Lucia Morning in Belleville

Today is one of my favorite days in Advent…St. Lucia Day! We were up bright and early, and the girls donned their crowns and handed out our breakfast of lussekattes, one of my favorite things to bake at this time of year!

A Markel Family Santa Lucia Day

Santa Lucia Day is one of my favorite holidays! I love planning and preparing, especially when it comes to making the Lussekattes and setting up the night before:

The girls all still love dressing up, and while it may not be traditional, they all dress as Santa Lucia. This was the fifth year using the crowns I made for them!

We even had a Swedish dinner! I’m so glad St. Louis has an IKEA now, because it made planning our meal so much easier. We had Swedish meatballs with gravy, egg noodles, lingonberry juice, and for dessert, Swedish sandwich cookies, plus Dala Horse and Sour Viking candies:

We also read our favorite Santa Lucia stories today. It’s such a lovely holiday in the lead-up to Christmas, and one I look forward to all year long!

The IKEA Swedish Julbord

We had so much fun learning about Santa Lucia Day and Christmas in Sweden last week that I didn’t want it to end. Lucky for me, IKEA hosts a Swedish Julbord in their restaurant every year, and even luckier, we managed to get tickets even though we got there less than 30 minutes before the event began!

As soon as I saw Santa Lucia, the Lucia brides, and the lovely decorations, I knew it was going to be a special event.

And the food! There were so many options…thick-cut ham, Swedish meatballs, lingonberry sauce, gravlax with mustard sauce, pickled herring with a sour cream sauce, deviled eggs topped with shrimp, poached salmon under cucumbers, Swedish cucumber salad, red beet salad, sautéed red cabbage with apples, boiled potatoes, Swedish potato salad, Jansson’s Temptation, Swedish cheeses, fresh fruit, bread (including crisp, thin, and soft), hot Glögg, and lots of desserts, including apple cake and spiced ginger cookies.

I tried as many new-to-me foods as possible, and it was all good. Some things I loved, and some I enjoyed even if I wouldn’t seek them out intentionally on their own, but it was all quite tasty.

I don’t know if this is something we’ll try to make a part of our annual Christmas traditions, or if it was something fun to do just once, but I’m really glad we got to go, try some new foods, and celebrate Christmas in a fun and different way!

Lucia Morning in Belleville

I’m always excited when Santa Lucia Day comes around. I had everything ready to go last night:

The girls were very excited to dress up and serve breakfast this morning…Chickadee got to carry the lussekattes for the first time, and she did a great job!

Happy Santa Lucia Day!

Lucia Morning

Santa Lucia Day has become one of my favorite days of the year. The lussekattes are such a special treat that I literally only make once a year, and the unmistakable smell of cardamom and orange zest makes it very clear exactly what day it is! The girls’ enthusiasm for helping out always warms my heart, as does the fact that the boys are still willing to play the part of the Star Boys. And I look forward to reading our Santa Lucia stories every year, as well. It’s just another highlight of the Advent season in the Markel house!

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Lucia Morning

We had a very fun Lucia Morning!

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Since Bunny is charge of the coffee, she let Ladybug take care of the lussekattes this year. Chickadee enjoyed playing with my American Girl doll.

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Ryan says the lussekattes turn out better every year…I don’t know if he’s right, but I know they taste almost as good as they smell…and I love the way they smell!

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Happy Santa Lucia Day!

Ready for Lucia Morning

December 13th is one of the days I most look forward to during Advent, because it’s Santa Lucia Day. I may not be Scandinavian, but I still enjoy the celebration, and I enjoy it even more now that my daughters get so excited about it!

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We’re ready to commemorate Lucia tomorrow!