In this region of Italy the children don’t believe in Santa Claus. Instead they have Santa Lucia who comes on December 13th. She was a very pretty woman who wanted to devote herself to God. A young man wanted to marry her but she declined his proposal, choosing to become a nun instead. He was so angry that he made her blind. Now she brings gifts to the innocent children. The problem however, is that she’s afraid to be seen, and according to legend , if a child sees her she will make them blind. Santa Lucia announces her arrival by ringing a bell.
This year I got to help my host parents pretend to be Santa Lucia. My job was to start ringing the bell around the apartment to make sure my host siblings and the other children in the apartment building would hear it. It was a lot of fun and I could hear the children as they scrambled to hide and then the silence as they patiently waited for Santa Lucia to leave them gifts.
Isabella, YE 2018-2019