One Last St. Lucia Day

By , December 13, 2010

When the holidays rolled around, Michelle and I became aware of a lot of “lasts.” Aly is a senior this year; next year, she’ll be off to college. Because she’s hoping to attend an out of state school, and because our income is so low, there’s every possibility that Aly will not be able to come home for the holidays for at least 4 years, possibly longer. Michelle doesn’t want to think about this, but I can’t help it. So, it was with considerable apprehension that I broached the subject, yesterday, of Saint Lucia Day.

Aly in St. Lucia Day mode

St. Lucia on the homestead: Aly enters with breakfast in bed! (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

Today is St. Lucia Day, a Christmas season observation with some very interesting customs. I wrote last year about our past observance of the holiday. This year is the last chance for Aly to serve us breakfast in bed with a crown of candles. I fervently hoped she would not decide to forgo it!

She hemmed and hawed as usual, concerned about trying to make coffee and getting it wrong, but eventually we figured out that, beneath it all, she was in favor of it.

This morning we awoke to low 20s, high wind and drifting snow. I got up to make a fire and found Aly huddled in my seat at the table, hugging herself and looking miserable. It broke my heart! She was very cold. I suggested that, since she no longer had a white gown, her green fleece bathrobe would be an acceptable (and warm) substitute. Then I hurried to lay a fire to warm her work. Soon, back in bed, Michelle and I received our shining girl, with a tray full of hot drinks, oranges, and pfeffernusse standing in for St. Lucia buns. Spice scampered back and forth in a panic, the day’s routine shattered and her world turned upside down. Santa Lucia played on Aly’s music box as she tucked in beside us and enjoyed a family breakfast in bed. Spice eventually settled in on the Christmas quilt.

Spice and the St. Lucia crown

All is calm . . . finally! Spice settles down near the St. Lucia crown (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

After breakfast, we all cuddled together in the bed to wait until the woodstove warmed the house a bit more. It felt like old times.

Later today, the little St. Lucia crown will be packed away in the Christmas box. Who knows when and how it will be next used? Only time will tell.

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