Lucia, the Bringer of Light

On the 13th of December here in the northern Europe we live the darkest time of the year. You can see how tired people are, hardly even remembering what it is like to see the sun.

But on the morning of the 13th December a young maiden appears with a wreath of lingonberry leaves on her head. On the wreath there are seven candles. She literally brings light into the darkness.

The story of St Lucia comes from Sicily, Syracuse from the very beginning of the 4th Century. Lucia was a young woman whose mother was miraculously healed from an illness - and Lucia suggested that her mother should show her thankfullness by giving away her wealth to the poor. Lucia's betrothed wasn't too happy to see her dowry being distributed away and had the local prefect to seize her. Things did not turn out well and Lucia was eventually killed.

Santa Lucia was celebrated in Lucia with a candlelight festival and it is possible that sailors brought this tradition up north - where light is very much needed in winter time.

Different locations choose their own Lucia maiden. These light bearers go around their towns and cities, visiting old people's homes, kindergartens and work places, spreading the message of love and giving.

This tradition made me think about the light of a candle. If you lit one small candle into the darkness, it is possible to see it miles away. That one dot of light really pierces the darkness.

In a way we are candles too. We all know people who always have an encouraging word, a smile, something positive to say or do for others. They give out of the joy of giving. They have understood we are all here for each other. Their personalities shine like that light of a candle in darkness.

A negative person is like wind who tries to extinguish those candles. Negativity wants company - and so a negative person constantly complains of everything in an effort to make others see their "reality" and make others think like they do.

All too often we have been taught to be negative by our own family. We are told not to expect good things so that life won't disappoint us. This is considered to be a "realistic outlook on life". What a horrible attitude towards life!

Attitude really is ever important in making us feel good or bad. Do you choose to concentrate on the negative things around you? Well, there sure are plenty such things to choose form, so it is easy. Or do you choose to pick the positive things around you? Surprise surprise! There are plenty of those around you too! You just need to start looking for them.

This morning I walked to work in this total darkness. I could have chosen to concentrate on the depressing darkness, the rain, being tired… But I chose to give a positive talk to myself. I went through all the positive things that had happened so far that morning. I'll give you examples: the comfortable bed. Running water - hot shower, of that was wonderful! Good coffee to wake me up - mmm, the smell was heavenly. Christmas lights in the windows like little stars. The new carpet we got - it is so soft and lovely under bare feet. My umbrella that has a see-through window in it so I can hold it towards the wind and still see where I am going. My warm winter coat and good winter shoes. My job - I am grateful for it! The knowledge that friends will be coming over tomorrow brings joy.

Actually time ran out. I have a 15 minute walk to work (one of the good things I listed - no need to drive anywhere in morning rush hour) and I arrived in a good mood without even having run through the whole list. It almost made me smile to listen to the "normal" complaining by my co-workers about the morning, the darkness, the idiots in the traffic… Well - their choice if they wish to be in a bad mood!

So which one do you choose to be? One who complains about everything - or one who concentrates on the blessings of life? That candle in the darkness that will light others candles too that have been extinguished by the wind of negativity.

It's up to you.

I wish you all Joyful Holidays!

Leena :)

P.S. I have started a new website - if you are searching for free downloadable coloring pages, check Online Coloring Books - I have drawn all the pictures myself, so you will not find them anywhere else.

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Leena Pekkalainen is a writer who specializes in inspirational short stories that uplift the reader. You will find her stories and positive attitude tips at

This article about Lucia was first published in Inspirational Short Stories newsletter.

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