I had intended that last week was going to be full of posts about all the ornaments I've been busy making, but two sick boys at home trumped those plans. Boys are on the mend so I hope to get those posts up this week sometime.
For today, I want to share photos of the votive candles the kids made at the preschool last week.
We used simple clear glass votives from IKEA and watered down glue to paint on pieces of colorful tissue paper that was pre-cut into shapes for the kids. After that I let them go with the glitter...to add as much sparkle as they wanted to. I was surprised to find out that the boys added much, much more than the girls. They will always surprise me.
The votives will be used in our festival later today. We will be having our Advent Spiral (also called an Advent Garden), which is a uniquely Waldorf tradition and is also my very favorite celebration in our school year. Taking pictures during a festival is so disruptive to the nature of the ceremony-especially one that is so contemplative, but I really want to be able to share photos here as I know some of my readers have similar preschools. After opening our preschool I had searched in vain for pictures of an Advent Spiral to give me ideas for our own, so decided I will take some today (before and after but not during the spiral) to document how we do it at Willow House.
Here is the space we will be transforming.
Nature’s life forces are withdrawing into darkness, and every day the sunlight is decreasing as we approach the winter solstice. At this time, we quietly ready ourselves to go without fear into the darkest time of the year. To find light and warmth now, we reach within ourselves and into our communities. The advent spiral is a uniquely Waldorf tradition for children. A visual picture of the inner journey the soul must take at this time of year, it is a ritual for younger children who do not yet fully have their own light and so must take from the Central Light. As each child spirals inward to kindle his/her candle at the central flame, so also each of us must turn within if we are to find illumination.
Traditionally, the children use an apple and insert a candle for them to carry into the spiral for the angel to light. They would then place it on a gold star that is placed along the path as they wind back out of the spiral. With the 3-5 age group, carrying an open flame in this way makes us a little too nervous, so we have found ways to make votives in which the flame is inclosed and away from little fingers.
Here are two more examples of votives we have made.