Today is St. Lucia Day, the 13th of December. If I were Swedish (or could afford saffron right now!), I might be celebrating with Lucia buns. Perhaps Big Sis would wear a wreath of candles. But I'm the great-granddaughter of German immigrants on my dad's side, and a Heinz 57 mix on my mom's side - wait, there might be some Swedish somewhere after all! - and I did not grow up knowing the story of St. Lucia. But here I am, participating in my very first blog hop:
The beautiful art is by Heather of Audrey Eclectic. I have been following her on Pinterest for over a year because of art like this and her love affair with all things Swedish and Scandinavian. She even has a new blog just for this obsession! See her Etsy shop for more gorgeousness.
Why am I a part of this then? Was it the Kirsten doll I wished for as a child, when I was supposedly too old for dolls? I think that started it. To be honest, though, I think Rick Steves is to blame. You see, every year, my hubby and I made a point of watching Rick Steves' European Christmas on PBS. Then my dad made our little obsession worse by getting us the complete Rick Steves' Europe DVD boxed set for Christmas. And yes, we watch it. A LOT. Yes, we are that nerdy.
And our favorite episodes take place in Denmark and Sweden and Norway. We daydream about when we'll go someday. And while the Christmas show doesn't venture to Sweden, there is this gorgeous segment in Norway. It's our favorite part of our favorite Rick Steves episode.
The girls and I celebrated St. Lucia Day early. We visited the beautiful little town of Lindsborg, KS, "Little Sweden USA," about an hour and 10 minutes from the city where we live, not too far from the tiny farm town in which my grandma grew up. This was only my third time visiting Lindsborg, though. The first time was about 6 years ago, when Big Sis was a toddling thing. The second was only in June of this year, when our whole clan visited for Midsummer. Now finally, I made it to the Lucia Festival. There are blessings to losing one's retail job. This year, there was nowhere else I had to be on a Saturday in December! (I wrote last week about some of the reading my daughters and I did to get ourselves in the mood for the trip. I won't waste any space re-posting them now, but feel free to visit that post for our list.) When we arrived in Lindsborg, the morning air was chilly (FINALLY) and the sun was bright. The weather folks were forecasting possible flurries that evening, so we brought our layers. We parked at the south end of Main Street and followed the sound of Christmas carolers. We then spent some time visiting shops, especially Hemslöjd, looking at the dala horses, tomtes, straw ornaments, and of course, books.
|Okay, we did purchase ONE book.|
The girls needed a bit to eat after watching all that energy (ha ha), so I took them to a charming coffee shop called The Old Grind, where they split a bowl of potato bacon soup, while I sipped a gingerbread chai. From the windows, we could keep an eye out for the Lucia procession! But first, someone else caught our eye.
|No matter how gorgeous his costume, my girls are notoriously Santa-shy.|
We followed the Lucia procession up Main Street to Bethany Luthan Church. And everything was beautiful.
After the service, we followed everyone to the lawn for cookies and cider. Well, to be honest, we skipped the cider. We were going to need to head home.
One last walk down Main Street. The sun was hidden behind clouds. Sprinkles would fall, but we have yet to see any snow whatsoever.
Lest we forget we were still in Kansas, this lovely barn bid us goodbye on the way out of town.