Holiday traditions: Milk of human kindness

SANDUSKY Starting tonight, Wayne Street will be aglow with holiday spirit. As has been the tradition for 27 years, res
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

SANDUSKY

Starting tonight, Wayne Street will be aglow with holiday spirit.

As has been the tradition for 27 years, residents of Wayne Street in Sandusky will light the candle luminaries that line the sidewalks and boulevard.

Two years after the tradition began, the Wayne Street luminaries were pictured on an American Greetings Christmas card.

"It was beautiful. We bought as many as we could. Now you can't even find one -- it's history," said Linda Howell, the Wayne Street resident who organizes the Christmas luminaries.

Linda and her husband, Richard Howell, have lived on Wayne Street for 33 years. It's the neighborhood where they raised their three sons.

About 28 households help set up more than 800 luminaries, which are milk jugs with candles lit inside them. Sand at the bottom of the jugs keeps them from blowing away.

The tradition started when Anne Wesels, who lived across the street from the Howells for years, saw similar luminaries in Florida and brought the idea home.

Howell and Wesels started the tradition with their children.

"It was very cold, and it was very windy," Wesels remembered with a laugh.

"It's grown from there," Howell said.

"I think it did give everybody something to look forward to," Wesels said. She's spending the holiday in Florida, where she, too, has started lighting luminaries.

"It made our neighborhood very, very close," she said.

The luminaries will also be lit Monday and Tuesday -- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Letters are sent to all the neighborhood residents on Thanksgiving Day to let them know the luminaries will be lit, and also to invite them to a celebratory pot luck.

This year the neighbors will gather for a progressive dinner on the night the luminaries are lit, Howell said.