It was the middle of the hectic Christmas shopping rush at IKEA in Emeryville on Dec. 11 when the Lucia pageant came through the restaurant and part of the store near the entrance.

For Karina Diaz, it was an extra special day as she had the honor of being this year's Lucia at IKEA. Karina has a Scandinavian background, is a long-time member of the Young Scandinavians and has enjoyed the Lucia pageant several times as part of the audience. But, she always thought you had to be part Swedish to participate in the pageant. That's not the case: As long as you want to bring light and joy and can sing in Swedish, you can be a worthy Lucia.


All the traditional Lucia songs were sung among stunned shoppers who paused in silence to listen and enjoy a cup of hot glögg, a gingersnap and saffron bun handed out by IKEA employees.