from Kirsten's Surprise, by Janet Shaw
"Saint Lucia. Don't you know Saint Lucia?" Kirsten asked, puzzled.
Anna shook her head. Is she someone you met in Sweden?"
Now Kirsten was really startled. "No, Anna. We celebrated Saint Lucia's Day in Sweden. It was the very best part of Christmas."
"Tell us about Saint Lucia's Day," Anna said.
"In Sweden, Saint Lucia's Day begins the Christmas season," Kirsten explained. "It's the darkest day of the whole year. It's so dark that there's only daylight for a few hours. But no one minds the dark, because Saint Lucia's Day is so much fun."
"In each family, one girl gets to be the Lucia queen. She dresses up in a long white dress and a red sash, and she wears a crown of green leaves and lighted candles. She gets up very, very early in the morning, while it's still pitch black and everyone is asleep. She lights the candles in her crown, and she goes from room to room in the dark house, carrying a tray.(...)Then she wakes all the rest of the family and invites them to share Lucia buns and coffee. That breakfast is the first party of the holiday season."
And that, my friends, is how I found out about St. Lucia's day. For a few years I used to put on a white nightgown and red ribbon and dress my Kirsten doll the same way, and then put some coffeecake on a plate and give it to my parents. :)
Have a very happy St. Lucia Day!