December 13th is the date set aside by some Christians to celebrate the life and persecution of St. Lucy. Not much more is actually know about St. Lucy other than the fact that she was persecuted for her faith in Christ in the early part of the fourth century.
However, there are a couple legends about St. Lucy that make her a fascinating hero of the faith during the Advent season. Stories have been passed down holding that Lucy was betrothed to a non-believer; and that when she refused his hand in marriage, he turned her into the governing authorities for her Christian faith. When soldiers came to drag her to her death, she would not be moved. Another legend states that her eyes were gouged out in an attempt to torture her into renouncing her faith; but she held firm, and the Lord miraculously healed her.
My personal favorite legend of St. Lucy is the one that is most celebrated on her feast day. As the story goes, St. Lucy used to minister to the poor who lived in caves nearby her home. She would take them food; and, to light her way through the caves but free up her hands to distribute food, she wore a wreath of candles on her head.
With this neat tale in mind, here are some ways you can celebrate the feast of St. Lucy in your home:
- St. Lucy’s Day is a big deal in the Nordic countries. There, the festivities begin early in the morning with a candle-lit breakfast in bed delivered to the parents by the children. Girls reportedly wear white with a wreath of candles on their heads! Yikes! Tone this down a bit by having a candle-lit breakfast or brunch with your kids. Make some Scandanavian pastries and a breakfast wreath of some sort. (I’ll be posting a couple easy recipes in a day or two.)
- Light is the theme with St. Lucy, so spend time talking to your kids about how we, as Christians, are called to be lights for Christ in the world. Help them determine just one way they can better shine for Christ.
- St. Lucy’s day is my date of choice on which to buy our Christmas tree and string on the lights. If you already have your tree set up, hang some lights outside. If you’re way ahead of me, light up the house with candles or make some luminaries with the kids.
- And, speaking of lights. . . This is also a great night to go driving around looking at the lights on other people’s houses. Stop for a treat somewhere on the way home, or take some cookies along. . . and be sure to listen to Christmas music!
Just one thing to do today:
Decide on a few St. Lucy’s Day traditions to begin in your family. Make sure these traditions are both meaningful and easy enough that you will be motivated to follow through on them this St. Lucy’s Day as well as those in the coming years. Once you’ve got some ideas of how you want to celebrate, go gathering supplies and letting your family know that you will be having a special family day on the 13th.