Advent Celebrations with Children
Most of us are familiar with Advent calendars, but the tradition of Advent actually goes well beyond calendars, and ultimately signals a time of preparation and peace-making for Christmas, or other wintertime holidays your family celebrates. Advent actually means "that which is coming", and is recognized within the Waldorf tradition as a period of stillness; of waiting in anticipation for the inevitable excitement of late December.
Walking a candlelit spiral is a common Yuletide practice, traditionally done during the first week of Advent (which begins on December 3rd) but also associated with the Winter Solstice, as the ritual symbolizes welcoming the light back amidst the time of the year when the days are the shortest and the light is the thinnest.
You may celebrate Advent in your home in many ways with your children. Walking the spiral on our Advent Playsilk or making an Advent table with our Mini Advent Playsilk. Follow along to learn how to celebrate the four weeks of Advent!
How to Walk the Advent Spiral
1. Place your Advent Playsilk on the floor. Enter the spiral with an unlit candle in hand, thoughts of peace-making, preparation, and stillness in your mind, and love, hope and light in your heart.
2. When you reach the center of the spiral, light your candle (using electric candles is a wonderful, safe option with young children). Place your lit candle on the innermost star of the spiral.
3. As you walk out of the spiral, allow yourself to bask in the light and warmth that surrounds you, reminding yourself that even in the darkest times, there is light deep within you!
4. Repeat for all the stars in the spiral. Taking turns with children or family members.
How to Make an Advent Table
The first Light of Advent is the Light of Stones:
The Light that shines in seashells, in crystals and our bones.
The second Light of Advent is the Light of Plants:
Plants that reach up to the sun and in the breeze dance.
The third Light of Advent is the Light of of Beasts:
The Light of faith that we may see in the greatest and the least.
The fourth Light of Advent is the Light of Humankind:
The Light of hope, of thoughts and deeds,
The Light of hand, heart and mind.
1. Find a special spot in your home to place your Mini Advent Playsilk.
2. On the first week of Advent (the first Sunday in December) light a candle and place it on the innermost star of the spiral. This candle will be used to light all the other advent candles.
3. For each week of Advent, add special items from nature to the star.
Week one: stones, shells and crystals
Week two: plants found on a nature walk or in your garden
Week three: animals, small wooden toy ones work nicely
Week four: humankind, small dolls, peg people or other figures are a sweet way to represent this.