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December Circle

The Christmas season is upon us and there are SO many wonderful traditions and practices that are common to many Waldorf families. Today I thought I'd share some of the things we do in our house and some of the verses that you can incorporate into your circle -- or, if you're like my family, simply using them throughout the day instead of a set focused, structured, time. We begin our Christmas celebrations with the first Sunday in Advent. We have a simple log with 5 wholes drilled into it and 5 tapered candles that count down the weeks to Christmas Day. We begin with the first candle and this verse:

For the life of the stones,

Of crystals, shells and bones,

The first advent light,

Shining with love so bright.

We place some shells and crystals and stones around the log to decorate the table but also to recognize the mineral world that supports our life on earth. Each year we head out to the forest and find some small everygreen trees to bring home and decorate with homemade decorations --- salt dough, applesauce cinnamon, and plenty of paper crafts. The boys love having their own tree in their room that they get to decorate in whatever form or fashion they choose.

While we were out on our hunt for the perfect little trees we enjoyed this little verse together and the boys ask for it throughout the quiet of our day-to-day rhythm.

Snow~ Betty Jones

The snow is frozen rain, you know,

falling in crystals so light.

Putting on a pretty show,

making the world all frosty white,

As it clothes the land and trees

with its crystals bright,

Everything it touches freezes,

Whether day or night,

So it’s fun to play in snow,

but better dress just right,

Or Jack Frost will bite you toes, While Blustery Blizzard blocks your sight

Tomorrow we will add some evergreen boughs and light the second candle. We will begin using this verse:

For the life of the plants,

Trees, flowers and sustenance,

The second Advent Light,

Shining with love so bright.

Then, on the night of Dec. 5th the boys will leave their slippers and their letters to Santa outside of their bedroom doors before they go to bed. While they sleep Saint Nicholas will fill their slippers with Chocolate, nuts, and a small orange. He will also deliver our kindness elf, who brings a Christmas story to read together and kind activity to complete together each day leading up to Christmas. Every year the boys can't wait to get their new slippers from me so that they can leave them out for Santa.

Saint Nicholas music, crafts, cookie cutters and recipes and more can be found at the wonderful website There are also some wonderful handouts regarding the relationship between St. Nicholas and Santa Claus.

During the third week of advent we add some little wooden animals around our advent log and recite:

For the life of animals all,

From the greatest to the small,

The third Advent Light,

Shining with love so bright.

Throughout this week, our focus will be on the animals and we will make decorations to go decorate a tree in the forest with "ornaments" that the birds, squirrels, deer, foxes, etc. can eat and enjoy. I will introduce this verse to the kids then: Wintertime ~Betty Jones

Oh, hear the winds call,

Listen to the nuts fall,

See the squirrel gather its food,

To bed goes the bear,

All creatures prepare

For the wintertime mood.

Soft snow falls at night

Covering the earth crystal - white,

While all are snug in bed,

But with the sunrise

Children open their eyes

To play in the snow instead!

The air is so clear!

Wrapped in warm winter gear,

Out to the snow we go!

Jack Frost bites the nose

And soon freezes our toes!

Now starts this wintertime show!

Winter Solstice is another fun day to celebrate. Lots of orange, and yellow, and red, to represent the return of the light are used at our house. From hanging silks from the ceiling, to purposely eating foods that are those colours, and of course plenty of candles and lights around the house, to celebrate the coming of winter, and the return of lighter days.

The Sunday before Christmas we add the final touch to the table and add a small Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus to the table and use this verse:

For the life of humankind

Truth, beauty and goodness entwine,

The fourth Advent Light,

Shining with love so bright.

And on Christmas Day we finally light the last candle, and celebrate the Light of the World.

Naturally, there are plenty of songs/carols sung, and family gatherings during this time of year. But no matter how much excitement surrounds us I strive to live a simple life. I strive to make Christmas simple, with gifts of the heart --- handmade gifts, and food, and kind acts.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I hope you have a wonderful month celebrating and staying cosy with your little ones.

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