New Mexico Christmas Eve

December 24, 2005

Tonight we went down to the Old Town area of Albuquerque.

One of their annual traditions is the lighting of the luminaries on Christmas Eve.

Thousands and thousands of paper bags are filled with sand and a lighted candle is placed inside to make the luminaries. (Larger Image here)

During this evening there are special bus luminary tours that circle the square and the surrounding neighborhoods. Meanwhile in the center of the Old Town square a group sang Christmas Carols in the Gazebo.


Just down the street at the golf course where a couple of giant Christmas Luminaries - hot air balloons that turn on their burners to glow in the night.

But what we found in a nearby neighborhood was much more than lights and luminaries.

This family does Christmas.

I want to tell you, that those who would like to take Christmas out of the season need to stop by the Sanchez residence and see what Christmas is all about.

Sure it's a lot of lights.

LOTS of lights.

They made me smile and they made me laugh.

But when we walked up to the front of the house we were invited to head around the left side of the house to the back yard, which of course, was also full of lights and decorations.

We were also told to go on in.

Go in?

What's this about?

Who invites perfect strangers into their house on Christmas Eve?

The Sanchez family, that's who.

Inside the house every square inch is covered in christmas decorations, angel collections, nutcracker collections, nativity scenes and anything else you could imagine related to Christmas.

So then we get to the kictchen and there is food everywhere, tons of food.

Not only did they let us into their house, they were prepared to feed us.

I was pretty stunned, I have to tell you.

Who does this?

Where's the agenda?

My daughter was with me and so was her boyfriend from Italy. I said to him, "No one would do this back in Michigan. "

He replied, "Nor in Italy."

So there we were, standing in the kitchen when Mrs. Sanchez said something to the effect that "this is just like your house, only now it is your house. Help yourselves."

So that was our Christmas Eve in Albuquerque.

We were invited into the home of some great and generous people who wanted to share Christmas Eve with us.

In a cold cynical world, it was a real treat to meet people with such big hearts.

Merry Christmas from Ernest and Priscilla Sanchez and Family


(Larger Image HERE)