The first light of Advent is the light of stone–.
Stones that live in crystals, seashells, and bones.
The second light of Advent is the light of plants–
Plants that reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance.
The third light of Advent is the light of beasts–
All await the birth, from the greatest and in least.
The fourth light of Advent is the light of humankind–
The light of hope that we may learn to love and understand. – attributed to R. Steiner or to an anonymous author
That beautiful season of waiting and anticipation is here, and I love the slowing down and stillness that occurs during Advent. In a season full of often materialistic bigger and over the top, we have a chance to wait the coming of Christ with a realization of our own frailness, and the time to search for own epiphany of what God can do everyday with the ordinary, with the small, with the weak, with the impossible. It is a season which demands our attention, our watchfulness, and our slowing down to really be present with our children and families.
Celebrating festivals often starts simply, and traditions deepen over time as the children and the family unit and family culture grows. Each year layers upon the next, and it is never too late to begin. I have a whole post brimming with nourishing ideas for the first week of Advent here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/11/26/plans-for-the-first-week-of-advent/, but I thought I would add a few more ideas based upon what I am personally planning here. This is not meant to be a to-do list; instead it is a place to get ideas for your own traditions. This week is a wonderful week for singing Advent and St. Nicholas songs. If you have the Seasons of Joy Advent Ebook, there is a wealth of songs, crafts and baking upon which to build your Advent season upon; I highly, highly recommend it! Here is a link to that: http://www.naturalfamily.50megs.com/custom2_1.html
Saturday, December 1—this is the day I would like to set up our Advent Wreath, and our Nativity Feast seasonal table.
Sunday, December 2 – The Church celebrates the New Year this day, and it is the First Sunday of Advent. It is also the Feast Day of Bishop Nicholas Ferrar, celebrated in the Anglican and Orthodox Churches. You can find out more about him and celebrating his feast day here: http://www.littlegiddingchurch.org.uk/lgchtmlfiles/lgpeople1.html.
Monday, December 3– I plan to tell the story of “Mother Mary’s Cloak” from the Seasons of Joy Advent Ebook and I would like to start sewing stuffed stars for our Christmas tree and gifts: http://weefolkart.com/content/stuffed-star-ornaments. We will also be reading books about Saint Nicholas all week long.
Tuesday, December 4 – Make seashell candles; this year I plan to make them within a seashell itself. These are sweet for around the Nativity Feast table and also as little gifts.
Wednesday, December 5 – Prepare for Saint Nicholas Day! Adult crafting today will include making of straw stars; the best straw star kits I have found are here: http://www.germanplaza.com/productcart/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=85
You can also read Christine Natale’s wonderful guest post regarding St. Nicholas Day here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/12/06/christine-natales-musings-on-saint-nicholas-day-and-starting-new-holiday-traditions/. This year, I really want to bake small loaves of bread and deliver them anonymously to our neighbors; this is going to be so much fun!! The children, of course, will leave out their shoes and clogs as well!
Thursday, December 6th – St. Nicholas Day! We will also be headed to see a display of lights at the Botanical Garden this day with dear friends. What a special time!
Friday, December 7th – To cap this week off, I will be telling the story of “The Smallest Star” from the Seasons of Joy Advent Ebook, and we will go outside at night to see the beautiful stars. This is a lovely Advent Hymn here that you could sing:
Saturday, December 8th – This is the day for our homeschooling group’s Advent Spiral. You can read about our past experiences with the Advent Spiral here from 2008: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/12/07/advent-and-other-winter-celebrations-within-the-waldorf-home/ and here from 2009: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/11/24/part-two-of-advent-in-the-waldorf-home/
To many blessed and unhurried moments this Advent Season,