Winter Solstice is Back

This time of year, I ponder on many things – obviously Christmas and New Year, which remind me that I’ve been on earth yet another year. In general, that’s a good thing. I also think about our grandchildren, who are now adults. The lovely Elise turns 22 tomorrow – on the 22nd. And Dale recently turned 24. How did those years go by so quickly? I read an article recently that dealt with the topic of the years going more quickly as you get older. The suggestion was to learn something new, take on challenging things, and never let yourself get into a rut. Covid – and now the flu – seems to have made that more difficult.

But, the other thing I think about is the Winter Solstice, which played a huge part in my early life. Attending a historic church in Philadelphia, with deep Swedish roots, led to my participation in the annual Lucia Fest. I was a Lucia attendant for years, wearing a little white nightgown and a crown of greenery. Our procession followed the Tomptegubbers (little kids dressed in red who symbolized the elves who were and still are ever-present in Nordic societies) and the Star Boys, wearing white robes and carrying golden stars. My first boyfriend was one of those Star Boys. Oh, did I mention that we sang during the procession – in Swedish!

When I turned sixteen, I was chosen to be Lucia. Wearing a crown of seven lighted candles (real candles, not electric ones), I led a procession of the attendants, singing solo in Swedish. I was used to singing (although not often as a soloist), but those candles! It taught all of us who portrayed Lucia most excellent posture. I still remember the words to the songs. We had excellent – and patient – Swedish-Americans who taught us how to sing with correct Swedish pronunciation.

If you’re curious about other Winter Solstice traditions, here’s a link to a good article: 13 Fascinating Winter Solstice Traditions Around the World (msn.com).

My wish for you is a joyous and healthy holiday season – no matter what and how you celebrate. Enjoy life to the fullest. And take hope in the lengthening days. Spring will be here before long.

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