Never Miss a Beat

Celebrating a Santa Lucia Christmas with Wish Cookies

Hope, like the gleaming taper’s light, Adorns and cheers our way, And still as darker grows the night, Emits a brighter ray. ~Oliver Goldsmith~ 


Photo by Claudia Grunder

Every December 13th, we continue a long family tradition of celebrating St. Lucia. My parents were from Sweden and they brought this tradition along with them. In the darkest hours of the morning, a young girl with a wreath of candles on her head brings hope, warmth, and light to the darkest, coldest time of the year.

Also on this special December day, this procession is played out in homes, schools, and businesses all over Sweden. Though Santa Lucia Day is thought of as a “Swedish” holiday, it must be noted that all of Scandinavia celebrates St. Lucy’s Day as well as many people of Scandinavian descent all over the world. It is a time for us to join together in a joyful celebration of song and food during the darkest time of the year.

For those of us who celebrate St. Lucia, it is usually a celebration with two parts. There is one celebration at home with family and friends and the one at school or in the Swedish community. For us, nothing signifies that the holidays are here better than the celebration of St. Lucia. Swedes and those with Swedish ancestry, embrace the darkest time of year with candlelight, song, and the most wonderful food!

Ginger Cookies (The “Wish” Cookie)

Wishing Cookies Ingredients 7 oz. brown sugar

7 oz. white sugar

7 oz. dark corn syrup

¾ cup water 10 oz. butter

2 tbs ground cinnamon 2 tbs ground ginger

2 tbs ground cloves

1 tbs baking soda 2−2¼ lb. flour



To make gingersnaps, heat the brown sugar, white sugar, corn syrup, and water in a pot.

Add the butter and let it melt. Stir and let cool slightly, then blend in the spices and baking soda. Then mix in the flour to a smooth consistency.

Sprinkle a little flour on top and put the dough out to cool, preferably overnight. Take the dough and knead it smoothly on a baking table, adding more flour if desired.

Roll it thin and cut into shapes, using the desired cookie cutters. Bake in the oven (180°C/350°F) for 8–10 minutes. Let the gingersnaps cool on the baking sheet.

Would you like to make a wish? Take a cookie in the palm of your hand. Make a wish. Tap the cookie three times and on the third tap break the cookie. If it breaks into three pieces then your wish will come true if it breaks into more or fewer pieces you need to try again.

My eldest daughter doesn’t eat the cookies after she makes her wish, she just leaves the carnage for us to eat! Not that we mind that or anything.

May your wishes come true. Just keep wishing!


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