Monday, December 01, 2008

Advent has started...

Lil k had attended a Waldorf child care centre from 18months to age 3, so for the past two Christmases, he followed a very exciting 4 week journey through advent. Now we aren't a religious family, but I do love Christmas and have spent years researching old traditions, why we celebrate with trees/lights (more of a pagan thing), why we hang stockings(St. Nicholas), etc. The Waldorf approach is fun. Similar to the church having the 4 Sundays of Advent (Hope, Joy, Love, Peace), the Waldorf advent follows 4 weeks of 'kingdoms' (mineral, plant, animal, human). When following this for little children, the four kingdoms end up on the nature table, and eventually links up to the story of Christmas. Let me explain:

Week one, Mineral - we set up our nature table on top of our buffet with a green tablecloth, a clay dish, and 4 advent candles. For 'mineral', we can add shells, rocks, glass, etc to the dish - my son added those on Sunday evening (First day of Advent).

At the same time, on December 1st, the 3 kings begin their travel to Bethlehem, so we have 3 Kings (bendy dolls I made last night after lil k went to bed - yes, I could have planned this better in advance!!) beginning their travels on the window sill of the upstairs loft bedroom - they will travel around the upper levels of the kitchen cupboards, etc until they arrive on January 6th (on the Nature Table).

Week two, plants, we will add some plants (I'm planning to add holly to the advent 'wreath' where the dish/candles are.) and the wooden manger/stable.
Week three, animals, we will add some little woolen sheep, felt donkey, felt cow and maybe some others (depending upon how much free time I have to make these!!)
Week four, humans, we will add the shepherds, angel, mary/joseph all on different days until December 24th, we'll add the baby :)

Lil k got extremely excited when he saw the 3 kings this morning at I'm glad we are carrying on this tradition he started at his first 'school'.

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