Christmas costuming

I spent a good deal of this evening trying to figure out how to make a wreath with candles a la Saint Lucia. Yes, I’ve reached that parenting milestone–the elementary school holiday play.

The Bee’s class is doing a production of “Winter Holidays from Around the World,” and she’s playing the Swedish kid at Christmas.

White robe-like garment?  check

Red sash? check

Tray of buns and coffee to deliver to her parents? check (hey, maybe there’s something to this whole tradition!)

But how on earth do the Swedes (who actually use lighted candles–we don’t have to go that far) get the candles to balance without toppling over?

I’m curious, if there are any Swedish readers out there, how this works. I’m also assuming that you don’t use twist ties and paper clips for your children.


December 17, 2007. thoughtful parenting.


  1. Carrie replied:

    If you really need help with this, you should go over to I’m sure they can help you out. It’s a community of Americans living in Sweden (with lots of Swedes thrown in). Personally? I would never want my daughter to be Lucia (even though it is a HUGE honor over there and the town Lucia is selected through a beauty pagent like process) because the candles in the hair scare the crap out of me! The first time I saw Lucia procession the Lucia had a whole bunch of wax dripped all in her hair and down her back.

    Actually, I think they probably buy a Lucia crown so they probably wouldn’t know how to make one themselves.

  2. kachunk.sharon replied:

    The paper and no flame variety:

    The edible (candle won’t topple over) variety:

    Nowadays, most people just buy the plastic crown with battery-operated lights.

  3. Jody replied:

    or, if you want to enjoy a little holding-your-breath during the proceedings,

  4. Ally replied:

    Hey, American mom to Swedish kids here. You could use construction paper and make it look like a wreath of candles. My son’s kindergarten class did that.

  5. Tammy replied:

    This seems like something IKEA should sell. I don’t know if you’d find it in the kids’ section or the lighting section, though…

  6. chichimama replied:

    I don’t have a clue. But am recoiling in horror upon the realization that I will need to costume a child for a school play in a few years…

    Best of luck to you…

  7. landismom replied:

    Wow, thanks everyone! Lots of great suggestions–and a special shout out to Carrie for cross-posting this on LiveJournal. This is really helpful.

  8. Library Lady replied:

    My non-Swedish daughters, who are dedicated fans of Ikea and Santa Lucia, had better watch out. I may order those battery operated wreaths from one of Jody’s links and make them wear them next December 13th!

  9. jen replied:

    We love Lucia at our house! This comes down from my husband’s side and so was all new to me. But we got the electric candles and crown from the Swedish Museum in Chicago, and we also attend the Chicago Lucia festival, which is at a church in the Andersonville neighborhood.

    What I like about this most is that it breaks up December. We don’t even put up our tree until after Lucia. But I think in a house that contained sons it might be a little harder; traditionally the girls trade off year over year on who gets to be Lucia, but the boys are always relegated to starboy. (Significantly less fun.)

  10. JR replied:

    I’ve done Lucia since I was a little girl. In fact I kinda miss it now that I’m grown. Yes Real candles are the best! However I didn’t get to wear the crown until I was old enough to manage that. Also a tin foil liner is a MUST. Some wax will still get in your hair but you really don’t want it to burn your scalp. A caution against the battery operated crowns: They are wicked heavy : ( some require a C battery for each candle! Look far varieties that have a single battery pack. Also they tend not to shine very bright so not great to wander into someones room with a tray of coffee and buns without at least some candlelight (starboys or attendants can always carry a candle) I still remember when I was about 12 and we walked into my aunt’s room mates’ room. With me as Lucia and my lil sis and 2 aunts as attendants all in white and aglow with candles he thought we were angels. And started to laugh when we offered him coffee!

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