…on the feast of St. Lucy.
Hanna’s Christmas. My kids are 1/8 Swedish, which I figure qualifies us to observe the old Swedish St. Lucia day custom where the oldest daughter dresses all in white and serves sweet rolls to her parents in bed. Not that a total lack of Swedish blood would deter us from keeping this lovely tradition…over the years it has become one of the sweetest parts of our Advent celebration. All three girls dress up here, of course, raiding my drawers the night before for long white slips and such. They make construction paper candle-crowns just like the little girl in the story—without the help (much to their disappointment) of a crotchety stowaway tomten. Hanna’s Christmas is the story of a girl whose family moves from Sweden to America right before the holidays. The intensity of her homesickness is surpassed only by that of a tomten who inadvertantly stows away in a packing crate and, in his indignation and misery, causes no end of mischief in the new house (for which Hanna gets blamed, of course). The St. Lucy day tradition becomes the catalyst to a new outlook for both reluctant immigrants. This is one of my kids’ favorite Christmas books. Not that they’re biased or anything….(she says mysteriously).
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