Waldorf Families Welcome Advent


photo via http://frontierdreams.blogspot.com

The dark days of winter are quickly approaching, and many Waldorf families are preparing for this season of turning in and resting by welcoming the tradition of Advent.

“Advent… begins on the Sunday closest to November 30th and ends on December 24th … Advent becomes about getting ready – crafting, baking, making things with our hands, firelight and candlelight.” (via the Parenting Passage Way “Part II of Advent in the Waldorf Home“)

Many families will hang Advent Calendars, which help us to count and savor each day’s of light, which grows shorter with the coming Winter Solstice – the darkest day of the year.  The children especially love to run to the calendar each morning to open a pocket, a door, or move along a little marker.  (Click here for a lovely array of advent calendar styles.)   Local mom and author of the “Homespun” blog, Erin Hallinan, provides a lovely example of a hand made Advent calendar in this photo journal from last year’s holidays season. (Click here to see how she constructed her lovely reusable calendar.)  Opening one pocket each day was the highlight of her daughter’s holiday season!

With the passing of each seven day, families will often light a candel on an advent wreath (such as the lovely wreath created by Nicole Spring of Frontier Dreams at the beginning of this article) or wooden candle holder with four candle holders.  (Mike Wooley at Wooley Wood Works can craft you one of these beautiful angel candle holders pictured below.)  One verse from the following passage is read with each week:

The first light of Advent is the light of stones.
Stones that live in crystals, seashells, and bones.

The second light of Advent is the light of plants.
Roots, stem, leaf, flower and fruit by whom we live and grow.

The third light of Advent is the light of beasts.
Animals of farm, field, forest, air and sea.
All await the birth in greatest and in least.

The fourth light of Advent is the light of humankind.
The light of love, the light of thought, to give and to understand.

~Rudolf Steiner

Some Waldorf families will take inspiration from these verses to help decorate their nature tables for the Winter Season.  Monica Ashley, fiber artist, is currently offering Nativity making workshops to help people create advent focused nature tables.  Mariah Smith photography captured this lovely photo of Monica’s Nativity set at Sono-Ma’s recent Studio Soiree:

Many wonderful, old songs celebrate the advent as well.  I like to open my 1960′s “Take Joy” Tasha Tudor’s Christmas book when our family is in the mood for a night spent by the fire.  Scott plays his guitar, Bryles joins in with an instrument of his choice (Reindeer bells anyone?), and I humbly sing the words of many songs I’ve been singing since my own childhood holidays.

Grandma Mary taught me this lovely song, “The Holly and the Ivy” during our Nurturing Arts workshops last year:

To learn more about Advent and to take part in a Community Advent spiral, join in Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm’s annual event scheduled for Sunday, November 28, from 7:00 – 8:30.

Cloverleaf Ranch Summer Camps

One Response

  1. Mary Bowen

    Posted: November 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm |

    Oh Dear Holly…How beautiful! Advent is such a beautiful time….a time of waiting…something that our society no longer treasures…by educating folks about Advent you are providing a wonderful support for families and especially our children! Love, Grandma Mary


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