I am fortunate to have several dear friends who are Swedish and who have introduced me to the many beautiful Christmas traditions they have in Sweden. My favorite is the St. Lucy ceremony which I have attended at the Swedish church here in NYC. It features a procession of girls dressed in white with red sashes led by a girl in a crown of candles and lingonberry branches. As I understand it the story is that St. Lucy used to bring food to the Christians hiding in the catacombs of Rome and would wear candles on her head to light her way and leave her hands free to carry the food. This whole idea of bringing light into the darkness is so inspiring and so I borrowed some of the ideas for this year's Christmas portrait. A peaceful bear bringing light and hope to a dark world. Merry Christmas everyone and wishing you peace in the new year.