Sunday, 28 November 2010

the start of advent...

opening the advent string

Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas day, which is today, 28th November and whilst I am not deeply religious, we do celebrate Christmas and I think it is important that my children understand and respect why Christmas is celebrated. I don't want them to think it's only about Father Christmas and receiving presents!

One of the first traditions in our house is to visit our local Steiner Waldorf School Christmas Fair, where we buy an advent string. An advent string contains individually wrapped gifts, from crystals to knitted or felted animals and mary & joseph, that by Christmas builds up a nativity scene.

Whilst we open a parcel from the advent string each day, we read The Light in the Lantern, (by Georg Dre╬▓ig, Wynstones Press) a book of short advent stories, split into four sections, for the four weeks of advent, each containing seven stories. The stories document Mary and Joseph's path to Bethlehem, which is fraught with difficulties, but a small miracle happens on each day, which coincide with the gift from the advent string.

The Christmas Fair was wonderful as usual and the boys made a beeline for their favourite activity, the crystal cave (where a cave is made by sticking crystals to plywood sheets with plaster of Paris), the children dress up as miners, wearing hard hats, head torch and googles and enter the cave armed with a hammer. The children emerge from the dark cave clutching their crystals having hammered them from the walls ~ genius! We also hand dipped candles, made gingerbread biscuits and floated walnut candles on the silent pond, as well as catching up with friends who we have left behind!


  1. We went crystal mining at our local Steiner fair too - the first time I had seen it, very clever! I share similar views about Christmas and wrote about it today too.

  2. Nice post! I hope the holiday stress don't catch us=)

  3. You have me so, so excited for our Waldorf winter fair coming this weekend. We went last year and it was just beautiful! I was thinking about buying the book you mentioned, and I think I might now, K would love it.


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