One of the more interesting books about festivals from a Waldorf perspective is, “Festivals of the Year: A Workbook for Re-enlivening the Christian Festive Cycle,” by Roger Druitt and published by Sophia Books. In it, the author posits that the cycle of the year in festival form is something that all of us, no matter what our religious or spiritual beliefs, can benefit from. The traditional seasonal festivals that mark fertility, fruitfulness and harvest and death can be traced through the life of Jesus Christ and also through the idea that the cycle of the year produces a renewal in nourishing the Earth and “rebuilding the house on Earth” as talked about in this book.
Thanksgiving as a holiday, on a very inner level is a gratitude for the fruitfulness of life; gratitude for our families and blessings. It is of course up to us to have gratitude every day and to choose thankfulness and optimism as we look at the events of our lives. I think it also implores us to live in this moment that is between now and the future; the good deeds and gratitude we hold now help make the world a better place for the future. Thanksgiving is a daily act and occurrence.
I wrote a post in 2015 with these words about the act of Thanksgiving:
In a world that often seems shattered, broken, and perhaps beyond repair….
Let us give thanks in our hearts for the light we and others can bring to the world.
Let us give thanks for our best attempts to be kind, compassionate and caring to ourselves, our children and the world.
Let us give thanks for all the good things we model for our children.
Let us give thanks for all the helpers in the world. There are many.
Let us give thanks for all that we have, and all the ways in which we can help others.
Let us give thanks for the beauty of the earth and skies and seas.
Let us give thanks for the animals and plants and the diversity of all human beings and cultures around the world.
Let us give thanks for peace and show the world love.
Here is a list of words for us to use and model for our beautiful children, this next generation compiled by Master Waldorf Teacher Marsha Johnson in this post.
We also remember the First Peoples of this day and do not celebrate Thanksgiving as the expansion of colonialism and genocide. I have published several links to resources regarding this on the Parenting Passageway Facebook page, and look for a few more on Thanksgiving. I will try to come back and list them here on Thanksgiving in an edited version of this post as I realize not every reader is on Facebook. One of the main links to be aware of is https://native-land.ca/?fbclid=IwAR2fcSt4JmrQ2GGWqOi58oLMjNotEgi79egFp8yOrYKkEVrH1fTDJg9g2xQ , which will tell you what First Peoples were living in your area so you can acknowledge them in your Thanksgiving Remembrances.
Thanksgiving Day this year is also right before the beginning of Advent on December 1, and I am contemplating the richness that Advent brings to our inner lives. Over the course of ten years of this blog, I have written many posts on Advent and all aspects of the holiday season. For those who are celebrating, St. Nicholas Day is next week on the 6th!
If you are looking for some inspiration, try these back posts:
Christine Natale’s Musings on Saint Nicholas Day and Starting New Holiday Traditions
Favorite Stories for Saint Nicholas Day
Ideas for the First Week of Advent in the Waldorf Home
Blessings on your season of bringing lightness to the world,
Do not forget that Thanks Giving while an action of thanking, it’s for the Native Americans an act of profound grief for the atrocities committed by the pilgrims to take their land and more from them. Acknowledge that too, please.
Yes, of course, and I have on The Parenting Passageway Facebook page. I have some special links coming on that page on Thanksgiving to give remembrance to that on Thanksgiving Day, but also happy to add into this post as I am realizing not everyone is on FB. Thanks – Carrie
I added the main link I am going to share on Thanksgiving Day to the body of the text in this post – https://native-land.ca/?fbclid=IwAR2fcSt4JmrQ2GGWqOi58oLMjNotEgi79egFp8yOrYKkEVrH1fTDJg9g2xQ so you can find which First Peoples were on the land and remember them on this day. Thank you – Carrie