I have blogged for over a decade and as a result have written many, many words! We decided that if it feels fitting, on Fridays, we will share a favorite post from the past. This post is timely, as next Friday, December 13th is Santa Lucia Day!
Gather round all you aunties and mama’s and grandma’s and people with little girls in your life. I’ve got a sweet gift idea for you.
Every year on December 13th, my cousin Kristin posts pictures of her oldest daughter all dressed up as Santa Lucia and serving her family cookies and hot chocolate for breakfast in bed. The pictures are adorable and as a good Swede I’ve been waiting patiently to get to do the same with my daughter one day. This is why they celebrate this day:
Santa Lucia refused the marriage proposal of a man who wanted her to renounce her faith in Jesus. Instead, she spent her dowry and short life feeding the poor and caring for persecuted Christians. She snuck food under the catacombs to hidden Christians in Rome and was killed for her faith. In Sweden, it is said she appeared on a ship with candles on her head, with food for starving people. Bringing light to the darkness.
On Santa Lucia Day we celebrate a brave, young girl who gave her life for Jesus Christ. And we celebrate the light and hope and joy that can be found nowhere else. We pray for our family in the faith all over the world who are living the reality Lucia lived. We celebrate with cookies and hot chocolate for breakfast and talk about being brave, standing for what is right and praying for more faith and more belief so when the time comes we, too, might be as faithful as Lucia.
To celebrate Lucia and remember her generous giving and servant heart, daughters all over Sweden get up early on the morning of December 13th and serve their family wearing the traditional outfit.
Here’s the list of what I got for my Lucia Kit with a few links for where you can order them from in case you want to enjoy this tradition with your own girls:
- Lucia Morning in Sweden This is a darling book that explains the tradition well.
- White Robe (they have a few different sizes…)
- Red Ribbon (I got mine at JoAnn Fabrics)
- Candle Crown
- 5 AA Batteries
- Cookies or Lucia Buns (Lussekatter) or Ginger Snaps (Pepparkakor) The recipes for these are in the back of the children’s book. (I just use whatever cookies we have…)
Elsie is growing into her role as Lucia. She was a bit shy the first few years. Ivar is always excited to get to eat cookies for breakfast. And I am the most excited to have this tradition in our home! I got to be Santa Lucia at Gustavus when I was a sophomore. It was a sweet honor and I still am thankful my head didn’t catch fire as I read the Bible during chapel with five lit candles on my head.
There also is a song that goes with the day and since I was in the Lucia Singers choir in college, I even know the song in Swedish. My kids like it as a lullaby and I like that I can sing it while reading the book to them.
I hope this idea gets some of you excited out there. It’s such a fun family tradition and over the years I believe it will lead to so many good conversations: would you ever die for your faith? how can we live our lives with a generous and giving heart? what does it feel like to serve and be served? how do you think God has called you to be a light? I can’t wait for those bigger conversations. Until then we’ll just eat cookies for breakfast!