We've added another tradition to the Nielson books:
St. Lucia's Day on December 13th.
I've taken some American liberties to incorporate into this magical holiday;
like I didn't make lamb or saltfish for the menu,
but I roasted several vegetables served with an
assortment of delicious cheeses, and warm fresh ciabatta bread.
I smothered large grapefruits in vanilla bean paste
and sugar and broiled them in the oven then sprinkled raspberries on top.
And of course we had a variety of delicious danishes and cookies
that I bought from a Scandinavian bakery here in Chapel Hill.
I made amazing spicy hot chocolate that paired lovely with those Danishes.
I also decided that we would have only one St. Lucia for the year,
some families and communities have all the young girls dress up
in the St. Luica attire, but I felt like it would be more
memorable with just one Lucia a year.
This year I asked Claire to be our heroine.
Next year will be Jane followed by Lottie, and then
we will start over until we get grand-babies or sister-in-laws
(whichever come first).
After dinner we went into the living room and played games
then Claire and I silently slipped out
into another room and I helped her transform into St. Lucia.
She painted her nails gold and applied glitter all over her
hands, face, and chest.
She looked gorgeous!
Next year Claire will help Jane get ready for her part as St. Lucia,
and then Jane will help Lottie, and then Lottie will help whoever is next.
It's kind of a fun Matriarchal tribute.
Claire went out the back and walked
to the front door while games were being played
in the next room. Then the doorbell rang,
it was St. Lucia glowing in the doorway (in the pouring rain)
holding a tray of delicious danishes ready to share.
Lottie invited her inside and we sat down at the table again
for hot chocolate and dessert.
St. Lucia shared with us some thoughts on light
and love and Christ. (Claire nailed it).
After it was all said and done we decided we had way too many
treats and we needed to share this light.
We jumped in the car and sang Christmas songs at the top of our lungs
as we drove to several friends home so St. Lucia (and the rest of us),
could testify that Christ brings love and light to all world
(and to give out delicious treats).
"Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace!
Hail the sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that we no more may die,
Born to raise each child of earth,
Born to give us second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn king!"
* * * * *
“As a child, I thought Christmas came just one day a year.
As an adult, I now realize it is Christmas every day.
Because of the benevolence of a loving Heavenly Father
and a beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, we are the recipients
of a continuous flow of heavenly gifts—every day.
Heavenly gifts too numerous to mention.”
—Elder Kevin R. Duncan of the Seventy
Spiritual Enlightenment: Heavenly Gifts