(You thought I was going to say Christmas, didn’t you? Well, what kind of writer would I be if I wrote what was expected?)
I spent a year in Sweden when I was sixteen, and so much of that country’s people and traditions have stayed with me:
-How shy everyone was.
-How when kids heard me speak English on the bus, I would hear things like “Yippeekaiyay Motherf*ck*er” and “Hasta La Vista, Baby”—not exactly English, but definitely from American movies.
-How I wasn’t allowed to help other kids my age pronounce English in my English class at school—they were learning British English, not the “wrong” American English.
-How children dressed up as witches and old ladies at Easter so the witches that came out that time of year couldn’t take them away to grind their bones into powers for the next year. (More about that here.)
-How on December 13th, girls and boys dressed up to be in the processional through town to celebrate Santa Lucia. (More about that here.)
Santa Lucia was one of my favorite traditions--the music! the food!--and I still celebrate it two decades later. Now that I live in New England, I go each December to the SWEA Boston Santa Lucia and inhale Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce, Princess Cake and pepparkakor.
It’s not too surprising, then, that I have a whole section in my holiday book, His Favorite Inconvenience, dedicated to a plot twist involving Santa Lucia. It takes place at The Venetian in Vegas along its indoor canals with a 16-year-old Santa Lucia who’s a bit of a jerk.
I love this holiday so much, in fact, that I made sure my newest book, His Favorite Distraction, is coming out that day!
Here’s hoping you have a great Santa Lucia this Saturday. And if you’re in the need of food and song, here are a couple to get you in the mood:
Santa Lucia Saffron Buns
Santa Lucia Song
The “Santa Lucia Book”
The Book Coming out on Santa Lucia 2014:
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