Heidi as St. Lucia
Once upon a time I had some little American Girls. They were absolute dolls. Every December 13th at our house we celebrated Lucia Day, (because of my Swedish grandparents.) It was a great tradition where I made a crown out of a paper plate, clipped on little red candles, placed it on the head of one of my precious daughters and LIT IT ON FIRE! Little Swedish girls had done it for centuries...hey, singed hair is the price of heritage.
(Eventually we got a safe replica of a St Lucia Crown. It had fake candles lit with batteries.)
My version of the legend is this:
Lucy was a young Christian girl martyred for her beliefs centuries ago in Rome. She was made a Saint, and remembered as St. Lucia in the Scandinavian countries. One especially dark and hopeless December the village people were starving. From across the lake they could see a blaze of brightness coming toward them. It was Lucia, her blond hair encircled by a halo of brilliant light, wearing a white robe with a red sash, bringing them bread. She was accompanied by young boys, their faces also illuminated as if by the stars, hauling sacks of food.
Since then the day has been celebrated as the Festival of Lights in Sweden. In some families the oldest daughter wakes up before dawn, and prepares a breakfast tray for her parents. She dresses in a white robe, with a red ribbon sash and wears a crown of candles. Her younger brothers play the part of the Star Boys, also wearing white, carrying pictures of stars. This is the start of Christmas festivities in their home.
I'm not sure of the meaning others give this tradition. To me, Lucia Day symbolizes the light Christ brings to the world, and the Bread of Life He gives us. He gives a dark world hope. It's a lovely way to remember the reason I celebrate Christmas.
Five little American Dolls.
This year I took five of my little American dolls to see a festival of lights. There were hundreds of Christmas trees, each stunning and unique, all donated to the annual Festival of Trees in Salt Lake City. The trees are auctioned off for thousands of dollars apiece, and every penny goes to the Primary Children's Medical Center to help sick children. We were excited to see the elegant tree Aunt Polly (my creative sister) worked on for months and months. The girls were thrilled to see her name on the Decorated By plaque.
But there was a particular tree that captured the attention of my little girls.