This year we were pleased to discover the official Swedish Government internet page which explores everything Swedish, including Swedish traditions and a fun and informative page on Santa Lucia - the bearer of light - a celebration that occurs each year on the 13th of December. The Swedish website
includes an extensive history of how the Santa Lucia tradition came to be, and how Santa Lucia's Day is celebrated in modern Sweden: "Alongside Midsummer, the Lucia celebrations represent one of the foremost cultural traditions in Sweden, with their clear reference to life in the peasant communities of old: darkness and light, cold and warmth.
Lucia is an ancient mythical figure with an abiding role as a bearer of light in the dark Swedish winters. The many Lucia songs all have the same theme:
Santa Lucia's Day is celebrated throughout Europe, but, of course especially in the Scandinavia countries. Inge-Glas of Germany memorializes her in their lovely mouth-blown Christmas ornament
You may also enjoy our Pinterest board on Scandinavia.
In earlier days, My Growing Traditions always carried Swedish Angel Chimes.
In 2009 the Swedish factory shut down. They were unable to turn a profit with Swedish wages. We were all a little bit sad, used to working with the Swedish company - Anderson & Boberg - that had been in business since 1948. We had heard that the entire factory (equipment, designs, etc.) had moved within Europe - from Sweden to Turkey. Production resumed and now we have checked them out. The new "Original Swedish Angel Chimes" are, indeed, the authentic Swedish Angel Chimes - the exact, traditional Swedish quality - from the chimes themselves to the Box art design.
And, we are happy to report that now we have the "Original Swedish Angel Chimes" back in stock. With an Angel playing a horn finial, a decorative turbine, and made of brass plated steel the Chimes stand 12" High and have a diameter of 5". They come with four white candles and we offer Replacement candles - Click here for: Box of 20 4" Replacement candles sold separately in either red or white.
As the heat from the candles rises, the Angels spin and joyfully ring the chimes.
A part of American Christmas traditions for over 50 years.
The tradition of Advent calendars has for many of us become an integral part of Christmas.
Within the Christian Church, Advent is tied to November 30th, the Feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle. Advent begins each year on the Sunday nearest St. Andrew's day and celebrates the anticipation of Christ's birth.
Printed Advent calendars were first produced by Gerhard Lang of Germany in the early 1900s. He was inspired by a calendar drawn by his mother and mounted on cardboard that included 24 pictures - one for each day of December through Christmas Eve. Lang took his mother's calendar one step further, creating the little doors that we know today. Enjoyed by children and adults alike, Advent calendars celebrate the Christmas season, and in a simple and yet magical way help us to focus on the beauty of the wait, a wait that is of course filled with all the wonderful preparations for the holiday.
My Growing Traditions offers a full selection of printed Advent calendars. We add new ones to our selection each year. We have:
Traditional Advent Calendars - where you will find Angels and Elves, Santas, and a 3-D Gingerbread House. Click here to explore our selection
Nativity Advent Calendars - with bible verses revealed underneath their doors. Click here
and wonderful Advent Calendars of European Cities from Brück and Sohn (Printers in Meissen, Germany since 1793). This one, one of many, is of Dresden, home of the first Christmas market in Germany. The first reference to Dresden's Christmas market was in 1434.
The Danish have their own distinct way of capturing the Advent season, with their Advent candles. Everyone enjoys pausing each day to burn down the candle one additional notch as they await the anticipated celebration of Christmas on December 25. We carry three and know you will delight in their use.
You may want to follow our Advent Board on Pinterest for more.
In the 17th century, the Germans created the first lights on a Christmas tree by pinning or tying candles to the tree - using melted wax as an adhesive (much as we, today, use candle wax to affix a candle to a table top candle holder). In 1878 Frederick Artz invented the clip-on candle holder. This wonderful painting, Merry Christmas, by Danish painter Viggo Johansen in 1891 celebrates the Christmas tree alight with candles.
For the first year, My Growing Traditions offers German Pine Cone Candle Holders for you to clip-on to your Christmas Tree. They are available in both silver or gold colored metals