At the weekly Home Ec class I teach to this group of homeschool girls, the focus was on St. Lucia and the yearly celebration on December 13th (St. Lucia Day).
Read "Hannah's Christmas" which the girls enjoyed. Had a variety of handouts that they could color at home related to Sweden, St. Lucia, St. Lucia's Day, holiday decorations in Sweden (ones made of straw), and three-pronged candles (to represent the Wise Men).
Made Lucia buns and Swedish hard tack prior to class so the girls could taste some Swedish treats. They also tasted Anna's Ginger Thins, Polka Mints (VERY good and strong peppermint candies), and Swedish fish.
They learned about cardamom and saffron, the part of the flower that saffron comes from, and tasted cardamom which was used instead of saffron in the recipes.
Sophia is dressed up as St. Lucia in this picture, Olivia is Star Boy (with her crown falling off...her head is a bit too small for the crown). Two of the girls are holding books that relate to St. Lucia Day, and the other is holding a straw decoration that was from Gammelgarden (an historic Swedish site in Scandia, Minnesota).
On December 6th, the local church in Scandia held a St. Lucia tea party which the girls and I attended. They had a fun time seeing St. Lucia, listening to a violin/guitar duo, and sampling Swedish treats.
Afterwards, we visited Gammelgarden to see their holiday display. The lobby was decorated with gnomes of all sizes. It was quite festive.
For more pictures from St. Lucia preparations, St. Lucia tea party, or Gammelgarden, please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/picturesbyann