Does your little girl have a long, white nightgown in her pajama drawer? No? Neither did mine! I had to get a little creative on this one. Let’s look at how I put Emma’s Saint Lucia outfit together with thrifted and Dollar Tree items.
First, we made a crown with Dollar Tree supplies. *Disclaimer* This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links will earn me a small commission. I am careful to only promote products that I personally use and love!
Then, I happened to find this women’s nightgown at Goodwill. It would be shorter on a woman, but it was floor-length on Emma. Score!
This find reminded me, yet again, that I often don’t find what I’m looking for in the store section that I would expect. Most children’s clothing is very contemporary, with a few vintage finds tucked in. It is highly unlikely to find a long, plain, white nightgown with the kid stuff. However, I may find one that could be altered in the women’s section. It’s all about thinking a bit outside the box while I’m shopping!
This nightgown has a tie to shape the waist in the back. (The back hem got a bit dirty during our photo shoot. I need to soak this in OxiClean!) The nightgown has a very wide and low neck, so I had Emma wear one of Elliott’s white dress shirts, underneath, to fill it in. It’s often tricky to find girl’s blouses, so my default is to use boy’s dress shirts, which are relatively common in thrift stores. Elliott often has to wear “girl” items in his historical costume outfits, so it was about time for Emma to take one for the team!
For the sash, I used the last length of Offray, red, 1 1/2 inch-wide grosgrain ribbon that I happened to have on this spool.
I tied the red sash around Emma’s waist. The white robe stands for purity. The red sash stands for martyrdom.
Where would Saint Lucia be without her tray of breakfast? I found the perfect, child-size “silver” tray at the Dollar Tree.
Put it all together!
As a Protestant, I have not spent a lot of time thinking about saints. However, there are many things to learn from Saint Lucia. She was an early Christian who was martyred because she was caught while bringing food to fellow believers in hiding. Her story was revived, in medieval Sweden, when a woman brought food to a neighboring village during a famine. She wore a wreath of candles on her head and came over in a boat, lit with torchlight. Her bravery and kindness reminded people of the old tradition of Saint Lucia. This is how an Italian, Catholic saint came to be celebrated in Scandinavia; Sweden in particular.
Lucia’s enduring message of being a light in the darkness has led to her special day still being celebrated in Sweden, even though it is now a nominally Lutheran nation. For more, this is an excellent article in the Post-Gazette. It includes a more detailed history of the origins of Saint Lucia (*warning* it may be too gory for wee ones), and yet another recipe for Lussekatter. Lucia, Child of Light and Lucia Morning in Sweden are also excellent and interesting sources. The latter is the most entertaining for kids, due to its wonderful illustrations.
So, while I do not pray to, for, or through Saints, learning about Saint Lucia opened a conversation between Emma and Elliott and me about the cost of our beliefs. What, ultimately, is so important to us that we would risk everything? As a Christian, I believe that all fellow believers are saints (with a little “s”). We are called to serve and to love and to be lights pointing the world to Christ. This is what celebrating Saint Lucia represents to me.