Saint Lucia Day in Sweden
It's time for a Christmas confession. Somewhere in the middle grades of my schooldays, our class read a story about the tradition of Saint Lucia Day in Sweden. We learned that the oldest daughter in each family played the part of Saint Lucia.
She dressed in a white robe and wore a wreath with lighted candles on her head. The girl served coffee and sweets to the other family members first thing in the morning. There was a fine illustration with the story. I became mesmerized by the story and the picture. It became my heart's desire to be the girl in my family who brought light and love and good things to eat.
The first part would be easy. I was one of four children but the only girl. I could get the job with no trouble there. Where would I get a long white robe? And a wreath with candles on it for my hair, which was long and curly just like the girl in the picture. How would I convince my parents that I should wear this garb and walk with lighted candles through our small apartment? The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was foolish to even talk to my family about doing it.
I had visions of my father saying, But we're not Swedish! Mom might have rolled her eyes and said, You're not walking through our home with fire on your head! I'm quite certain my brothers would have been rolling on the floor laughing. At me! Thus, I never tried to talk them into letting me try to be the Swedish Saint Lucia on the 13th of December. That day happened to also be the birthday of one of my brothers. He was to be the center of attention that day. Not me!
Even so, I never gave up the desire to be the Saint Lucia girl. I kept that wish hidden all through my growing-up years, my years as a mother raising children, right up to today. Yes, I'm a senior citizen and I'd still love to be the Saint Lucia girl, even though the thought of me doing it now makes me laugh. It seemed such a wonderful tradition and the thought alone fed my desire to serve others, which I have tried to do all my life.
Today, in Sweden, this special day is celebrated in schools and businesses, in homes and on TV. Sweden is cold and dark at this time of year but Saint Lucia Day brings warmth and light. That warmth and light is what attracted me all those years ago. It might also have been the possibility of being the center of attention for a little while.
This is my Christmas confession. Now the world knows one of my hidden desires. How about you? Do you have a Christmas confession to make? It could make a wonderful story for an anthology or a memory kind of magazine. Write it now and market it in 2016.