One of my favorite Advent memories growing up happens to be the feast of St. Lucy on December 13. Quietly, early in the morning while it was still dark outside, one of us girls would carry a candle and a plate of treats upstairs to everyone who was sleeping. We’d invite the family downstairs to eat with us. The thrill of groggily eating something sweet around a candle was (and still is!) cozy and delightful.
If you don’t know much about St. Lucy, check out her life and history. Then once you’ve read up on her, here are some great ways to celebrate her feast day with your kids this Advent.
1Pastries in the morning
The Scandinavian tradition on her day involves the oldest daughter wearing a white dress and a wreath of candles on her head. The wreath of candles may be a little too much of a fire hazard for most families, so finding a good substitute is important. Carrying a candle works well, or if you can figure out a good way to balance some battery operated candles on a willing daughter’s head, that might work too! If you can easily take out the candles, you could place your Advent wreath on the head of your representative St. Lucy. As far as the pastries go, there are many St. Lucy saffron bun recipes you can find, but most are a little time consuming. Some cinnamon rolls, muffins, or a box of donuts are options that can fit the bill.
2Dinner by candlelight
St. Lucy’s name means light. If the evening works better for you to celebrate, or if you just want to celebrate all day, consider serving dinner in the dark (or semi-dark) by candlelight. Or if you have a fireplace, this would be a great night to sit by the fire.Most of us, children and adults alike, are mesmerized by flames, big or small.
3The eyes have it
In some stories about St. Lucy, she had her eyes gouged out to get her to deny her faith in Jesus. This would be a great day to do some activities celebrating and being grateful for our vision. Pull out the I Spy books or just play “I Spy” with your kids. Read together about the eye and the different parts that make up our vision. Serve food that looks like eyes. For example, some food options include a hardboiled egg cut in half, a raisin on a piece of cheese cut in a circle or a round cracker, a chocolate chip on a slice of banana.
4Books to read
You might be able to find and order for pick up these books at your local library about St. Lucy. One is called Lucia, Saint of Light and another is a little longer book called Kirsten’s Surprise, a book about the American Girl doll Kirsten. You can listen to the book Lucia, Saint of Light for free here.
5Pray for light
Together as a family, ask for St. Lucy’s intercession for any darkness in your life. With the isolation and sickness that are so present right now, and with any stress associated with the upcoming holidays, now is a good time to pray for light and peace in your life. St. Lucy also stayed strong and died rather than betray her faith. Pray for her strength of faith to stay strong through the darkness. Additionally, if you know of anyone struggling with an eye disease, this would be a good saint to ask for help.
St. Lucy, pray for us!
7 Advent traditions that are easy to do at home