped participating. It's not that they stopped liking the Christmas luminaries. Making luminaries just took up too much time and energy during the busy holiday season. Once one or two families stop doing it, almost everyone stops. Once the perfect line of light has been broken into pieces, it's hard to keep going.

Making Luminaries the Modern Way

Recently, I've noticed a resurgence of luminaria in many neighborhoods. Why would folks start making them again, if it is such a pain? Perhaps they've started putting out luminaria again, because they finally came up with an easy way to do it!

Instead of filling the bottom of the bags with sand, you fill them with specially made plastic bases. The bases can be filled with water or sand, which makes them heavy enough to hold down the bags. The bases contain circular indentations which act as candle holders. The best part is, once you fill the bases, you never have to do it again. Store them in the garage, filled with sand or water, ready to go again next year, and the years after that!


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