The holiday season has me a little bipolar. On the one hand, I maniacally play Pandora’s Charlie Brown Christmas from Thanksgiving Day to the New Year and giddily envisage a snowy, cozy holiday, but on the other hand, I’m easily overwhelmed by the stuff of it all: the literal stuff that I want and don’t want at the same time; the emotional baggage that the holidays seem to extract; the way my expectations and reality are at odds with one another.
Since I’ve become a mother, I’ve felt the need to create my own holiday traditions with Jared and Lucia. Indeed, we’ve unofficially deemed St. Lucia Day a family holiday. Last year, as barely functioning sleep deprived parents, Jared and I spent the bulk of the day at BuyBuyBaby frantically seeking a mechanism to help Lucia’s reflux. We canned our trip to look at Christmas lights on Candy Cane Lane, but I somehow managed to make krumkake.
This year, I slowed down and relished the day with my family. Jared and I were up before dawn preparing St. Lucia Day bread, the recipe for which we found in this gorgeous book . A mix of flour, butter, sugar, saffron, and raisins, and yeast this bread is both ordinary and extraordinary. There’s something about a yeast bread that forces you to slow down: the bread simply must rise; there is no rushing it.
While the bread rose, Lucia and I spent the morning out and about for errands, her flu shot (oofda), and storytime at the library. By noon, the bread was in the oven.
By 2 PM, Lucia was gleefully digging in after her afternoon nap.
This simple act of making bread made today feel ordinary and special at once. Now, Lucia is tucked into bed in her Christmas pjs, Jared and I are nestled on the couch, the Christmas tree is twinkling, and all feels exactly right.