And this is our household's current St Lucia impersonator, Elisabet. Yes, she is wearing a crown of real ivy and a red ribbon, but we long ago dispensed with the artificial candles. Batteries, even double a's are heavy when you have to wear eight or so on your head. And the real candles, like the young women in Sweden used to wear? Lets just say I am not as brave as those moms were. I just want my coffee and rolls.
And Bet really did them up this year! She still made them in the traditional s shape with a raisin in the loops of the s. But when we bit into them we saw that they took some extra time and care. She had made a long skinny rectangle, spread a cardamom spice and sugar filling, rolled it up like a snake and then made the coil.
Maybe she will make them again, take pictures and put it on her blog.
St. Lucia was actually Christian martyr in Italy at the turn of the fourth century. Sweden became especially fond of her because of her connection to light and her feast day set on the longest night of the year (according to the unreformed Julian Calendar) good ol' Wikipedia has a good article on her. But you should search around for some more sites that can tell you about Scandinavia's celebration of her witness, there is a lovely tradition surrounding her feast day.
Our oldest daughter, Stephanie started us off with this tradition nearly twenty years ago, then she became a bride and Michelle took over 'til she became a bride and now it has been Bet's turn to be our St. Lucia.
Some years the girls really got into it, wearing the candle crown (fake candles) and a white flannel gown tied with a red sash. But no matter if our girls came wearing a crown or just managed the food part, my husband and I have always been treated to homemade St. Lucia buns, and breakfast in bed on or near December thirteenth.
We like the freedom to fudge around with specific dates. I learned early on that having a tight adherence to such things is dangerous, for a multitude of reasons. So if we woke up on the, gasp, fourteenth of December, only to remember too late (buns take a little forethought, so does helping new cooks in the kitchen without being in there), it was much better to say that it didn't matter and we would do it the next morning. I wasn't always so relaxed, remember I did say, I learned.
Then we really got a bright idea, to make St. Lucia day, for us, on a Saturday or Sunday morning or the first day of Dirt's vacation. Last year his vacation began on December fourteenth (that was pretty close) and this year December thirteenth fell on a Saturday, how groovy is that!
I wish I had known earlier in my motherhood that the "correct" day mattered little but the correct spirit was all that really mattered. For some the correct day may not be hard to pull off but for me it was difficult, heck it is still difficult, lets remember who was planting her tulips two months late just this year.
Today began on a terrific note, stayed there all day, and ended on a terrific note, snow was falling, the tv was off and we had a lovely cozy evening, satisfied we had accomplished all we needed to outside today!
I think everyday should be St. Lucia's Day!!!