Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Traditions: St. Lucia

It didn't take my hubby long after we were married to figure out that Christmas was pretty special to me and that I celebrated the season in many ways.  He enjoyed my German and Dutch Christmas traditions, and after a time we decided we wanted to honor his heritage, too; he has Swedish roots.

After we were blessed with our Sweet Girl, we knew exactly which tradition to pick... St. Lucia!


In Sweden, in the very early morning hours of December 13th,  the oldest daughter in the family rises before the rest of the family. She then wakes and serves everyone saffron buns (Lussekatter) and coffee. She always wears a white gown with a red sash and has a wreath of candles on her head. She is the bringer of light on the darkest day of the year. You can read more on the tradition here. saffron_buns

We celebrate this tradition, but with a few minor adjustments. We celebrate this tradition on December 21st, our darkest day of the year. (December 13th must be Sweden's.) The Sweet Girl was actually born on Luciadagen (Lucia Day) and we wanted her to have her birthday, with no extras. Just her day. (And now you know why we chose St. Lucia Day to celebrate!)

Also, we don't drink coffee and the price of saffron prohibits our frugal budget most years from making the buns the proper Swedish way. So the menu has morphed into hot chocolate and warm cinnamon rolls. This does just fine, and is a little easier on the cooking skills of a daughter.  Let's be real, here, people. I am all for making  it easy as possible for my girl to get up in the early morning hours and serve me a warm breakfast in bed! I do look forward to making the saffron buns sometime soon with her, though.

Check out our little St. Lucia, from a few years ago:

Our Little St. Lucia

Where does the time go?  (Uh, the wallpaper most assuredly did go! This was right after we bought the house...)

Happy St. Lucia Day... tomorrow! :-)


Elena said...

Man, you do so many neat things this season. I would do this one, but I would have a little number 2 daughter with very hurt feelings. Maybe we could morph the tradition even more at our house. And such a cute little dress your daughter had.

"The Queen in Residence" said...

I love that!!! What a great tradition for your daughter and family. She looks so happy and angelic in that picture.

Thank you for your sweet comments on my blog. I just cried for thanks of support from a fellow mom. I also wanted to let you know that I have really enjoyed getting to know you - I hope that you have a better year and things will work out for the best.:>

Wendy said...

You guys are the best. I love seeing your comments. Thanks always for the kind words! ♥

Elena, if you google "St. Lucia tradition" you can find out more details about doing this. As for jealous siblings, they totally do Lucia-helpers and star boys...

Talk about jealous... if you google just "St. Lucia", you will get pictures of a Carribean paradise. It's winter here, and it might be a tad depressing. Proceed with caution.


Elena said...

LOL! I'll be sure to include "tradition" after my search. Your comment CRACKED me up over on my blog. I went to reply to you through email and realized you are a non-contact reply. Which made me feel a little silly because I've replied to you through there before. Especially right after your announcment of your layoff. So now I feel bad cause you probably thought it rude of me for never saying anything to you about it. But I really did, I just went it to some cyberspace black hole. So sorry!

Deanna said...

How wonderfully fun!!! I had an American Girl Doll, Kirsten, who did this in 'her' family in the stories. I always wanted to do that!!! I have two little boys, maybe we'll do Star Helpers...or something. So fun!!!

Wendy said...

You know one thing I neglected to put in the post, is that we love this tradition and the whole "light" thing at Christmas. It reminds us of the True Bringer of Light -- Jesus Christ. Perfect for the season, huh?


Heidi said...

Wendy! I was recently thinking of you and your family's tradition on this day since you are the only person I know who does it. :-) I'm getting together a little presentation to do at Alyssa's school about our German traditions and it made me think of how we share so many of those.

Love the picture of your sweet girl in her white dress and sash and crown of candles. I also always think of Carl Larsen's lovely watercolors of the tradition with his family. Have you ever seen them?

Thinking of you and sending love your way!

Deanna said...

You've got a deal! ;)

Julie said...

That is so neat! I love hearing about other traditions.

Julie said...

That is so neat! I love hearing about other traditions.