Thursday, January 9, 2014

Learning about: Santa Lucia Day part 1

For the month of December we learned about Sweden. Because there is almost no country more connected to Christmas in my head more than Sweden. Well, maybe Finland.

Santa Lucia display
We started off the month by visiting the Nordic Heritage Museum for their Christmas story time and craft. Then we wandered around and admired all the little touches of Christmas they had added to their displays. This Santa Lucia scene is always there, but Moira had apparently never noticed it before.
Christmas in finland!
They did add the Christmas stuff to this "family life" scene in the Finland section.
After we had looked at a few things, and Davis was starting to get cranky, we swung by the gift shop where I spent way too much on Swedish things. They didn't have the paper flags I was looking for, but we got some sticker dolls, and lingonberry jam and a little toy for each of the kids.

Santa Lucia
That weekend we went to the Santa Lucia Fest at the Sweidsh Club. It was awfully like a church service during the performance, so the kids got a little squirrely, but there was a giant dancing gingerbread cookie, so that was amusing. After the performance (which was lovely) there were snacks and then dancing around the tree. Moira and Mikko had great fun just running in circles, but Lauren danced with me.

Lucia buns
My main reason for picking Sweden is actually for the potential future where I will get breakfast in bed once more per year. Obviously that wasn't going to happen this year, especially since Santa Lucia Day was on a Friday this year and most of the adults in the house had to get up early to go to work. The kids and I made Lucia Buns following this recipe. Moira had great fun shaping them, and Davis put the currants on. They weren't as good as the ones we had at the Swedish Club, but that's certainly my fault, because I cannot make bread to save my life.
Bringing the light
Since the whole breakfast thing wasn't going to work, our Santa Lucia invited everyone to dinner instead, hand delivering Lucia buns to everyone who was at home. Then for dinner we had a smorgasboard of sandwich fixings, various pickled vegetables, and pepparkakor (well, leftover gingerbread bits from the failed attempt at making our own gingerbread house). Moira enjoyed her responsibilities and tried to convince me to let her wear the crown at least twice a week until our planned party with our homeschool friends.

I'm trying a new thing out. Below is the Goodreads widget with the books we read. Click on "Swedish Kids Books" to see our whole list.

Swedish Kids Books

Per and the Dala Horse
4 of 5 stars
This is a classic youngest son fairy tale. The pictures are gorgeous.
Favorite Fairy Tales Told In Sweden
3 of 5 stars
We only read a couple of these before Moira got bored. I did like that they were short, and what we did read seemed well written.
Kirsten's Surprise
5 of 5 stars
Moira really fell in love with this one, more so than other American Girl books we've checked out. She wanted to replicate Kirsten's Santa Lucia Day as closely as possible, without the potential hypothermia.
Kirsten Saves the Day: A Summer Story
5 of 5 stars
Moira liked the other Kirsten book so much, she's been checking the rest of them out for us to read. This was her second pick, and I really liked that Kirsten is consistently brave and saving other people from danger.
Christmas in Sweden (Christmas Around the World)
4 of 5 stars
This was a decent explanation of what Christmas is like in Sweden for young kids. At least, I think so. Having never been to Sweden, I don't know how accurate it is.

The second post about our Santa Lucia unit is .

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