Monday, December 20, 2010

Celebrating St. Lucia

It is four days before Christmas and like every other year I have yet to finish the shopping, wrapping, baking, and card sending.  I feel like I'm doing better than previous years, but I'm still not quite there.  In addition to those items I also have a number of posts that I planned to write before the big day.  So my goal this week is to write one a night.  Now, if someone would tell my children that eight o'clock is a nice bedtime (rather than 9 or 9:30!) that would be awesome!

Item #31 on my Life List is to incorporate traditions from our Polish, Swedish, and German heritages into our family life.  One of the traditions I've always wanted to celebrate (it was also on my winter Soul Season list last year - I'm to lazy to find the link, but trust me, it was there) is St. Lucia Day.  My mom is nearly 100% Swedish so I grew up knowing of the Tomte, and we had a couple of decorative Dala Horses, and every Christmas my American Girl Doll would be dressed up as St. Lucia.

In my Sweden: the culture book that Amanda gave me it says that in the Swedish culture the Christmas festivities last a month, beginning on December 13, St. Lucia Day.
"Saint Lucia, whose name means "light," was a saint born in Italy around 283 A.D. According to legend, Saint Lucia brought food to Swedish villagers who had nothing to eat on one of the darkest nights of the year. To help her find her way through the darkness, she wore a crown topped with candles.  To honor Saint Lucia, the eldest daughters in Swedish families wake up early in the morning on Saint Lucia Day, and dress in white gowns with red sashes and crowns ringed with seven candles. Then the girls walk through their dark homes and wake their families with songs about Saint Lucia."

My mom and her friend go to a St. Lucia breakfast every year so she helped me with the food planning for our first St. Lucia celebration and Keaton helped me with the food preparation.

We could not have a Swedish breakfast in this house without having Egg Casserole.  This also happens to be the breakfast we have on Christmas morning (or the day we celebrate) at my parents. It's also the breakfast we request every time we are going down to my Mom & Dad's.  We love this breakfast. Have you ever visited my parents for brunch?  If so, I'm sure you've had the egg casserole.

Keaton and I also made Scandinavian Almond Cake (OMG, SO GOOD!)

And gingersnaps.

I woke up early on Monday morning to finalize the preparations and finally got everyone up around 7 for breakfast.  We left the lights off and dined by candle light and I told the boys the story of St. Lucia.

Keaton was intrigued by her story, nodded his head in agreement and then asked, Ho, Ho, Ho? ::sigh::

But he learned how to dunk his cookie so all-in-all, it was a successful breakfast.

I look forward to making this an annual tradition.  To having the kids help me prepare our breakfast of goodies and sitting down and talking about the people and customs of our heritage.


amanda said...

Wow, Kate, what a tradition! I knew that you had planned on celebrating St. Lucia, but wow! Oh, and add me to the list as a big fan of your (and your mom's) breakfast casserole!

CaSondra Shim said...

Love it and love the new blog "Title"

Em said...

What an awesome way to celebrate St. Lucia's Day. You now have me thinking about how to celebrate it next year...I'd love to start this tradition with Lucy and think she'd get a kick out of it. That egg casserole recipe is still my favorite, BTW. Also, the Almond Cake has me intrigued...can you share the recipe?

Amanda said...

Great Job and on a MONDAY morning no less!!!! Just beautiful. I think I may need to start celebrating St Nick's and St Lucia's too!