Santa Lucia

Lucia, Child of Light, Sweden's beautiful Christmas tide celebration.
Santa Lucia Day holds for our family a true place in our hearts and family traditions. Grandmother Mimi Sorensen's ancestors came from Sweden. And perhaps that is one reason why this special day is loved by our family. Celebrated in Sweden on December 13th (and in many homes around the worl,) this is a day of honor and remembrance of a young woman, who was said to be born 300 years after the death of Jesus Christ. It is a story of truth, legend and mystery.
For our family, it provides us an unique opportunity to create our own family tradition.
Early in the morning mom would awaken Mindy, dress her in a long white dress with a red sash. On her head was placed a wreath of candles. Real candles were used until melted wax was a bit of nuisance. Carrying a tray of buns, our Santa Lucia would awaken her brothers and sisters. They would put on their cone shaped hats decorated with stars, paint and glitter and wear pastel colored gowns. Each was given a lit candle to care over.
This was a MAGICAL moment.
Mindy would lead the little blurry-eyed troup about the upstairs hall into dad's bedroom. Sweet voices singing, each would hold a candle and hoping that wax wouldn't drip onto their fingers, they sang their daddy awake.
Dad would wake up to the surprise and join them.
The Second Magical Moment
Slowly, carefully, our little family would wind through our festively decorated home, which for some strange reason was lit only with candles and soft Christmas lights that gave off halos.
Before each of our lovely Christmas decorations: the creche holding baby Jesus, the dancing music boxes, the hand painted wooden crate that held Advent surprises, the fireplace with its faux manger scene complete with baby Jesus laying on real straw, the Swedish goat and tomptes, and the dining room table set with blue and white china, and dishes of delectable foods, by each of these lovely areas we would sing a joyful Christmas carol.
We SANG our way through our Magical Home
...and we hoped nothing would become singed!
Our Santa Lucia Celebration was culminated with a wonderful breakfast of sausage, bacon and Swedish Oven pancakes.
For many years the tradition stayed the same. But the years pass and traditions are adapted to different situations. Matthew and Christopher both enjoyed celebrating Santa Lucia Day with their companions while serving their missions. I recall one special occasion when we first moved to Gaithersburg. Ashley dressed up and wore, our now electrical, crown of candles, and went to the Hemmings to sing and bring gifts.
Through the years we have had close friends; the Smiths and the Hemmings, who also celebrated Santa Lucia Day.
But best of all, our family of five wonder-eyed children are now parents with their own families. And so the tradition goes on.
Baby Luke eager and ready to participate on Santa Lucia Day. He even has his own custom-made crown!
Happy Santa Lucia to you all!

Comments

My favorite place to stop and sing was the hand painted Madonna you made. The back-lit glass offering her halo. What wonderful memories we were given... I woke up singing carols in my head!

It was always interesting to go to school after such a wonderful morning... friends would say "You got up at 5 to sing songs and walk around with candles on your head?" I think the joy on my face, though, extended the impression of how fantastic it was!
Chris F. said…
What wonderful memories of getting up in the dark... the house dimly lit singing carols next to siblings that shared love, the same bed-head hair experiments and bad breath. What fond memories of eating delicious hand-made treats from the Scandinavian Bakery in Reno. Thank you for the tradition!
Chris F. said…
What wonderful memories you instilled in us. Our family heritage and upbringing is rich with family traditions and fun family time together. I have wonderful memories of waking up early to carolers (sister and mom and dad), moving around the house spending wonderful time together singing with bed heads and bad breath. Yet the beautiful thing was being able to talk with friends at school about the awesome morning of walking around with live candles in our hands lighting our way to a smorgasbord of pastries from the wonderful scandinavian bakery in Reno! Thank you for the tradition!!!