Your Luminaria kit purchase helps directly support the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago’s full-service clinic, the Angel Harvey Family Health Center, which serves more than 13,000 patients annually in the Logan Square neighborhood
For over 50 years, the Clarendon Hills chapter has sold Luminaria to light the winding roads of our village on every Christmas Eve and raise critical funds for Infant Welfare.
This custom of decorating outdoor paths with lighted candles on Christmas Eve originated in Mexico as a means to light the way for the Christ Child. The Clarendon Hills tradition of lighting luminaria (meaning little fires) on Christmas Eve was brought to Clarendon Hills in 1965 by Clarendon Hills Infant Welfare (CHIW) member Vi Humphreys. She recruited her neighbors to light 500 luminaria up and down her block that year. The following year, other members of the CHIW sold and delivered 5,000 candles, bags, and sand door-to-door in town as a fundraiser for the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago.
Clarendon Hills residents took quickly to the tradition by lining their sidewalks and driveways with the classic brown paper bags illuminated from within by a white candle. By 1968, the ever-growing demand for luminaria meant the end of door-to-door sales and the beginning of a single, central in-town location for sales. By the late 1970s, over 30,000 luminaria candles were being sold and airline pilots were reporting that they could see Clarendon Hills glowing below them on Christmas Eve.
The tradition of holiday luminaria has evolved into a breathtaking expression of community pride and unity still enjoyed by all today. It is truly magical and draws hundreds of visitors from surrounding areas.
Luminaria Kits are $6. Each kit contains 5 bags and 5 candles. Sand is available at the shed by the Clarendon Hills pool.
Depending on the length of your sidewalk, 2-5 kits are recommended for purchase.