Can you believe we are in the midst of the holiday season and that next weekend is Christmas?! It’s the time of year where the word tradition is used more than ever and families have their special ways to celebrate the season. Some people look for the pickle ornament in the tree, some make cookies, but ultimately a lot of traditions come from a family’s heritage.
My mom is Swedish and my dad is Italian. Basically, the Italian side of things is celebrated all year long since everything Italian is readily available and scrumptious. The Swedish side of things, however, is always put a little on the back burner. There was one day a year my mom wouldn’t let that slide and it was every December 13… St. Lucia day. Here is a quick video on what the heck this day means: Swedish Lucia For Dummies.
One of part of this tradition is that the youngest daughter is “Lucia” aka me. Which for many years I thought was cool because my favorite American Girl doll, Kirsten was Swedish and had an outfit to match me. Eventually, I was too cool for it, but hey, I came back around. In our family, we typically decorated the tree, drank hot chocolate and ate the delish St Lucia buns (Lussekatter) that my sweet mother slaved over. Those buns were the best part! I remember helping my mom shape the dough in the shape of an “S” and sneaking some extra bites of the Swedish pearl sugar.
As the years go by I develop a deeper appreciate of where my family is from and how it’s molded us. This year I decided I wanted to give the whole St. Lucia Day thing a go, as the youngest daughter is supposed to, and also test my baking skills. I was super nervous but my mom gave me the recipe, some special key ingredients and I was off to the kitchen to give this a go, with a little help from Goggle of course. But really, who scolds milk before using in a recipe and why?
It was a fun and long (5 hour!!!!) challenge, these buns really pushed me out of my baking comfort zone! To my surprise, they were just as good as I remembered! Okay maybe not… everything my mom makes taste way better when she does it, but still, I did it!! I had family over to our apartment and we spent the afternoon munching on Swedish food and enjoying each other’s company to recognize St. Lucia Day.
We may not celebrate it as traditionally as they do in Sweden, but it’s nice to spend a day acknowledging our roots! I don’t know anyone else besides our family that celebrates this day. Does your family have any unique holiday traditions?
Happy St. Lucia Day and God Jul!