Lucia procession in Sweden, photo by Fredrik Magnusson, Wikipedia Commons
It was pitch dark and way too early in the morning. We were bleary eyed and tired. It was eleven days until Christmas, and our family of six were all out and about, on different icy roads, braving different snowdrifts, carrying different offerings to the community declared idea of “let’s have some Christmas fun”.
My husband and our 10-year-old daughter had been downtown for an hour and a half already. Practicing for the 7.00 AM Lucia concert with her class. It is one of the most beautiful celebrations, in an 850 years old stone church, always with the eminent choir Cantus. Afterwards they would be having breakfast together and parents were invited. Nothing fancy, just bring some Lucia saffron buns. It would have been so fun to be with them.
Our oldest daughter was in school already, practicing for the 8.00AM Lucia procession. Her class was given the special honor of visiting all the other classes. Parents were invited, nothing fancy, just bring some coffee and Lucia safrron buns. They were going to be beautiful, it would be so much fun to be with them.
Our youngest was happily jumping in front of me and his older brother on the road to his kindergarten. Actually it was his day off, but would it not be fun to have everybody with their parents in for a 7.00AM Lucia celebration? Nothing fancy, just bring some Lucia saffron buns. He was adorable, four years old, with tinsel in his hair, a white Lucia gown, and joyfully singing about the Sweet Lucia and the dark winter night. It was so fun to be with him.
It could not last though. Soon we had to excuse ourselves and retreat through the snow to our 7 years old’s school. He was in his first year and all parents were invited to share Lucia breakfast with them at 7.30AM, so that we could eat before the procession came. Nothing fancy, just, you know.
We balanced ourselves and our baskets with coffee and Lucia goodies into his classroom just a little bit late. They were all so excited about showing their parents what they had been doing for Christmas, and hiding what should still be kept a secret. Everyone was eating, having coffee, visiting, then a hush: wasn’t that singing in the schoolyard? The kids ran to the windows and watched eagerly on the procession of white-clad almost teenagers with lights in their hair, traversing the yard and entering the lower school building. The small ones rushed back to their tables with shining eyes just as the first of the older ones opened the door. In they came, filling the small world with light, song and hope. I smiled to our oldest in the procession, who waved with her hand knee-high so that nobody should see it. As they stopped in front of the classroom and sang another song, my husband and other daughter crept in on the bench beside me. We were all together, and it was so much fun.
When I tell this story, 16 years later, it WAS fun. As it happened it was just hectic, or as my mother used to say “the day did not add up.” Too many obligations, too much running here and there, too many well-meaning people arranging things for us to experience Christmas cheer. We did make it, between us we were four places at once. In a way.
I did not look forward to the next school season of Celebration. Until we got the invitation. One event, all children, all parents, same day, in the afternoon! Someone had been thinking, and it was GREAT fun.
Pictures today are not mine, they are from Wikimedia Commons and Youtube, these events took place before digital cameras! By the way, I do not think I had time to taking pictures!
Believe me, I know better than most how frantic and exhausting it is possible to make the season of peace and goodwill. The main story on Indexyourlife in December will be my way to a Christmas free of tangles.
In December my brother and I write an advent calendar blog together in norwegian.You may visit at JULEFRYD or Christmas Joy. This year we will be writing or sharing thoughts and joys of gifts, giving and sharing. We will post there every day, and I will share some of that blog here on indexyourlife too.
All pictures at Indexyourlife are mine, if not otherwise stated.