Upon A Saint Lucia Day

Friday, December 22, 2017

On the eve of Saint Lucia day, the 13th of December, I found myself busy all afternoon with preparations. There was dough to rise, Lucia crowns to be made, and dresses to be brought out of boxes to air out in the winter sunshine. Christmas was almost here, and the busyness didn't seem to want to stop!


I had been occupied with a very large project as of late, a set of four music videos for the band. I had been hard at work organizing filming days, locations, costumes, and all sorts of other things! The weekend before the 13th everything had been finished and I was breathing a sigh of relief at the promised peace to come...
As the large bowl of saffron dough slowly rose nestled next to our heater, Quinn and I decided to go for a walk down to the tidal flats with Greta. It was a chilly afternoon, with the sun already setting as we left our door at 3:00. The shortest days of the year were upon us, but we didn't mind so much...not with the lovely candle light in the Barn.

Up at the main house, Melissa was sewing away at secrets in Quinn's old room. Secrets that would soon be revealed under the Christmas tree, but not yet. Quinn and I had also been making things during the dark evenings, but I mustn't write about that here, for curious eyes could be reading!

Because of the coming darkness we had taken a lantern to guide our way back through the shadowy trees, the light from the candle dancing this way and that.

As we walked back up to the Barn through the darkening woods, I sang the hopeful notes of the Saint Lucia song that Abigail and I would soon be singing together. We had made plans to surprise her grandparents dressed as Lucia, bringing them saffron buns and some Christmas cheer, too!

The warmth of the main house welcomed us as we came inside, carrying the bowl of saffron dough with us. Melissa, Abigail and I set to work on rolling out snakes of dough, and coiling them into fancy knots and patterns, ready to be baked. 





















The saffron smelled amazing, and the whole house was filled with the aroma. Many hands made light work and soon we were sitting at the table, the enticing smells of baked bread coming from one of Melissa's many stoves.

The rest of the house looked like something out of a magazine. Quinn and I had helped them pick out the Christmas tree several days prior, the whole family decorating it later that evening. It now stood tall and beautiful in the living room, everyone remarking that it was "...the prettiest tree we have had by far!"

Large gingerbreads decorated with icing covered several of the branches, made by Abigail one long morning (for it took her the whole morning to make just the dough!). She was kind enough to let us help her in the cutting of shapes and joyous occasion of icing them as well! Near the top of the tree is a little gingerbread mouse that Abby iced herself.

In the music room stands another tree, this one with a more Scandinavian feel, featuring many of Melissa's straw ornaments, along with a few silly gnomes and some sparkling lights!
The saffron buns are finished as I pull the last remaining tray out of the oven. The hour feels late because of the darkness outside the frosted window, but a look at the clock surprises me! Is it still so early in the evening?

Melissa starts lighting the candles and I find myself not wanting to leave the beauty of the house and the amazing smell of the saffron buns, but I have things to prepare for the morning, and so I bid her goodnight. My dreams were filled with girls in white dresses and beautiful songs...




The next morning Abigail and I practiced singing the Lucia song together in harmony, in both Swedish and English (to hear part of it sung in Swedish, click here.). We dressed in our vintage wedding dresses, mine found at a local thrift store for $20, Abigail's from an antique shop all the way down in Australia. Melissa had gone ahead of us to her parent's home, so we bundled in the car with Quinn and set off to the other side of Douglas Island. And yes, of course Greta and Lupin came along with us as well!
Soon we were standing in the front parlor, straightening our crowns and whispering to Quinn to get the matches. Greta and Lupin thought it was all very exciting, and Abigail chided them both to "...make sure you don't trip us or get in our way!" Soon the moment was right and, with candles burning brightly, we made our way through the house, singing softly.

Night walks with heavy tread 'round farm and briar,
Dark sun-forsaken earth, shadows attire.
Then in our winter gloom, candle light fills the room:
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia
Silent and dark the night now hear descending
rustle of wings in flight, all darkness ending.
Then she comes, dressed in white, head wreathed in candles bright:
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia
Shadows will soon be gone from earth's dark valley
Wonderful words anon us cheer and rally.
Day will soon draw anew, in skies of rosy hue:
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!


How wonderful to be light for Quinn and Abigail's grandparents that day! They were certainly surprised to see their granddaughters come in wearing wreaths of candles. After saying hello Quinn helped mom to put the saffron buns in the oven to warm them up. We sat around and visited and played with the puppies until it was time for some breakfast.
When the buns were warm we sat around the table and chatted. Everyone agreed that the buns had turned out wonderful, and even though Quinn said he would only eat one, he ate two!

As the morning grew brighter we took off our crowns and Quinn brought out the big box of tree ornaments. Together, Quinn, Abigail and I carefully decorated grandma and grandpa's tree (which grandpa had already strung with lights). Even the big, smiling elk was decorated!



What a happy morning it was! But there were still presents to make back at home, and special things to finish, and so we left and said goodbye and "Merry Christmas & Happy Saint Lucia Day!" A more wonderful day I don't think you could ask for.
Can you spy Abigail, Greta & I in the ornament?
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If you are not familiar with the story of Saint Lucia, it is a powerful one, especially during this Christmas season. My father-in-law Paul wrote a beautiful song about her life and we made a music video for it just in time for the 13th. If you would like to see the video and learn Lucia's story, click here.

2 comments :

  1. Did you have any concern about a candle falling off your head? I have to know. You both look beautiful. I am so jealous over those gorgeous windows! I think I'd sit and look out all day long. You all are so much fun.

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    Replies
    1. Haha! No, I wasn't too worried about the candles falling, they were wired very well though they did like to sway a little bit!). Yes, Quinn's grandparents have a lovely home, his grandpa made that wall with the windows himself!

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