Monday, December 26, 2016


For the past 40 Christmas Eves, the Woodlane and Springwood neighborhood has lit up the area with luminaria so Santa Claus could find them. It has grown into such a tradition that only two out of the 68 homes did not participate this year (religious reasons cited, even though the first night of Hanukkah fell on Christmas Eve -- you know "the festival of LIGHTS.") For the past dozen years Kirk and Cathi have organized the distribution of the materials. For a nominal fee ($18 for 24 candles, bags, and sand) people can simply pick up the supplies from their garage. I should have taken a picture for how well organized that is. The candles were already subdivided into groups of 12 (good for a small house), groups of 18 (good for a medium length of yard), or gather two packets for a large corner lot (like ours).

This year Chris, a new neighbor on Abby, decided to plant the seed about doing
it in 2017. He distributed flyers on the 21st inviting people to check it out in the nearby neighborhood, or stop by his house since he was setting them up this year. We asked if we could, too, and he put us in touch with Kirk who said he had extra supplies.

We set up our bags, along with three other families in our neighborhood (including Chris). We were not next door to each other, but it still looked nice. One neighbor said she plans to do it next year.

Having done it this year, I appreciate the logistics involved. The bags should be lit around 5 PM in order to stay lit all night. We had dinner plans at 3:30 a half an hour away from home. Chris stepped in and lit our bags for us (we set them up around 1). Next year maybe we'll invite family over for Christmas Eve dinner -- something we used to do with the Pillsbury side before it became too complicated. 

In the other neighborhood if someone is planning to be out of town, neighbors set up the bags for them.

We studied how the "experts" did it. Some have a piece of cardboard or foil that goes under the bag -- as it rained earlier in the day, this was brilliant. I saw most people folded down the top of the bags, which gave it extra stability, making it easier to withstand the wind. Back home I went and folded the tops of the bags. Soon we'll be the experts and people will be visiting our neighborhood to see the marvelous display. Or not. There is at least one other neighborhood that has the same display. The more years it happens, the more houses that participate, and the more spectacular it all looks.

Merry Christmas. I hope Santa found your house even if you didn't have bags showing him the way.

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