~The third light of Advent is the light of Beasts
All await the birth, from the greatest and in least.~
The third week of Advent is the one I was most excited to start. So many fun activities to do! And we're all about animals around here. For this week's Advent calendar I made little felt animals for our creche. I had to use what I had on hand, so I used some felt scraps and even a couple old scarves we had hanging around. they ended up coming out pretty cute!
In consideration of our animal friends inside and outside, we have several projects to do. We'll be making little birdfeeders from small pumpkins left over from the fall by cutting them in half, hollowing them out, and hanging them up with twine or yarn. Then we'll fill them and hang them around the yard. Peanut butter pinecone birdfeeders are always a hit too, if you live in an area where you can find decent size pinecones.
For our old beagle, we'll make some gingerbread dog biscuits. Our pet hedgehog isn't really into treats of any sort, so we'll just play with her and enjoy her company.
All life is sacred and every creature has something to contribute to our world. This is a great week to recognize how important it is to care for our planet's wildlife and our companion animals.
So how about going meat-free for the week? There are some great recipes in Feeding the Whole Family, which is my favorite cookbook. Another old standby of mine is The Compassionate Cook. Or pick up the newest issue of Vegetarian Times. They always have great seasonal recipes. Don't forget to check out the Vegan Dad blog for some great real-family-life ideas!
Do you have old towels or blankets that you could part with? Bring them to your local animal shelter. Most of them are brimming with animals in need of homes, especially in these difficult economic times. They can always use donations of blankets and food.
If you can donate financially, consider one of these organizations. They all do their part to help our animal friends.
The World Wildlife Fund has some great gift ideas, including adopting a panda or other wild animal. A great gift for a child or teenager who doesn't need more "stuff"!
If you have a vegetarian or vegan in your life, consider shopping at one of these sites for cruelty free fashions, body care items, or yummy treats. The Body Shop offers cruelty free body care items and has lots of fair-trade items as well. Sweet and Sara makes the BEST vegan marshmallows! No gelatin! My kids love them as a very special treat. They even come in cool holiday shapes! Karmavore has great leather-free shoes and bags as well as other animal friendly gifts.
Some good stories to read this week are Annie and the Wild Animals, The Hat, and The Mitten, all by Jan Brett. The Wynstones Winter book has a lovely story about Robin Redbreast, and The Festival of Stones by Reg Down has a section on the Festival of the Animals. Links for all of these are available at the bottom of this page in the Winter Reading section.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."