Organizations work to make thousands of luminarias for Christmas Eve


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It takes thousands and thousands of luminarias to light up part of Albuquerque on Christmas Eve and they don’t just magically appear.

First United Methodist Church is just one of many organizations and businesses that make the luminarias people see around Old Town and the Country Club area.

For some of them, like First United Methodist, it’s a huge fundraising opportunity.

“We’ve needed help the last couple years so we’ve asked the Boys Scout Troop and a Cub Scout Pack to help us with delivering the luminarias and lighting them,” Terry Linton said.

The church, with the help of volunteers, started putting the luminarias together back in September.

“Saturday morning, Christmas Eve at 10 o’clock we’ll start delivering them,” Linton said. “Hopefully we’ll have them all lit by 5 o’clock.”

Linton said this year they made more than 14,000 luminarias.

Anita Casale, a property owner in Old Town, said some businesses get them from the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Orchestra.

“Growing up we’ve always done them by hand, but when there so many to do on the patio, it’s just easier to get them pre-made and it’s for a good cause,” said Casale.

Then there are some people who won’t give up the tradition in order to save some time.

“We make them at home. It’s something that my wife and I can do together,” Charles High said.

The church charges $8 a dozen, $12 if you want them delivered, set up and then taken down. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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