“Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.”

~ Desiderius Erasmus

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

~ Edith Wharton

Long before I had children I was looking through recipes one day and came across a bread that was part of the St. Lucia tradition. Celebrated primarily in Sweden, Norway, and some other Scandinavian countries on December 13th, St. Lucia’s Day dedicates its festivities to Saint Lucy and emphasizes the triumph of light and truth over dark and evil forces. Descended from the Norwegians (on Nana’s side), I’ve longed to participate in this tradition for many a year now, though it has always seemed that we have events on or around December 13th (usually a family Christmas party) and so every year since Katie’s birth I have found myself unprepared. This year, finally, we found the circumstances just right: the family party is next week, our history curriculum involves studying winter holidays around the world (which we have been doing since last week—we made a dreidel!!!—and which gave us instructions for making a St. Lucia crown), and Katie was old enough to enjoy her role (the eldest daughter dresses up as St. Lucia and serves special bread to family members).

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The daughters dress up in white dresses with red sashes on St. Lucia Day. Fortunately Katie’s Christmas dress from a couple years ago fit her still, and we added a red sash today. We made her St. Lucia crown this morning. This link will take you to an external site that I believe our River Springs lesson plans must have linked to for the crown instructions—since this appears to be exactly what we did! Eric got involved, too, in making headware for himself and in helping to put glitter on the candle flames.

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“This little light of mine/I’m going to let it shine…”

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The kiddos spent all day off and on making our Lucia bread. It is supposed to be made and served in the morning, but when you’re in the middle of homeschooling with two students age five and under, I say it is a win that it was even ready to go by this evening! They had fun, though, going through the process.

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Our St. Lucia with one of our (battery-operated) remembrance candles.

 

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Our braided St. Lucia bread, with orange icing and cranberries, and decorated with big lighted candles. Festive!

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I am no photographer and this came out fuzzy, but it captures the spirit of the sharing of the bread with my parents. I’m thinking this is going to be an annual event. And I didn’t know this until today: my Aunt Jen and Aunt Anna also celebrate St. Lucia’s Day with pfeffernusse and John Donne’s “Riding Westward.” Does anyone else I know out there celebrate this day, too?

Other than that…

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On Monday we had our mandatory P1 attendance reporting for River Springs. We used to do this at the high school, too, and it’s no biggie but I am used to it taking a bit more time. We really lucked out, though, because our ES was stationed to meet all her parents/teachers at the Starbucks just down the street and around the corner from our house. We printed out attendance, put on our walking shoes, and headed out for a lovely morning walk to the coffee shop. We met briefly with Stephanie (she is beautifully efficient and supportive at the same time—it takes true skill to be both, so I really appreciate this), picked up peppermint cake pops and a decaf gingerbread latte for me, and sat outside playing by the fountain and taking in the morning. P1 doesn’t get better than that!

Trata escapades:

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He dressed up as Holiday Barbie…

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He perched on the ledge with our bird guide pamphlet and did a little bird watching.

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He hid in a poinsettia (thanks, Emma J., for the idea)!!

Last night we went to the annual Valley Winds Christmas singalong concert:

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(I tried to fix their glowing eyes, and the picture turned out even creepier…oh well)!!

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More creepiness in the eyeballs…just don’t look too closely.

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Eric, who is really, really, really into Christmas this year, turned the shopping cart into “my sleigh.” He was pretending to be Santa this morning, and Katie was an elf.

Let the light prevail…

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