It is a time of JOY when our grown up children, with children of their own, choose to celebrate traditions formed in their childhood. One in particular originates in Sweden
Here is our story.
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 catch on fire.
Each Santa Lucia Celebration was culminated with a wonderful breakfast of sausage, bacon and Swedish Oven Pancakes, hot chocolate and marshmallows...oh, and whipping cream and fresh berries piled on top of the pancake.
One Year I painted the tile (shown at the top) for each family. However, the original recipe comes from a 1974 Sunset cookbook, Scandinavian Cook Book. Seeing is believing...the condition of this book is a testament of sorts, to how often we made these oven pancakes. In fact we had them last week to celebrate our daughter's birthday.