Celebrate St. Lucia’s Day

How is your Tuesday? My Monday got away from me.

I owe you fine people a cookie recipe and while I’m at it I thought I’d get a jump on St. Lucia’s Day.

Monster Cookies Recipe

The Monster Cookie recipe can be found here from Raining Hot Coupons.

I added extra chocolate chips and Peanut Butter M&M’s to mine because duh.

If you love stay-soft, chewy, melt-y cookies I recommend plopping mounds of dough onto a parchment-covered baking sheet and not flattening them out much. Then bump down the temp to 325 and bake a little longer. They stay much softer the thicker they are (That being said, don’t get too carried away or make them gigantic- they’ll never get done in the middle).

I made mine about a tblsp-tblsp and a half, and just squished them down a tiny bit, and they took closer to ten minutes for the middle to set up. Take care not to burn the edges.

If you like crispy, crunchy cookies leave the heat and time the same and flatten them out more when you put them on the cookie sheet.

Or you could do a batch of each. Simple as that.

And now St. Lucia’s Day.

I first learned of St. Lucia’s Day from the Kirsten American Girl books. It sounded like so much fun and such a good cause that I talked my mom into starting up the tradition in our family, although we have no Swedish or Scandinavian background whatsoever.

Here’s a brief history of St. Lucia’s Day as told by WhyChristmas.com:

“Around Christmas time in Sweden, one of the biggest celebrations is St. Lucia’s Day (or St. Lucy’s Day) on December 13th. The celebration comes from stories that were told by Monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden.

St Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304AD. The most common story told about St Lucia is that she would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding in the catacombs under the city. She would wear candles on her head so she had both her hands free to carry things. Lucy means ‘light’ so this is a very appropriate name.

December 13th was also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, in the old ‘Julian’ Calendar and a pagan festival of lights in Sweden was turned into St. Lucia’s Day.

St. Lucia’s Day is now celebrated by a girl dressing in a white dress with a red sash round her waist and a crown of candles on her head. Small children use electric candles but from about 12 years old, real candles are used!”

Isn’t that an amazing story? There are so many beautiful and fun activities to try on St. Lucia’s Day.

Ways to Celebrate St. Lucia’s Day:

1. Breakfast Traditionally, the family would choose one girl to represent St. Lucia. The girl chosen would then get up early on St. Lucia’s Day and make breakfast for everyone. She would then load up a tray of  the goodies and go from room to room serving breakfast, dressed as St. Lucia. Obviously there are many ways to alter this to suit your family.

If you don’t have any girls, boys are always encouraged to dress as ‘Stjärngossar’ (star boys), or you could just have a family breakfast without anyone dressing up.

If you have multiple girls all vying to be St. Lucia, you could always have multiple Lucias, or the other girls could be ‘tärnor’ (like Lucia but without the candles). Remember you can always take turns each year.

More than likely you’ll want to help your children with the cooking and serving. And remember you can implement the use of flameless candles to decrease further risk of burns on the Holy Day (nobody needs that).

2. Dressing Up This one goes hand-in-hand with breakfast but I’ll go a little more in depth on how to dress up.

St. Lucia- You’ll need:

* a white nightgown (or cleverly draped bed sheet)

* a red sash (any long piece of red fabric can be made into a sash)

* a small greenery wreath for crown

* candles or flameless candles for crown

Star Boy- You’ll need:

* a white gown or sheet

* a felt or paper pointed white hat

* paper or felt gold stars to decorate hat

* a dowel rod for wand

* a foil or card stock star for end of wand

You can also find pre-made wands or get creative and use other materials you have.

Tärnor- You’ll need:

* a white gown just like Lucia’s

* a red sash just like Lucia’s

* a small greenery wreath or silver tinsel for crown

The costumes don’t need to be perfect and you don’t need to be a seamstress (I’ve hardly sewn a button on in my life). Let your kids help and make preparing the costume part of the fun.

3. Baking There are lots of different kinds of food normally eaten on St. Lucia’s Day. Here are a few I’ve gathered that you and your family might enjoy:

St. Lucia’s Day Kringler

St. Lucia Buns

St. Lucia’s Crown

Chokladbollar (Chocolate Balls)

Occhi di Santa Lucia

We’re just getting started on St. Lucia’s Day. One of the most important parts is delivering gifts to others. Check back later for ideas on how and what to give and other fun activities for your family on St. Lucia’s Day.

Love always,

-Tara

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