13 December 2011

December 13th is Santa Lucia Day!

Here is a cheery image of a Swedish girl in Santa Lucia garb, taking saffron buns, or Lussekatter, coffee, and other treats to her sleeping parents early in the morning on December 13th.

I'll be wrapping up the current crop of officers, standard-bearer, NCO, and musician after lunch and a couple of telephone calls, but in the meantime, here are two more seasonal images to tide you over.

The first is in honor of Santa Lucia Day, which is today.  As my Swedish instructor -- a woman now in her 80s -- at the University of Pittsburgh explained to my class twenty years ago, when she was young in the 1930s and 40s, it used to be the prettiest girl in each village and town who was chosen to portray Santa Lucia on the big day.  And all  the other girls, who weren't chosen, hated the girl who got to be Santa Lucia as my teacher pointed out.  I should note, perhaps, that my former Swedish instructor was drop-dead gorgeous as a a girl and young woman, a flight attendant at one time for SAS back when they were still referred to as stewardesses, so perhaps it was the voice of experience speaking.  She never told us that part of the story.

Anyway, once the spirit of egalitarianism was ushered in during the 1960s-70s, and became firmly entrenched in Swedish society, everyone became eligible to play Santa Lucia.  I imagine these days, there might even be some badly misguided teen-aged boys clamoring to portray her.  Strange times we live in indeed, but live and let live I suppose.  The end result is that today, there are many Santa Lucias in the early morning procession rather than just one at the head of her train of attendants.

Moving right along, here comes another representation of ol' Saint Nick in brown robes again.  Funny how these simpler representations of this once purely religious figure are so appealing to modern eyes.  Nostalgia for simpler times?  I don't know, but they strike a chord with me in a way that more modern (American influenced?)  images of Santa Claus do not.  But then my own mother referred to me in a telephone conversation not terribly long ago as her fuddy-duddy son, so there you are.  And I'm still trying to work that one out!  ;-)

And here is yet another old-fashioned image of Santa Claus/ Father Christmas in brown robes visiting with a couple of, presumably, well-behaved little girls.

Finally, in the spirit of Santa Lucia Day, the Grand Duchess and I will bake some saffron buns, or lussekatter as they are known in Swedish, this evening after supper and Young Master Paul's bedtime, to enjoy with coffee mid-evening when they come out of the oven, hot and fresh.  Like yours truly. . .   just kidding!  I've got to keep the Grand Duchess in touch with her Sweduality, you know.  All Jonssons and  Olssons, late 19th century immigrants to northwestern Illinois, on her mother's side of the family.

1 comment:

CelticCurmudgeon said...

My Dear prinz Ulrich,
You could simply have your mother's phone lines in the palace disconnected. But do not feel too aggrieved for our elders seldom see us as our contemporaries do. What makes you a "fuddy-duddy" in the esteemed Matron's eyes, is taken as a rather full blown demonstration of good taste among those who share your insights, perspectives and predelictions.
At least she has not accused you of playing with "kiddy games" as a certain familial elder once described my love of miniatures and gaming.
Be well, sir, and continue to enjoy the season!
Gerardus Magnus
Archbishop of Han-gover


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