Following the dream...running a business as a stay at home mom, navigating the fashion industry, sharing resources, promoting like minded people and businesses

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Traditions: Swedish Christmas

I am sure you have a tradition that you celebrate every year, one that warms your heart for months to come, one that really kicks off the holiday season for you.  For me that tradition in Santa Lucia, a Swedish Christmas celebration. 

I was the first Santa Lucia in my family; being the oldest granddaughter in my family gave me the privilege.  I was dressed in a white gown and red sash and a wreath with lit candles (yes lit and I was only about 6 lol) was placed on my head.  I then paraded around the living room full of my family and extended family serving them cookies to the Santa Lucia song.

I wish I had a picture to insert of me here but instead here is a picture of my niece who was Santa Lucia this year along with my great aunt who organizes this every year with my grandmother. 

Over the years we have added the other children to the procession. 
Little Star boys...this is my nephew Evan.

And light girls...this is my niece Lia

This year my little Marlise got to be a light girl for the first time.  In a few years she will get to be Santa Lucia.  Here she is:

This is such a special tradition for my family and we have such a good time eating and laughing and spending time together.  I feel so fortunate to come from a family with strong traditions.  Thank you Grandma and Auntie Margaret!

Here is the history of Santa Lucia, sad but true. 
St. Lucia is an Italian saint who has been "adopted" by the Swedes. (She gave her dowry to the poor. Her fiancee denounced her for this. She was blinded and burned. The flames didn't touch her so she was stabbed in the heart. The red sash represents the wound. It is said that she appeared during a famine in Sweden in the middle ages carrying food to the farmers across Lake Vännern.)

She is associated with the idea of light. In the middle ages, December 13 fell on the shortest day of the year. (In Sweden, the sun is not up very long in winter. In some places it doesn't come up at all.) This holiday celebrates the fact that the days will now get longer.

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