Christmas Vigil: Lighting the Way for Santa

J Philip Faranda December 25, 2009

Ossining Christmas Vigil: Lighting the Way for Santa

One of the really cool local traditions in my old neighborhood on Osage Drive and Susquehanna Rd was to put rows of candles out along the street to light the way for St Nicholas. As I was driving to my office on an elf errand around 11:30pm, I drove through the street to admire the view of the Holy Child’s birthday candles. The photos do not do it justice; in person it is breathtaking.

This one is the view from Pleasantville Road as you turn in to Susquehanna Road. 

Susquehanna from Pleasantville Road

The candles light the way for St Nicholas

Christmas in Ossining

He won’t have any trouble finding this house. 

Christmas Osage Drive Ossining

This was truly impressive in person. 

Christmas Osage East Ossining

Prior to snapping this one a car drove by. People actually drive through the neighborhood to see the candles. 

Christmas Candles Ossining

You can see them winding down the street until they are out of sight.

Christmas Candles Mundet Ossining

In all, residents from six separate streets participate. It is no easy undertaking. Each bag has to be filled with sand, the candle has to be placed in correctly and then lit. Few go out, even in the wind. Doing 20-30 of these in the cold isn’t fun. But they do it. 

There is something quietly stunning about it; very few people do the Griswald house lights on this night, but almost everyone does the candles on this one night of the year. Call it lighting the way for Santa or birthday candles for Jesus, it is a sight to behold. It is one of the special things about the place where I grew up.

Merry Christmas, and peace and prosperity to you in 2010.

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