Most of us have heard of St. Lucy, but what about her companion “star boys” who are also part of a proper Scandinavian Santa Lucia feast? Parade like star boys and play this game of balance with your children to have fun celebrating the feast of St. Lucy.
by Heidi Indahl
Parades of girls in white robes and candle wreaths and accompanying star boys in pointed hats decorated with stars are commonplace in traditional celebrations of St. Lucy. But here’s a different game to add to your Dec. 13 festivities recognizing this patron saint of sight.
Walking the line is a motor activity in the Montessori early childhood classroom, requiring careful, controlled movements. Students are encouraged to walk softly carrying a tiny bell without making a sound. For St. Lucy’s day, we added our own twist by focusing on items of service and by adding an appropriate simple construction paper hat for each role.
How to Do It
- If your family is not too familiar with St. Lucy, take a chance to share a children’s picture book (if you have one) or review the information from the websites above together.
- Make construction paper crowns with candles for the girls and blue hats with stars for the boys. There are no right or wrong ways to do this, so be creative.
- Mark a line on the floor using painters tape (or use an existing line on a rug).
- Show your child how to walk slowly and carefully without making a sound. Practice walking heel to toe or even on tiptoe, standing tall.
- Add challenges such as carrying an empty tray, a tray with an empty glass, a tray with a full glass, and (as an added bonus) a tray with a small votive candle. Can your child carry their glass without spilling? Or without blowing out their flame? Can you?
Why Do It
- Honor and learn about a popular saint, well loved by Catholics and Protestants alike.
- Service and hospitality are rich components of our Catholic faith.
- All this practice carrying precious items carefully is excellent preparation for future duties as an altar server.
Wrap it Up
As with many of our saints, tradition surrounding St. Lucy’s celebration represents a mix of legend and fact. One thing we know for sure about St. Lucy, however, is that she was deemed worthy of inclusion in the Eucharistic prayers — challenge your child to listen for her name the next time you are at Mass! Depending on the rite and the prayers used each week you may not hear her every time, so listen carefully. (Hint: You’ll hear Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy … so I cue myself to remind my daughter to listen right when I hear Felicity.)