Anchor: a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; mainstay: Hope was his only anchor.
When we work to become the author of own family life, we take on the authority to provide our spouse and children and ourselves stability. An effective way to do this is through the use of rhythm. If you have small children, it takes time to build a family rhythm that encompasses the year. If you are homeschooling older children and also have younger children not ready for formal learning, the cycle of the year through the seasons and through your religious year becomes the number one tool you have for family unity, for family identity, for stability.
January, how I love you with your still and silent ways. I am reminded of the hibernating animals, the crunch of snow under my feet as a child growing up in the Northeastern United States, the glow of beautiful beeswax candles, the twelve festive days of Christmastide and the twelve Holy of Nights, new beginnings and new starts with a blank year before us. Seed catalogues start to arrive with the promise of a garden to grow, organizing about the home is to be done, and I think about snowflakes, paper stars, and candles all month long. You can read more of my joy about January here. It also has some wonderful ideas for working with children’s energy during the colder months. Maybe now is time to rotate the toy collection, move things around so they are fresh and new and inviting for small hands and little hearts. Older children might appreciate a re-vamped crafting, art or woodworking space.
I urge you to use your January to slow down, plan ahead for the next part of this year, to enjoy being outside and allow yourself the luxury of a vigorous walk. One of my friends sent me an article about the beauty of walking outside in a safe area under a dark sky and it made me think of walking in cold wintry skies.
My month will be anchored by these festivals:
January 1st through January 6th – The twelve festive days of Christmastide and the twelve Holiest of Nights. One of my favorite days of this cycle is today, the Feast of Saint Seraphim of Sarov. There is a lovely book about this saint, and I plan to make a picture of this saint and a bear friend for the children today. http://www.amazon.com/St-Seraphims-Beatitudes-Blessings-Wonderworker/dp/0978654307/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420235365&sr=8-1&keywords=st.+seraphim+of+sarov+children
January 6th – Epiphany. You can see back posts regarding Epiphany and how to celebrate here and here. This is a festive day complete with a King’s cake or pudding and gift giving in our house. The Christmas season ends for us here and we usually do take our tree down and then we tend to clean and rearrange and enjoy the freshness of things.
January 13 – Feast Day of St. Mungo, the Patron Saint of Glasgow. The book “A Royal Ring of Gold” could be good for older children (middle school) – please always preread.
January 18-24 – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
There are a few other Saints I am celebrating this month by reading some of their writings as well.
Ideas for Celebration:
Making music – what a wonderful time to make music in our homes. Jodie Mesler has a true passion for making music at home and tries very hard to make music do-able for those with no musical background at all. For those of you who can read music , there are many wonderful music in the Wynstones books and other musical books sold at Waldorf booksellers.
Making crafts – I love things to do with stars and snowflakes for this time of year and there are many examples on Pinterest. I would be pleased to have you follow any of my Pinterest boards as I gather ideas for my own family.
Making time for outside fun – down here we can still hike and paddle; other areas of the country you may be able to still surf and swim and still others you may be cross country skiing, skating, or downhill sledding and skiing. You could try indoor roller skating and bowling as well. Stay active and enjoy movement together as a family!
Plan a garden as family
Feed the birds and observe them and draw them
Walk and observe what plants are growing and what the animals are doing
What could you do as a family to help others? This could be a lovely time to gather supplies for a food pantry or donate clothing or something for your local animal shelter
What about an adult time for you, the person you are besides the mother, with friends or another female adult in your family? I have tickets with my sister-in-law to see the Russian Ballet perform Swam Lake this month and am looking so forward to it.
The Domestic Life:
Making bone broths
I am in the midst of re-organizing all of our “medical” supplies – organizing the essential oils by what we frequently use them for, organizing the homeopathic medicines and stocking up on the ones we are low on, gathering things of nature for illness
Revamping rooms, framing pictures, dreaming of what else we would like to make for our home
Crafting a few things for Candlemas!
I would love to hear what you are up to in these January days. Shine your light out into the world.
Blessings and peace to you,