Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Celebrate "little things"...

As the saying goes….

“Celebrate the little things”.

St. Lucia's feast day.

What would life be like if we never took a leap and found “little things” to celebrate whenever possible? If someone were to ask my favorite time in life, the answer is easy because it’s “right here this moment”.

Always looking to the bright side, life is a celebration in itself, each day a magnificent gift we are reminded to be thankful for when rising from our nightly slumber.

Today is the feast day of Saint Lucy, known as Saint Lucia in European countries. December 13 marks St. Lucia Day in Sweden. Named after Saint Lucia, a young Christian girl killed about fifteen hundred years ago by Roman soldiers for refusing to give up her religion, St. Lucia Day is mainly celebrated by processions. The procession consists of Saint Lucia, represented by a girl wearing a long, white dress and a crown of leaves and seven glowing candles. She carries a small tray of cakes. Younger girls walk behind her, carrying candles, and boys follow these girls wearing tall, pointed hats. The girls and boys bring the cakes to homes, offices and hospitals. This holiday is also celebrated in Italy, as Saint Lucia was Italian.

Our family has celebrated this day, a “little thing” for the most part, but a feast day that has provided us with memories of eager children remembering this feast day each December.

Three years ago, this daughter decided it was her turn to rise in the early morning hours while darkness was still upon us. Singing the family’s favorite Advent hymn “O come, O come Emmanuel”, she strolled from room to room offering her tray of sweets (and she made coffee too) for the family to wake up to and enjoy. The children (and the parents) fondly remember our daughters doing this for us, smiling at the memory of this and another daughter, who made homemade cinnamon buns and sang one year as well. Those cinnamon buns never tasted so good, fresh from the oven, leaving the scent of cinnamon in the house all morning long. This year, we didn’t have a daughter dress up and sing, however we had heavenly smelling, banana pancakes cooking as one daughter manned the kitchen and provide me with fresh hot coffee. It doesn’t get any better than this folks!

Our girl’s dolls also have festive costumes to remind us of this day, several costumes in fact to celebrate many feast or celebratory days. Below our younger daughter shows you her doll dressed as St. Lucia, and also another doll with Mexican dress and mantilla to represent the Mexican feast day of “Our Lady of Guadalupe”,

a huge event celebrated on December 12th around the world, but especially in Mexico city where a three mile long lineup processed into the church there, dozen of bodies wide along the roadway leading to the building.

Today we are making special Advent feast day ornaments out of clay, using printed images and mod podge to adhere them onto the clay pieces when dry enough to paint and complete the projects. It’ll be very special to have them handy for future years, mostly to include as ornaments to hang on our Christmas tree, year after year; reminding us of the spiritual richness these feast days offer us, occasions for celebrating those “little things”, blessing us tremendously with continued family traditions to anticipate into the future with the next generation to come.

Happy Feasting!

There's still time to hit the bakery!