The season of Advent begins four Sundays prior to Christmas and culminates on December 24th. In the tradition of the Christian churches, one candle was lit each Sunday until the light of four candles heralded the birth of Christ. Writer Annie B. Bond reminds us that “Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Yule, Diwali, and the celebration of Buddha’s enlightenment all take place in December, the darkest time of the year.” Despite these different leanings, our common searching for Light in the darkness of Winter unites us.
Within Waldorf classrooms, festivals such as Advent are not taught as fact but are offered in the form of stories, allowing the children great freedom to absorb the festivals as they will.
When presented in a spirit of wonder and awe, something of the true spirit of each festival will speak to each child in unique ways. Many Waldorf classrooms celebrate Advent, beginning with a simple candle-lighting in preschool to an all-class assembly in the grades. Each grade class leaves the assembly with their own candle enabling them to carry the light and warmth of Advent back to their individual classrooms.
BRINGING ADVENT HOME
For those with spiritual leanings who don’t feel that they have arrived at a well-defined spiritual destination, this time of year can present a predicament. You may find yourself wondering what you can share with your children about this time of year when you yourself don’t feel like you have it all figured out. If you are looking for ways to incorporate the Advent season into your homelife, perhaps consider some of the following suggestions.
*Build a small Advent wreath out of plant boughs, or other natural material. The wreath can be held together with ribbons or wire. Add elements each week to correspond with the verse below.
*Recite the following verse, spoken in Waldorf classrooms around the world, while you light a candle each Sunday of Advent.
"The first light of advent is the light of stones, Stones that live in crystals in seashells and in 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, The light of hope that we may see in greatest and in least.
The fourth light of advent is the light of man, The light of love, the light of thought, to give and to understand"
*Advent is a time of preparation. Children can busy themselves making handmade gifts and cards, or holiday decorations for your home. We are curating a growing collection of gift ideas that children can make for others!
*Invite family or friends over to join your family for an evening of carols and gift-making or baking.
This list is by no means exhaustive. What’s most important is to find or create traditions for your family that are meaningful. My hope for this holiday season is that no matter what our beliefs are, that we are all working towards being the most loving, compassionate people we can be — bringing the light into ourselves. Our children need that.
All love this holiday season,
Robyn & Brian Wolfe
We enjoyed a day of renewal at the Pedagogical Section Council conference yesterday! It was great to see old friends, and to also meet some in person for the first time! Brian led his chalk drawing class through a figure-drawing warm-up and then into a color wheel exercise. They pulled out something associated with each grade level and also managed to fit in the four elements. When in doubt, you can always start a chalk drawing with a color wheel!
At the end of the session, Brian led the group through an "Art show" of all their work. The teachers talked about ways to have our own students share their work, and how to create positive conversations within that experience. Such a great discussion!
Once or twice a month, the creative team at Annapurna Living spotlights a creative entrepreneur who chooses to do business with integrity and soul. We were honored to be featured as a part of this Soulful Business series!
A sneak peek:
" I operate out of an understanding, on a very personal level, that life is short. Our time here is limited. If what I'm doing isn't helping to improve other people's experience, then it feels like wasted time. Soulful business for me means continually asking the question "will this (product, workshop, piece of art, etc) improve someone else's experience?" Also because I am acutely aware that our lives have an unknown expiration date, I'm really only interested in projects that allow me to spend as much quality time with my family as possible....."
You can read the full interview by clicking here!
We're so excited about this event in Sacramento coming up in just a few weeks!! Open to class & homeschool teachers, this is an incredible opportunity to learn from some of our own favorite teachers-of-teachers. Brian will be teaching an afternoon chalk-drawing class!
$30 is unbelievably affordable for a full day of deepening & enrichment. Please SHARE with your friends & colleagues. Teachers, this is a great way to fulfill some of your required continuing ed for the year!
We've put together even more ideas & inspiration around storytelling! Click the image above to subscribe to this FREE 5-day email series. We'd be honored to have you join us!
xoxo- Brian & Robyn Wolfe