After our procession and prayers, it was time for a St. Lucy's Day feast, but not without a few posed photos first. Here are two of the sweetest ten-year-olds I know:
You may be wondering about the cardinals. The girls found a small box of clip-on cardinal ornaments and thought they would look pretty fastened to their dresses. I found out later that the Cardinal is a symbol of the blood of Christ, perfect for honoring the memory of the martyr, St. Lucy.
It is an ancient Swedish custom to add not one, but two, large chocolate bars to the milk for hot cocoa on the Feast of St. Lucy. (If it isn't, then it ought to be.)
These are store-bought buns filled with vanilla and chocolate custard, no less tempting to a five-year-old than homemade.
And here is our delicious, homemade Egg Nog ice cream. As a St. Lucy's Day gift to you, I will share the recipe: Put store-bought egg nog into your ice cream maker just as is. It freezes perfectly to a soft-serve consistency. We grated a bit of whole nutmeg over the top of each serving as well. (The smell of nutmeg always reminds me of my mother and Christmas and Santa Claus cups.)
My littlest angel asked me to take a photo of her holding the tray. A moment later, the whole thing tipped toward her so that the buns slid onto her chest, but she managed to right them all before they fell. I would have loved to capture that moment in a photo--trust me, her expression was cute. I'm loving the holes in her stockings too. Time to buy a few new accessories before Christmas Eve Mass.
"Quick, honey, make a face to match your mug!"
The table is ready. Only thirteen candles were lit on the yule log(s). We light one more each night until the twenty-fourth of December when the whole table gleams, and we know that Our Savior is about to be born.
In honor of the St. Lucy's Day tradition of the eldest girl bringing the tray up to all the family in the morning, the elder two girls served the younger ones.
One final note: We lit our outdoor lights for the first time, something we always try to do on the Feast of St. Lucy. Although it was a freezing cold night, the children had fun going outside with lanterns and candles and waiting for the big moment when the electric lights broke through the darkness. This was a lovely evening, the kind of night when you aren't really expecting much, but then everything is so much better than you even imagined--I am so grateful to have this blog, so that we may never forget it.