St. Lucy is a great Advent saint to celebrate. She pledged her virginity to God and was martyred as a result. She is usually depicted with her eyeballs on a tray she is holding because it is said that her eyeballs were removed, but she was still able to see. This is why she is the patroness of light and sight. My family has been celebrating her feast day for the past 2 years. Every year has looked a little a different, but my kids have always enjoyed the activities. Here are the six small traditions that we do as a family.
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It is Scandanavian tradition for the oldest daughter to dress up in a white gown/robe with a wreath and candles on her head. Last year, I misplaced the white dress I had bought her so she wore one of my husband’s white undershirts with a red sash I made out of an old red short that I cut in long strips and tied together. I also just grabbed some green construction paper, cut it in thick strips, and stapled it in a circle. We cut out leaves and stapled those on and then made candles that we also stapled on. It took five minutes to make and my 2-year-old loved it.
Now I am not an expert baker by any means, but I do make a mean cinnamon roll from the Pilsbury tins. Last year I made these in a pie tin so it would come out round and it was perfect. However, if you are a real baker at heart here is a link to Catholic Icing who has a recipe for the Authentic Swedish Recipe for Lussekatter (St. Lucy Bread) or Saffron Buns.
Where we live, we have the Lights on the Lake show. So, we have made it a St. Lucy’s Feast Day tradition to go to do this on December 13th. Now this is something that we are fortunate enough to have near where we live but may not be possible for everyone. You could still incorporate the lights of the season on this day. I know of a few families that get their tree set up, but don’t put the lights on until St. Lucy’s feast day. I know of some family that also will take their kids on a car ride through the neighborhoods to go look at Christmas lights.
St. Lucy Books
Giving my children books about the saints that we are celebrating is one of my favorite traditions. Each year we bring out the same books, but they always seem brand new to the kids. They read and enjoy these books for the rest of the Christmas season and then they go back into storage. We just got a second book about St. Lucy this year and I love adding to our library. The books we use are:
Lucy: A Light for Jesus by Barbara Yoffie- This is great for kids ages 3-9. It tells her story without too much gore, but still keeping the truth of her glorious martyrdom. It has cute little pictures for the kids as well. It even tells why she the patroness of light.
Lucia: Saint of Light by Katherine Bolger Hyde- This book is not for the faint of heart. I would say it may be appropriate for ages 6-12, but that is subjective. It tells the truth of her martyrdom without watering it down. It also talks about the importance of going to Church. I say this because those were the negative reviews I read. I personally was even more motivated to buy the book. This is exactly what I am looking for. The book is beautifully illustrated and even has a recipe for the traditional bread made on St. Lucy’s Feast Day.
We sing to our children every night before bed. The last few years we have started singing the song Santa Lucia to our kids before bed. It is such a beautiful song and I personally love to sing. I am also partially Sicilian so I grew up with it and it reminds me of my childhood.
St. Lucy Coloring Page
If you’ve read any of my other articles on celebrating saints’ feast days like this on St. Nicholas or this one on St. Andrew, you know how much I love to have coloring sheets for my children. I like this one, but to be honest I have no idea who the artist is. I would give credit if I knew who’s it was. If you know send me a message so I can give proper credit.
We do a lot and some years I have all of this ready to go and my kids are not having it or they are sick or to be honest I just don’t have the energy to do it all. Sometimes we only get one thing done, and that is okay. That is why I like the idea of giving them the saint-oriented books, because at the very least they get to a read book about the saint and learn about their lives.
If you have other ideas of how to celebrate St. Lucy leave a comment below.