The second light of Advent is the light of Plants
Plants that reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance.
~ R. Steiner
Yesterday marked the start of the second week of Advent. When the children awoke and came down to open their Advent calender, they found a little note telling them to check near the Advent wreath for a flowery surprise. There, in a little pot, was a great, big Amaryllis bulb! What a great way to start our celebration of plants!
Later in the day, we went to a tree farm to choose and cut our Christmas tree. We decorated the tree, wrapped some evergreen roping around the banister where our stockings are hung, and enjoyed a dinner by candle light.
|F and S with their Christmas tree-to-be|
I had a bit of a hard time coming up with little Advent calendar gifts for this week. The bulb was easy, but as much as I would like to, I can't afford to fill the house with a new plant each day! So what we're going to do is a different plant related actvity each day. We'll hunt for berries and greens to add to our Creche. We'll make twig stars to hang around the house, and maybe we'll make some more gifts with the rest of the birch log we hauled home a few weeks ago.
Next week, for the week of animals, I have started sewing little felt beasts for the Nativity. Two sheep, a donkey, a camel, and an ox. I think I'll include a few others too, like the robin from the story of Robin Redbreast from the Winter Wynstones book.
For the final week, I'll make the human and angel figures.
Which brings me to making things in general. Especially gifts. As a child, I spent many, many hours at my grandparents' home making Christmas gifts for the members of my family. I remember making little embroidered pictures, stenciling various useful wooden items, making candle holders from thick branches and many more handmade items.
Now that my children are old enough to participate in gift making, we are taking it on full force! So far we have made some little birch tree candle holders, and a small birch tree reindeer for my Grampa, who used to make much larger ones evey winter to put on their back porch. My daughter, who is five, has started to embroider a snowman picture that she drew herself and I traced onto cross-stitch fabric. And of course, we'll be doing LOTS of baking and cooking in general.
|Slices of birch log with a hole drilled for the candle. Then|
the kids glued on some moss, shells, acorns, and
dried apple stars.
|Grampa's new reindeer|
My greatest delight this year though was making the kids' big present myself. I made a family of five little gnomes and a tree house for them to live in. I make the kids little things all the time; dolls and animals, doll clothes, cardboard box castles, even clothes. But this was a big deal. I'm sure they'll love it, and I hope someday they'll even come to appreciate all the love and hard work it took to make it.
|the kids' gnome home|
Like many of you, we're trying to scale back on the holiday excess. Making gifts requires much more thought, planning, and time than many of us have. So if you can, please do make something special for a loved one, it will be cherished.