Lighting the way!

Traditions are a part of life down here in South Louisiana.

You can set your clock on it!

One tradition that is sweet to my heart, I share every year.

It's the lighting of the bonfires.

It's held on the levees of the Mississippi River.

In years past, it was told that the Cajuns built these massive "campfires" to light the way for Papa Noel down in the swamps.

Today, we like to jazz em up and create all kinds of themes.

This one below is a small cabin like structure.

This year we spotted many in memory of past loved ones.

One was a huge angel that I didn't manage to get a photo of.

I was able to catch this one below.

It's in memory of Sandy Hook.

If you look real close you can see an angel representing each precious soul lost.


And then you have your Master Builders LOL.

These guys come out every year and really put their hearts into it.

Last year they built a HUGE Saints football helmet.

This bank is a small replica of the old bank in town.

Now looking at the photo above you just might think its just a pile of wood...

Think again :)

In true Cajun form, they hollered at us as we were snapping pictures to come on over.

We did!

I love that our people are so friendly and welcoming.

They were so sweet to even open their doors for us!

What we saw inside amazed me!

A real staircase.

Sturdy I might add.

They invited us inside and I didn't mind a bit LOL.

I climbed those stairs right to the top.

They constructed the top floor to have a landing where you could walk completely around.

A birds eye view indeed!

He was stuffing the upper walls with hay.

You could say I was a bit excited here haha.

Below was a view from the top.

It took these guys about three weeks to build this beauty.

I asked them if it was hard to set fire to it on Christmas Eve..

They said no.

They build it knowing it will light the way for Papa Noel.

After our fun visit of the bonfires we headed back towards home and made our annual stop at the

Oaks of St. Joseph.

Every year they display a life size nativity.

It's just beautiful y'all!

Behind the nativity are two rows of very large old oak trees.

They line the property and go as far back to reach the Mississippi River.

Across the street is the Maneresa House.

It was once the St. Mary's Jefferson College where my Great Grandfather attended.

Today it is known as the Maneresa House or retreat.

Here Catholic Priests and or Brothers can get away from the world and focus on God.

You won't hear a peep because it's complete silence here.

Not a word is spoken.

I don't think I could last a day LOL..

As we walked up to the gates, you could just feel the serenity.

So beautiful and Peaceful.

Our day ended with me placing Christmas flowers on my little brothers grave.

So as the World awaits for that jolly little man,

down south we are all prepared to light the way for Papa Noel.

I myself, smile a little smile..

For I know that unto us a child was born.

I rest in his promise that He will come again.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Merry Christmas friends!

xo Susie


  1. Merry Christmas from your neighbor in New Roads!! I just love the bonfires! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!


    p.s. come visit me sometime on my blog!

  2. I heard about these Christmas Eve tradition about 15 years ago and I have always wanted to experience it.

  3. Hi Susie, Thanks for your enjoyable blog throughout the year. Happy Holidays!

  4. I grew up in Louisiana until I was 12, but never heard about this tradition. We lived in West Monroe, and my parents hardly ever ventured very far from! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Susie, thank you for sharing this with us. I have always wanted to see the lighting of the bonfires. It is such a neat tradition. Maneresa House looks like a wonderful place. I'm with you though; I doubt I could stay quiet long!

  6. What fun to see the pictures of your part of the country and the traditions there!

  7. Love the outdoor Nativity! Thanks for giving us a tour of your bonfires. Reminds me of the Texas A&M bonfires that they built before the Texas games each year when my son was in school there.

    Have a Happy New Year Susie and may your sweet family be blessed!

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