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luminaria

Nothing says “Welcome” on a cold, dark night like luminarias.  Using simple brown or white paper bags with a tealight or votive inside to line the sidewalk and stairs to the church is an inexpensive and elegant way to light the way to Christmas Eve services.  If the night is dry, kitty litter, sand or gravel should be used to fill the bags 2-3 inches.  This will weigh the bag down and provide a safe support for the votive candle.

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Bags may be rolled down a bit at the top, or perforated with a paper punch to make a pattern design of small holes through which the light might shine.  The custom of luminarias seems to originate in Mexico and the Southwestern United States.  White luminarias shining in a velvet black night -a beautiful way to welcome Christmas!