St. Lucia’s Day


Jason thinks I get a lot of wild hairs (hares? the all-knowing Internet offered only more confusion). Anyway, Jason thinks I tend toward impulsive, crazy pursuits. He may be right, I’ll give him that, but in my defense, he has no idea how many more plots I reject than the relatively few I pursue.

So on Monday, I happened to be checking over Simon’s reading homework. He had a short paragraph about St. Lucia’s Day (in which he found and highlighted evidence to answer a few comprehension questions). What luck! I read about St. Lucia’s Day on December 12, and it isn’t actually celebrated until December 13! In other words, I had a whole day to pull our very first St. Lucia’s Day celebration together.

I read a few articles about Saint Lucia of Syracuse (also known as St. Lucy). A very short version of her story is that she brought food to persecuted Christians and had to balance her candles (light) on her head because her hands were full carrying the food. The Latin of her name (Lucia) means light, and her feastday is a festival of light that is celebrated particularly in Scandinavian countries, with their long, dark winters.

Although I briefly considered the idea of a St. Lucy’s Day party and inviting some friends over, I toned down my plans and just did a couple of simple things with the family. To make Clara’s crown, I found a wreath at a thrift store (deciding not to drive real quick to IKEA to see if they had anything actually made to be a St. Lucia crown–see, Jason, how reasonable I am? I *rejected* that idea!).  Slight problem in affixing the candles: hot glue will not actually glue wax to anything. After several attempts at a creative solution, we finally came up with a duct tape remedy (of course!). The crown altogether was less than ideal, but it got the idea across, and I have a whole year to find and/or make a new one.

For breakfast, I made saffron buns. And for our after-dinner celebration, we had traditional(ish) Swedish glogg (okay, it was actually Trader Joe’s wassail) and a (not-at-all) traditional chocolate orange and a couple of the leftover saffron buns. Clara had to hold the crown, so the boys helped her by carrying in the food. We didn’t know any St. Lucia songs, so we sang Christmas carols.

Maybe next year I’ll be more on top of things, and maybe not. Our St. Lucia’s Day was pretty special just the way it was.

December 13


Why thank you, St. Lucia.

I’m not really her, Mommy. I’m just dressed like her.

December 12


Today I made doll clothes, bone broth, and dinner. Don’t be too impressed. I had help.

December 11


And now we’ve entered a new season and a new sport. Today was Simon’s first basketball game. I love to watch him play, of course, and I also so enjoy the camaraderie of the parents cheering the kids on. Today we were surrounded mostly by fans for our team, but there was one woman behind me who got stuck without any blue fans near. She talked with Ian for a bit, and he pointed out that we were cheering for different teams. She kindly said, “Well, I’m cheering for the blue team because my son is on the blue team, but I’ll cheer a little when your brother’s team does well too.”  I don’t know which one was her kid, but I sure am a fan of hers.

December 10


It was a read a book, plug in the electric blanket, build a fire in the fireplace kind of day.

December 9


December 8


Today my mom and Clara and I did a little Christmas shopping, and we visited a favorite local used bookstore. I was surprised by how refreshed and energized I was just being around so many possibilities (of course, also it is also a little paralyzing). I ended up with two gifts and high hopes to go back within the week to spend and hour or three.

December 7


When we are waiting for the boys in the carpool line, Clara likes to take my order. It’s really quite a place–she’s got about anything you can think of on the menu, served up with a smile and a “Sure! Comin’ right up!” Today I chose seven tacos because apparently the contraption she’s looking at is a taco smasher–and also, mmmm, tacos.

December 6


The days are dark early and getting colder, but Ian still puts on his “football uniform” every chance he gets. I’m thankful the boys want to get out and seize every last bit of daylight, and I’m okay with putting homework off a little longer so they can run some plays together.

December 5


Clara: Mommy! Can I sort all these buttons into colors?

Me: Sure, babe. Go for it.

[A few minutes later]

Clara: I’m going to sort them by shapes instead.

[A beat]

Clara: So mostly circles.

[A moment later]

Clara: Did you get all [the pictures] you need? Cause I’m just going to put these back in the jar.