Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas (for those interested in such) and an even Merrier Christmas Eve, which we all know (at least in New Mexico) is the real holiday.

There is some debate from past years as to whether the previous record for luminarias was 525 or 576, but the record has fallen this Christmas Eve, as Emily & I constructed 620 luminarias, which I single-handedly placed as Emily contracted a flu this morning. My Dad helped light them (to the tune of about a third of the total), but otherwise, I placed and lit all 620 between 7:30 this morning and about 5:15 this evening. I even took a couple breaks here and there.

I was hoping to instantly upload some of my favorite shots of the record-setting display (talk about your instant media), but we are facing technical difficulties in camera compatibility and failure to bring a cord. So you will have to imagine, if you will, luminarias from street to roof and every level in between, totaling 620 in number, with not a seam put wrong. (Though we lost about 8 bags to fire, but they were replaced and thus only counted once in the 620 total.)

My legs and neck are sore, even when at rest. I feel vaguely dazed and thoroughly overwhelmed. And yet, I couldn’t be much happier (minus the Em being mightily sick thing). It may be the last Christmas in America, but it’s quite a Christmas. My heart will always swell for luminarias. I’m going back out to the cold, the candles, the sand, the bags. This is my holiday, the day on which I probably work the hardest.