Thursday, December 6, 2007

The farolitos of Christmas in New Mexico

I’ve never spent Christmas in New Mexico. That is one of my unfulfilled dreams that I hope will come true in 2008.

The symbol of the Christmas season in New Mexico is the luminaria, which is called farolito in northern New Mexico. Christian believers in New Mexico place farolitos outside their homes at Christmas to light the way of the Christ Child to their homes.

The most beautiful farolitos are the lighted candles in brown paper bags, which give off a soft peaceful glow in the December night. In recent years, electric luminaries have made their appearance, but they are nowhere near as beautiful to me.

I have been in New Mexico several times at Thanksgiving and in December In past years. It is probably the most wonderful time of the entire year there. My hope is that by Christmas 2008, I will not be a visitor, but a resident, and my new home in Santa Fe will be lined with glowing farolitos.