Old Traditions and New Traditions: Luminarias

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The hubs and I started a few traditions when we first got married. The main tradition was not putting up the Christmas tree until Thanksgiving night. I loved this idea, but then soon realized that it was me and only me putting up the tree :) He just brought it up from storage and was done. Now that we have our little girl and another on the way, we are thinking more and more about traditions we want to bring into our house during the holidays. The first was celebrating the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas. Next, was opening up pajamas on Christmas Eve. I remember getting to open up one present on Christmas Eve when I was little like it was yesterday. We got to pick whatever present we wanted. I ended up opening some purple pompoms. It's probably the strongest Christmas memory I have growing up. So, I love the idea of having our girls open up a present every Christmas Eve...even if it's always pajamas :) Maybe we'll add a movie and some goodies in with them when they get older.
DIY Luminarias instead of Christmas lights or even with Christmas lights on your house!

Another tradition I want to start this year is putting up luminarias. I grew up in a town that put out luminarios every Christmas instead of hanging Christmas lights. It's so magical seeing them on roofs of every building around and lining driveways everywhere. It's also just as fun to help put them out, especially when you're a kid. What kid doesn't like fire and sand? :) Also, my husband's old neighborhood had a group that used to put out luminarias on everyone's driveway on Christmas Eve. So, I decided this year to start the tradition back up...luminarias every Christmas Eve. It'll be a great way to tie in new traditions with the girls with our old traditions long ago.

I'm sure many of you may have heard of luminarias (or as we always called them, luminarios) and know what they are. But for those of you who don't, they are super simple things. Just lunch bags with tea lights in them. Nowadays, you can buy the string lights that stake into your grass and then put the bag on them, but I'm going to keep the tradition how I remember it and put out the bags with sand and tea lights.

Here's what I used for mine: White lunch bags, glitter snowflakes for decor, sand and tea light candles.
DIY Luminarias instead of Christmas lights or even with Christmas lights on your house!
 The process is pretty self-explanitory. Glue on the snowflakes and then put sand in the bag and light the candle! We always folded the bags top edge over for a cleaner look.

Of course, since these are paper bags and candles, be careful :) Out of all the years of growing up, I don't ever remember a bag burning up, maybe the mound of sand helps? I know it helps keeps the bags from blowing away. But, if there's a concern, you can always go the route of battery lights or strung lights.
DIY Luminarias instead of Christmas lights or even with Christmas lights on your house!
I'm excited to get these outside in a just a few nights! I'm even more excited to have the girls help with them in years to come...I'm sure they'll have a lot of fun decorating them too :)
DIY Luminarias instead of Christmas lights or even with Christmas lights on your house!
Happy Holidays!


  1. Oh, i love traditions !
    Here, in Sweden, it is a tradition to take in the Christmas tree and decorate the night before Christmas Eve.
    Then we have Christmas tree looting (?) on 13 January. When we eat up everything that is edible in the Christmas tree, picking down decorations etc.

    Have a good holiday season!

  2. Beautiful! Where did you get the glitter snowflakes?

  3. Apparently our whole neighborhood does them on Christmas night, but we missed the memo since we just moved in 2 months ago! When we got home from Christmas dinner, it was quite the surprise :)


happy DIYing! Alicia