Waldorf at Home: Celebrating the Winter Solstice

Over the years I’ve really grown to appreciate the concept of celebrating the season of a festival.  A little bit here, a little bit there, over the course of maybe a week is so much more pleasant and easier to organize and orchestrate then trying to fit everything into a single, potentially stressful, day.  For a school it makes sense to have a big festive day, but slow and easy makes more sense for a family.  And so our Solstice celebration wasn’t just one big celebration, but several days of mini-celebrations.

First we spent an afternoon making edible ornaments for the birds and other woodland creatures.  We started this tradition when Iain was a babe and everyone finds much pleasure in it.  In addition to the usual garlands and such, this year we made our own suet feeder to see if we could attract some woodpeckers closer to the house.  We drilled wide holes in a piece of firewood, filled them with out own mix of suet, peanut butter and seed, stringing it up with a bit of chain.

The following day we baked our sun bread.  I take a regular bread recipe (grain less for us these days) and replace the water with strong chamomile tea.  Then we knead in chamomile flowers and orange zest.  The children shape it into a sun.  Sometimes I’ll brush the top with a bit of orange juice.  We sprinkle sunflower seeds on top, of course, and serve it with ghee and honey.

Last night we gathered with out neighbors to sing of the returning of the sun and walk the spiral.  As we sing, each person slowly walks to the center of the spiral, where their candle is lit, then they wind their way back out, placing their candle somewhere along the path as the go.

The last several days the weather has been so strange!  Spring-like with mud and wind and mist everywhere.  There is nothing but a carrot floating in a slushy puddle where an eight foot snowman stood last week.  Crazy.  The kids were so confident in their white Christmas, but there is nothing but dreary grey.  Luckily we have lots of lights and candles about to brighten and cheer us.

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