How We Celebrate the Feast of St. Lucy

Tomorrow is the feast of St. Lucy. It is a big deal in many countries and I have always admired the various traditions surrounding this beautiful day.  My children particularly love the story of St. Lucy's bravery and how she endured such tortures as losing her eyes all for the love of God. I still have not gotten any of them to have fake eyeballs on a plate for Halloween though. I think it is really important to tell the stories of the martyrs even though they are gruesome. Some might shy away from tales of saints dying horrible deaths but I really believe it helps them understand the depth of the love we should have for God (and the depth of the love he had for us!). It also encourages bravery in the face of the many little trials they encounter in life.  And if God sees fit, it will inspire them in the face of any great trials they encounter.

The most famous celebrations on St. Lucy's day come from Sweden. Most people are familiar with the image of a young girl dressed in white with a wreath of candles on her head. There is something so magical and whimsical about it! Someday perhaps, when I decide to buy an authentic Swedish wreath, I will start such a tradition. For now I feel too far removed from the customs of Sweden to start this at my house. There are so many celebrations at this time of year that I need to keep things simple. I would not dream of leaving out her feast day though so we have our own little way of celebrating.

St. Lucy's name means light and that theme is an integral part of the celebration of her feast all over the world. So for us it seems the perfect time to go out and look at Christmas lights! It is convenient because most people take their Christmas lights down immediately after Christmas day (when...ahem...they should just be getting started with festivities) and we never feel like we fully get to enjoy them. By celebrating the feast of St. Lucy we are able to enjoy them with purpose even though we are right in the middle of Advent. This year we will go see the Light Parade in town which happens to fall on St. Lucy's day. I am packing cookies and hot chocolate and plenty of coats and blankets. Before heading out to the parade we will read the story of St. Lucy. I might, just might, wake the children to a candlelit breakfast and read the story then.

If you have not planned anything for the feast of St. Lucy why not read the story of her life and go to a light parade? Or zoolights? Or if you don't have a light parade tomorrow, hop in the car with travel mugs of hot cocoa and drive through the best neighborhood Christmas lights you can find!

Happy Feast of St. Lucy!

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