‘Tis the Season: St. Lucia’s Day

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When I was young (I think about 1st or 2nd grade), I was obsessed with the American Girl books.  I remember reading one of the books about Kirsten, in which her family celebrated St. Lucia’s Day, a Swedish holiday on December 13th.  Although we aren’t Swedish, we decided to incorporate holiday into our Christmas holiday traditions.

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The holiday is a festival of lights that honors St. Lucia, who was killed by the Romans for her religious beliefs.  Traditionally, each town selects its own St. Lucia, who leads a procession through the town along with young girls, who wear white dresses and lighted wreaths on their head, and boys, who wear white pajama-like costume, as they sing traditional songs.  It is the start of the Christmas season and it is meant to bring hope and light during the darkest time of the year.  In individual homes, the eldest daughter dresses in white and serves coffee and treats to the family.

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At our house, either myself or my sister gets up early in the morning and makes cinnamon rolls (the ones from a can, since we usually need it to be quick) and hot chocolate and coffee for the rest of the family.  Some years, we’ve worn white, but other years, we don’t.  My mom’s second grade class learns about the various winter holidays as part of their curriculum, and because St. Lucia’s day is something we celebrate in our home, she always brings hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls to share with her class and they make paper crowns that depict a wreath and candles.

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It is one of my favorite traditions, especially since I don’t know of anyone else in our area who celebrates it.

**Throughout the month of December I will be sharing Christmas-y things.  You can check out my previous Christmas-related posts by clicking on the links below:

A Christmas Tradition: Cutting Down the Christmas Tree

DIY Hand-Decorated Ceramic Mugs

Hand-lettered Christmas Cards