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Saint Lucia
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Saint Lucia

December 13th is the Church feast day for Saint Lucia. Despite the fact that she was Sicilian, she is one of the few saints celebrated in the overwhelmingly Lutheran Scandinavian countries.

While the feast of St. Lucia has been observed since the Middle Ages, the tradition of processions began in the late 18th century in Sweden. Public processions of women, wearing white robes and carrying a single candle, are popular and often televised. A girl is elected to head the procession, portraying St. Lucia. She also wears a red sash and a crown of candles. The candles symbolize the fire that refused to take St. Lucia's life.

During the Middle Ages, December 13th was the approximate (Julian) date of the winter solstice. According to folklore, a witch, Lussi, emerged with her followers during this longest night. It was thought best to stay indoors and celebrate noisily. Many Scandinavians still observe that tradition.

Inside of card:

Out of darkness, comes light. Out of despair, comes hope.
Out of the holidays, comes the best in us.

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Tomte with Squirrels

Tomte with Squirrels

It is late afternoon on an autumn day. The sun hangs low near the horizon and bathes everything in an eerie orange glow that seems to come from everywhere. The trees have lost their blanket of snow, but a thin smooth sheet still clings to the ground.

Tomtar had a deep affection for all animals and often provided treats for animals around the farm. Here one sits among Scandinavian squirrels, who are greedily devouring the pine nuts he has provided.

The sentiment for the card echoes our own alarm at how quickly the season has arrived.

Itʼs almost Christmas already!
Wishing you the happiest holidays!”

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