I made Bear a Santa Lucia crown following this tutorial
. I added popsicle sticks sandwiched inside the white felt of the candles to get them to stay upright. You can see one’s shadow as the light from the tree shines through the felt.
As much as I wanted to make her a white gown, in the end I decided my white slip and a white shirt would do just fine. We tied a red Christmas ribbon around her for the sash.
She dressed this paper doll
(found via Our Little Nature Nest
). Although I liked the story provided at Our Little Nature Nest
, I decided in the end, to tell her part of the true story of the Saint. Bear adores the paper doll because we read the book Kirsten’s Surprise
last week and this paper doll is a replica of Kirsten.
Here’s a bit of background I gave Bear:
Saint Lucia became a devout Christian after prayers to Saint Agatha saved her mother from illness. She convinced her mother that they should give her dowry (money you need when you get married) away to help the poor. It is said they did this at night by candlelight and so she wore a wreath of candles, so her hands would be free to give out the money and food. Santa Lucia’s bright candles remind us to be the light in the darkness. And her offerings of food and drink remind us to be kind and giving to others.
(I left out the next bit in telling Bear the story.)
She also promised herself to God and did not want to marry the man to whom she was engaged. She was blinded (although in some versions she gauges out her own eyes to scare away her fiance) and tortured and finally slain. The red slash symbolizes the blood, the white gown her purity before God, the candlelit wreath symbolizes the light by which she and her mother donated the dowry. I could not find anything to tell me why the tradition involves Santa Lucia delivering breakfast to her family.
Does anyone know?
I wanted to make Lussekatter from the recipe on this post
but I was deterred by the price of saffron. Instead, I made a challah recipe
and shaped the dough into the traditional S shapes. I also took some of the dough and made a miniature braided crown too (as seen at this recipe for Saint Lucia’s braided bread
). Bear distributed the Lussekatter at school.
We ate some for breakfast. Breakfast was a candlelit affair – with just two battery operated candles and the Christmas tree lit. It was really magical and the whole family had a wonderful time. It was just perfect. We can’t wait to do this again next year!