Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rhythm In Our Home : Santa Lucia

AKA: Saint Lucia, Saint Lucy... she goes by many names, depending on your culture. You can learn more about her here. This is by far one of my absolute favorite days of the year.

I learned about this special day a few years ago when I was first researching Waldorf education. Saint Lucia was a strong and inspirational girl. The meaning and the beauty behind the day really resonated with me. In fact, so much so that Baby L is named after Saint Lucia. As beautiful as the traditions around this day are - Saint Lucia was a martyr and went through quite a lot. Our children are much too young to know about that, so for now we keep her history very simple. There is a beautiful book Lucia, Saint of Light, that I have been told is great to have. I hope to someday own it and read bits of it as part of our celebration.  ETA: We got the book that year and we love it. It tells her life story in a beautiful way (which, of course, includes her martyrdom) and also goes into why Sweden celebrates an Italian saint.

Santa Lucia, Thy light is glowing,
Through darkest winter night, Comfort bestowing,
Dreams float on wings of night, Comes then the morning light,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia

Through silent winter gloom, Thy song comes winging to
Waken the earth anew, Glad carols bringing,
Come thou, oh Queen of Night,
Wearing thy crown so bright,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia

Santa Lucia, Christmas fore-telling,
Fill hearts with hope and cheer, Dark fear dispelling,
Bring to the world's call,
Peace and good will to all,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia

- Traditional Italian

I tried to find a you tube video of the song being sung in Italy (instead of Sweden)with star boys in the choir, too but I couldn't remember how I found it the first time. Should have bookmarked it, oh well. If you do a search for 'Santa Lucia' quite a few videos will come up. I sing this song to Baby L year round but on this special day we sang it a lot more.

Since Santa Lucia day is also Baby L's namesake day, I knew that we had to really celebrate this year. In the past K has worn her needle felted crown, and we would make the Lussekatter (Saffron buns) and that was our little celebration. This year a decided to do a bit more...
Traditionally the oldest daughter in the family wears the special crown with candles and delivers the buns and coffee to the parents but I thought that C needed to be in on the fun, too. I pulled out an old issue of Living Crafts, the one my knitted fruit basket was in for the Ornament Swap article, and decided I would make her the simple wool felt Lucia crown. Once I finished her crown I knew my girls needed Lucia dresses, too. Those were a bit of a pain in the butt. I searched every pattern book at the fabric store and I could not find any simple long sleeved dresses, so I had to just make it up as I went. I used this pattern that I already had, as my base and altered the neck, sleeves and length of the dress to make it just right, thanks to all your help! I really wanted to make real Santa Lucia dresses (there is an actual specific pattern), but in the slump I have been in, I just needed something fast and simple. Once I added the red sash, these dresses were just right.
Baby L needed something special to wear, too, so I made him a simple star boy hat out of felt.

We made our Lussekatter the night before using the recipe in one of our favorite books Bread Baking with Children(I was up at 11 pm waiting on them in the oven) with the hope of delivering some to our neighbors after school. Unfortunately that didn't happen because our completely insane cats ran off with part of the dough as it was rising and there was no way I was going to offer up anyone dough that our cats were near, plus I was out of time (and saffron) to make another batch.

I woke the girls up by singing it as I came in their room that morning. They didn't know about their dresses or C's new crown. Normally their clothes for the day are out and waiting for them when they wake up but this day I had them hanging in the van as a surprise. The girls got out of bed and did their usual morning preparations, while I got Baby L dresses in all white. We ate breakfast and then I brought them down to the van in their pjs. Once we got in the van to drive to school they saw their new dresses and squealed with excitement. They knew exactly what they were. Baby L's star boy hat was waiting in his car seat, too. We drove to school and got dressed there. K and C decided to switch crowns for the day, really K decided she wanted to new crown and C went along with it.

We brought K to class and then C, Baby L and I stalked stayed in the hallway all morning long. This day is celebrated in most Waldorf schools, ours included. We watched the highschoolers as they proceeded down the hall entering each classroom singing and delivering buns. C and I were even given some buns to share, which we happily accepted, especially after the cat incident.

Well, this was more of a description of our day this year than a rhythm post, but I hope it will do!

Some Santa Lucia resources:

The ultimate resource (in my opinion)

Paper dolls  right click the image above to see them full size and then print from there :)

Celebrating Saint Lucia

The Parenting Passageway


Santa Lucia day site

Paper Star boy hat

Paper Santa Lucia crown

Please remember - this is just our family rhythm and what works for us at the moment. This isn't meant to be hard and fast rules on how rhythm should go in every one or any one's homes. I just thought to share it because I receive quite a few e-mails asking about our home rhythm, and I also just wanted it documented for myself so that I may remember these times when they are older and/or on to another rhythm.

Thank you, again, for joining me in the rhythm fun! Here is the linky list. If you have a (new or old) link you would like to share about your family rhythm, please enter it below so that we all may see. Please don't forget to link back here in your post. How else will we all be able to share and be inspired? I look forward to seeing your inspiration!
Thanks friends!

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