I've long been charmed by my friend Zann Carter, Waldorf-homeschooling pioneer, knittress, and sisterkeeper. She shared this bit in The Living Home Facebook group the other day, and I felt so moved by the continuum she created. It inspired me to bring a savory follow-thru to the season. I hope it resonates for you, too. xx, Maya
"Steiner & Waldorf-inspired homeschooling came into my life in the late 80s and by 1992, when we moved to Indiana, we had radically changed our observance of Solstice & Christmas. We began to honor the Light of this season with a long, slow journey through Advent, the Twelve Holy Nights and Epiphany. It wasn't complicated: building up the Nativity scene, gathering most nights to 'do Advent' with candles, stories, carols, cookies. On St. Nicholas Day, our children would find chocolate coins & craft materials in their shoes.
They absolutely loved this. So much that there seemed to be no disappointment when we pared down the gifts to one request and two surprises plus stockings. Christmas Day became just a slightly more special day among many special days. Because we continued on with activities (the Wise Men journeyed through the house to arrive at the manger on Epiphany - spotting their new position was a daily game...), there was no "day after Christmas let-down." The whole of the season became calm and gentle and renewing.
I remember standing outside all those years ago, in our new home (cold Indiana instead of warm Florida where I had had all my Christmases before) looking at brilliant stars in a clear sky...and thinking that there was much in these Advent rituals that I could continue to do, that would continue to nourish me, even after my children had grown and left home. And that was true.
But for the last few years, I have had the delight of sharing a weekly 'doing' of Advent with my granddaughter. It is a deep, deep joy I experience as I get out the handmade song and verse books my children used, as she rings the Advent bell, as we unwrap the same stones and crystals that her father and his siblings unwrapped."
'Zann. Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States
Professor's wife, mother of four, zannma to two. Grew up in Coral Gables, Florida, transplanted to Indiana at age 40, where I saw my first snow and learned to love wool. We homeschooled three of the kids, I helped to create a used bookshop ( Wabash River Books 1996-2005)and became an online bookseller. I started this blog in 2005 to share my mid-life artwork (primarily fiber), poetry and creative explorations. On March 18, 2006 my 20 year-old son Patrick died...and my world irrevocably changed.
I own 63 years now. Life is very mysterious, magickal, beautiful and sweet and sad.