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Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Santa Lucia Day is celebrated on December 13 through Scandinavia and also parts of Italy, eastern Europe, and the United States and Canada.

This celebration is closely tied to the Winter Solstice, and in the old Julian calendar would have fallen on the Solstice.  When the Gregorian calendar was adopted it corrected an eight day error in the Julian calendar which placed the solstice later in the month. The celebration of Saint Lucy's day however, stayed on December 13.

On this day young girls don wreaths of light to foreshadow the return of the light on the Solstice, but more importantly, to foreshadow the coming of the light of Christ's birth on Christmas. Current celebrations include food and song, as Lucia, attended by maidens and star-boys, illuminates the space with new light.

Santa Lucia day is celebrated each year at the American Swedish Institute here in Minneapolis as depicted in these photos.

***Do you celebrate Santa Lucia day in your area?


The Holidays are always such a busy and hectic time of year, and with all of the possible parties and events to pick from, it's sometimes difficult to choose which ones to attend. One event that I always attend is the Christmas gathering at 300 Clifton.

A wonderful buffet curry dinner was served . . .

. . . Followed by an array of sweet treats!

Carolers serenaded us throughout the evening.

300 Clifton is a restored Georgian mansion here in Minneapolis, that is now a Bed & Breakfast. The mansion is located in the Loring Park area of Minneapolis, which was once home to the city's wealthier residents. Over the years though, many of the beautiful mansions were destroyed in the name of progress, as interstates, high-rise apartments, and other "improvements" were added to the area. As a result, only a handful of these beautiful homes remain, and many of them are now converted to businesses.

Pretty in pink.

While 300 Clifton, has had it share of conversions in it's lifetime - it was used a business space, and divided up into apartments to name a few, it has now been restored and given new life. The restoration is ongoing however, and this past year the expansive side porch was returned to the structure, and the carriage house underwent an incredible renovation.

Cliff found a cozy place to warm up.

This lovely Victorian mansion . . . 

. . . Was converted to this stately Georgian home.

The original mansion was built in 1887 in the Victorian Queen Anne style by C. M. Douglas, who owned a coal delivery business in Minneapolis. Within a few years, the mansion was sold in 1890 to businessman and banker, Harvey Brown. Brown lived in the home until his death in 1904.

It was at this time, in 1905, that Eugene and Merrette Carpenter purchased the home. Carpenter, who owned  the Carpenter-Lamb Lumber Co. in Minneapolis, and his wife decided the Victorian mansion was outdated, so they began a massive renovation project converting the Victorian home into a more fashionable Georgian mansion. The extensive renovation was completed in record time, and the family moved into the house in September, 1906 (10 months after the purchase).

Even the carriage house was festive.

Today, the mansion once again shines in a way that echoes it's wonderful beginnings, and is one of my favorite homes in the city. I attend several events that are held at the mansion, but the Christmas gathering is definitely my favorite. The annual event is a fundraiser for Citizens For A Loring Park Community,  and is a wonderful gathering of neighbors, supporters, and friends. If you have a chance please visit 300 Clifton, or better yet, book a stay in this beautifully restored Bed & Breakfast.

***What are some of the great Bed & Breakfast destinations
      are  in your area