Wednesday, December 15

Santa Lucia.

St. Lucia's day is a Swedish holiday that we have celebrated in my family for as long as I can remember. See, here I am with my great grandma, at age 2, dressed as Lucia:

I asked my grandparents to loan us the Lucia crown so that we could celebrate with our kids this week. The actual holiday was on Monday, although in my family we always wore the crown on Christmas day. I was so excited to share this tradition with our birds, but then realized I knew nothing about Santa Lucia or the reason for the actual holiday. As a child (and apparently still as a grown-up) Santa Lucia is about dressing up and handing out cookies and treats....

So, I googled St Lucy, and found out that St Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304AD. The most common story told about St Lucia is that she would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding in the catacombs under the city. The candles in the Lucia crown symbolize the fire that refused to take St. Lucia's life when she was sentenced to be burned....

Um. Realized it is totally OK, probably best, if holiday traditions for children are simplified. A lot. At Three Little Birds we have dressed up in Lucia clothes (the oldest girls) and as Star boy (the oldest boys). We pass out homemade treats, and sometimes we sing made up songs about Lucia, usually consisting of repeating lyrics like, "santa lucia, santa lucia, santa lucia", along with unique and varying tunes.

Traditions and celebrating with children is all about the repetition, doing it every day, and every year. It's about the magic of lighted candles and singing. About looking forward to and celebrating other winter holidays. And mostly, it's about dressing up and handing out treats.

1 comment:

  1. So fun! Somewhere in my family's photo albums there's a picture of my sister with a similar wreath hat - and REAL candles! Whoa. :) And my memory of the day is very similar to what you describe: dressing up and handing out treats. Yay for fun traditions!