Story by Merri Hanjora
Photos by Richard Parrish
Four neighborhoods in Shawnee Township share their Christmas spirit by lighting up their streets with luminaries and their homes with Christmas lights.
The neighborhoods of Indianbrook, Amanda Lakes, Wildbrook and Breezewood will be participating in Shawnee luminary night from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18. Bring a non-perishable food item, as The Basement Doctor will be in the neighborhoods collecting these donations.
Jodie Robinson, publisher of Shawnee Living magazine, was instrumental in rebooting the event after more than 18 years of darkness.
Robinson interviewed Marge Lundin, a founding Indianbrook HOA member.
“She talked about years past and what Indianbrook used to be, and we talked about the luminaries. Everyone I talked to in the neighborhood, I asked if they remembered it, and if they had any interest,” said Robinson.
Due to the magazine’s circulation, participation expanded to Amanda Lakes, Breezewood and Wildbrook.
Luminaries are placed where the lawn meets the road, usually 5 feet to 10 feet apart. The participants also decorate their properties.
“The whole point of the event was to rally the neighbors together, and that was exactly what it did. It created a great tradition. We’re really hoping to have it be a holiday tradition that people look forward to every year and it can grow every year. That’s what we’re working on right now,” said Robinson. “The holiday decorations were much better than they have been in the past. So that’s exciting, too, that it piqued interest. It was an amazing thing. It brings the neighborhoods together.”
Shawnee luminary night
6-9 p.m. Dec. 18
Indianbrook, Amanda Lakes, Wildbrook and Breezewood neighborhoods
How to make holiday luminaries
• Votive candles
• White paper lunch bags
• Extended lighter
Step 1: Prep the bags.
Unfold and expand the bags. Fold the openings over about one inch so each bag will be more stable.
Step 2: Weight the bag down with sand.
Fill each bag with two inches of sand. This should be about two cups of sand. Weighing the bag down is vital so the luminary doesn’t blow over.
Step 3: Arrange the luminaries.
Place the bags outside where you would like them.
Step 4: Add and light the candles.
Nestle a candle into the bed of sand at the bottom of each bag. With the long lighter, light the candle.
Step 6: Extinguish the candle when done.
Blow the candle out when done. Do not leave luminaries unattended. Pick up the bags when you are finished.