Celebrate St. Lucy Day and Scandinavian Crafts.

Santa Lucia oct09

image and Lucy Doll by Alkelda

Lucy Day - the celebration of St. Lucia - is almost here and preparations are in full force in Norway, Sweden and Denmark because Lucy Day is the beginning of the Christmas holidays which will last for many in Scandinavian countries until January 20th - St. Knut's Day!

Hanna (iHanna'sBlog) shares a little more about St. Lucy here!

So to make sure you can share in the celebrations - Scandinavian style - I have put together this link post in hopes of getting you in the spirit!

And we will start with St. Lucy!

The St. Lucy doll above is just one of many dolls made by the amazing Alkelda. Be sure to visit her flickr page and her blog Saints and Spinners for more!


And don't miss this sweet, sweet little felted St. Lucy I just found this morning on Pickled Herring.

Posie Gets Cozy makes wonderful ornaments which include these little Lucy dolls which are so easy to make using her excellent tutorial.

Make an adorable Santa Lucia Crown and hat for your children to wear. I found it on Kiddley and it was submitted by Little Birdie Handmade.

Download a Santa Lucia paper Doll complete with two outfits - and of course - a crown!

Here is a Lucy to color!

Lucia morning

And don't forget there are special foods to make and eat on St. Lucy Day. Sasha at Squashed Tomatoes shares three of them: Glogg, Gingerbread Cookies and Lucy Buns.

And I see that a few Scandinavian recipes have appeared on my Holiday Cookie Swap!


Med Saks Og Papir by Gunvor Ask & Harriet Ask. A gift from Margit

Since Lucy Day opens the Christmas festivities, I thought I might share some additional ways to include beautiful Scandinavian traditions in your holiday celebrations.

Beautiful, intricate paper ornaments have evolved from the need to create lovely tree decorations with very little money. Read a little more in my friend Margit's own words.

"I think there is something special about Christmas ornaments from Scandinavia. The Christmas tree spread rather fast, even people without money wanted one.

In the western part of the peninsula, they were very poor, and there were very few trees, they had a Christmas tree made of kale, they had kale in the garden. They decorated with ornaments made from paper scraps, and on the third day of Christmas they ate the tree. In this way poor people made their Christmas with what they could get for free (The kale tree was only common in the west) paperbags from the grocery cut up and glued together with glue made from flour, they had to be creative, they decorated with cakes and candies too, that was the Christmas gifts for the children.

The not so poor families were not so wealthy too, Denmark was a poor country in 1800-1900, the same in Sweden and Norway, maybe they bought some glassballs, but they made a lot themselves, and I think they had a lot of fun.

Another thing is that an author wrote some poems about christmas for children collected in a little book, the name is Peters Christmas. This book is known by every body here in Denmark. It has a description of the christmas tree, and I think that it is how we all wanted it to be when we were children.

During World war two with difficulties with getting almost everything, I think that paper decorations, made from all in the families collected around the dinnertable, had a renaissance. In my childhood I remember some big card stock  sheets with cones and baskets in bright colours. I loved them, you may have figured out, that it is the inspiration for my christmas ornaments." petersjul4


Margit mentioned a story - "Peter's Jul", a much loved Christmas Story in Denmark, first published in 1866. She sent me several pictures she found on the internet depicting the original illustrations. This one above is one of my favorites.



I loved the illustrations and story and my sweetie found me a more recent version on line, published in Denmark in 1974! The illustrations are by Hugh F. Poole. A wonderful story to add to your child's library. So worth the search.


The minute I received Margit's paper cut ornament book, (which by the way was published in 1968), Diane and I immediately set a play date. Above - my very first Danish cut paper ornament!


Diane, of course, selected one of the more difficult ornaments, and since  this book is written in Danish, it took some trial and much error to figure out the secrets! Fortunately, it is beautifully illustrated so with some patience and perserverence...


success! Of course now she has her sights set on that intricate wreath you see on the cover of the book!

As I have mentioned may times before, Margit shares beautiful downloadable ornaments on her blog papirklip og aesker. Download a few, cut them out and put them together - a wonderful way to bring a little Danish tradition into your holidays.

Woven heartthreestrip

And don't forget to make Danish Woven Heart baskets!


Every tree needs at least one Dala Horse!

Butterfly Jungle makes a very unique Dala and give us some excellent background information

Panenka created this beautiful quilted Dala and shares more history.

Here is a beautiful Dala horse to color!

Felted Dala Horse and wool fabric Dala Horse.


My very first straw goat or Gavle Goat or Julbock! But this one will not be burned!

And look at this from Acorn Pies! A great How-to for making a Reindeer out of grasses (but you could also use straw!) Perhaps I can figure out how to make it into a goat!


And don't forget the Jolasveinarnir or Yuletide Lads are on their way out of the mountains and will begin arriving on December 12th. This is the third year I am following the arrival of these amazing Icelandic folklore creatures. Enjoy wandering the site a bit while you are welcoming the Yuletide Lads, and if you haven't yet taken the time to enjoy an Icelandic Advent Calendar, visit now!

And check out this fantastic little Julenisse featured on My Little Norway. And grab a cup of cocoa - excuse me - glogg - and explore this site!  You won't want to miss it.

Margit shares a sweet story about an heirloom nisse who has had a special place on her trees and in her memories for many, many years.

Read a little more about nisse and then make your own out of felt!


I invite anyone who has posted a tutorial for making Scandinavian inspired crafts to place a link in comments so everyone can enjoy. But take note, commercial sites will not be posted.

There is nothing more to say except Happy St. Lucy Day Everyone!

Beautiful Christmas crafts. I

Beautiful Christmas crafts. I just love the books by Gunvor Ask.

Here in Sweden we celebrate Sankta Lucia in schools, kindergardens, churches, supermarkets, old people's home on Dec 13:th. One girl dresses up like the saint and the other girls wear glitter garlands in their hair. Some boys wear paper cones with gold stars on their heads. They are called stjärngossar (star boys) and some boys are dressed as nissar. They all sing christmas carols and share some light in the dark winter. It's a beautiful tradition and every girls dream to be Lucia.

I'm happy to see that you like Scandinavia! We have a lot of traditional christmas crafts here.


Dala horses and scandinavian

Dala horses and scandinavian crafts? Count me in!!! I needed something quirky as a last minute ornament, I think I will get my felt out and try a little horse. You made me happy!

I love your post. I try to

I love your post. I try to incorporate my Danish heritage into our Christmas celebration every year. I make the woven heart baskets but don't think I'd have the patience to make Danish cut ornaments.

Pam, this is truly amazing.

Pam, this is truly amazing. I love every bit of it. I have always loved Scandinavian foods and crafts, as you know, and it just tickles me every time I visit your site and see more things I have to learn. Thank you thank you thank you, and THANKS to all your sources of reference!

Now, it's off to read and print and learn and memorize and then have some glog. blog glog. brog grogg.... ?

something warm and yummy to drink!

That book looks amazing. I

That book looks amazing. I must go and find it. I have a secret weapon for me when I craft with it though. My Dad can read the Danish instructions for me! YAY! Such great info!


Dear Pam As always your posts

Dear Pam

As always your posts are amazing. As you suggested I am trying to start my own blog. As promised I already put there the photos of the Creche, I am not a good photographer but I did my best.
Wishing you a Peacefull Christmas

Thanks for the link Pam!

Thanks for the link Pam! You've found so many good things to share, and loooots of great links to keep us entertained! It is obvious this is YOUR time of the year! :-)

Happy December!

Oh my goodness - what a

Oh my goodness - what a fantastic post! I love it! And you've really done gour homework - well done!

Hallo! Probably it's not

Probably it's not known that St. Lucy day is an important festivity for some parts of Italy (mostly in the north), too.
We have different traditions from scandinavians, but beautiful the same. For me (and others) this is the most important festivity of the year.
I spent the weekend through fairs, candies, hot chocolate with friends and purchasing gifts for little friends. The traditions says that St. Lucy comes in every home with her donkey to leave some gifts, the night between 12nd and 13rd.

I appreicate your comment so

I appreicate your comment so much Silvia.  I have focused on the Scandinavian celebration in this post, that is true.  I covered more about the history and the story in my 2008 post  about Santa Lucia including her origins in Italy. 

I have found it difficult to find information on the internet about the celebration of St. Lucia in Italy -  also  Christmas.  So any help with these you would be willing to give me would be so appreciated.

Even though my google reader tells me I have many, many readers in Italy - actually third after USA and Canada, I have yet to "meet" anyone from your beautiful country.

I welcome anyone from Italy (or Scandinavia for that matter) who has posted about their St. Lucia celebrations on their blog to share a link here in comments for others to enjoy.

I love this... You found some

I love this... You found some much wonderful information for almost forgotten traditions. Well maybe not forgotten but certainly not translated. Amazing Thank You.

Yay, I'm so excited about all

Yay, I'm so excited about all your finds! :) I can't wait to make some of these crafts.

Wow, so much information here

Wow, so much information here and beautiful crafts too. Can you see me green with envy over your book? I'm even more green about your crafting date with Diane, I'd love to be round the table with both of you crafting and trying to decipher Danish instructions ;)

I can point out one link to Nest Full of Eggs very pretty St Lucia inspired table decoration here http://nestfullofeggs.blogspot.com/2010/12/st-lucia-crownwreath-centerpi...

Rachel also made a St Lucia knitted crown in her previous post.

What a wonderful, information and link filled post Pam, you're amazing!

Aweome post, Pam! I'm certail

Aweome post, Pam! I'm certail learning a lot about diffrent tradiions from around the world at Christmas. Some of these crafts are familiar and some are not.

The holidays at your house must be a lot of fun!

Thanks for sharing all theses wonderful projects with us :)

This is a wonderful and

This is a wonderful and beautiful post. I visited Norway in July-August. Thank you so much.

God Jul.