Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa Lucia

Now that it's officially winter, light and celebrations of light are ever more appreciated. One of the evenings I always look forward to in December is our "Neighborhood Nog", it's a sweet and traditional celebration that allows everyone to slow down a bit and get away from the hustle and bustle of the season. I feel so thankful to the neighbors who started and have maintained this special tradition. The evening begins on a street corner, where we all gather for a toast and to view the lighting a giant star that tops one of the tallest trees in the neighborhood. It concludes with a party at someones home {we got to host it this year} where we all have a chance to slow down a bit, share food and stories, and have time to do more than just throw out a frantic wave to one another as we rush by.

Between the tree lighting and the party, we go to a neighbors house to watch the Santa Lucia processional she organizes each year. Before the tree lighting, the children of the neighborhood enjoy traditional Swedish cookies and sparkling pear juice

as they dress in crisply pressed white gowns she's collected over the years,

and tie silver tinsel around their waists and heads.

They run out to view the tree lighting in their white gowns, but after the tree is lit, a trumpet sounds to let them know it is time to go back to the house to light their candles and line up for the procession.

One of the older girls in the neighborhood is crowned the Santa Lucia and she leads the children down the stairs to the accompaniment of a gently strumming guitar and my neighbor singing the traditional song.

As we all watch in awe and anticipation they slowly make their way into the dark living room 

bringing a peaceful glow of light.

I love this opportunity to slow down and enjoy the simpler pleasures of the season. 


Sandy at You May Be Wandering said...

What a lovely tradition! Have a very Merry Christmas, Emily!! xoxo

I Dream Of said...

What a lovely tradition, Emily! I have fond memories of the Santa Lucia festival my service guild organized for our college - we wore the white robes and the crowns, too. The light and magic is much savored on these dark days. Wishing you and your family a beautiful and magical Christmas. Merry, merry! XOXO