the final saint day that we celebrate during Advent falls immediately after Our Lady of Guadalupe. it’s St Lucia Day on December 13th. it’s customary for the oldest daughter to wake the family with buns and coffee…wearing a wreath of lighted candles on her head. we just happen to have an oldest daughter at our place! we love that while two of the boys have name day celebrations, our girl can have a special day too.
St Lucy Day at our house is anchored by this book, Hanna’s Christmas by Melissa Peterson. it tells the story of a family just moved from Sweden to America. each one is struggling to find their way in this new place, especially Hanna. but then a magical tomten from Sweden helps her see that celebrating is what makes a house feel like home. no, they don’t have traditional Lucia Buns, but the tomten says that toast with Lingonberry jam tastes just as nice. and so they prepare a surprise feast of toast + tea for the family. and their work and love inspires the rest of the family too!
this idea–that things don’t have to be perfect to be, well, perfect–is central to how we celebrate the church year. maybe you don’t have the right supplies for a proper observance, maybe the baby has been up nights teething (!), maybe money is tight. but maybe you can bring just a little bit of awareness–maybe a story book or a cup of tea or candles lit–to mark these days as special. and the most wonderful aspect of the church year is that while time marches ever forward, the church year spirals back to the same feasts and fasts every year. if you don’t get it right this year, you’ll have another chance. every year our traditions grow and deepen and help us create a strong family culture.
p.s. this book is out of print, but easily available through interlibrary loan at your local library.