A Waldorf Winter–Introduction

Winter is hard.  It’s cold.  The roads are slippery.  Easy tasks like a quick trip to the store become monumental endeavors when the kids need to be in ten layers.  Even in the parts of the country that don’t experience harsh weather, winter can be a trying time.  There always seems to be so much to do.  Have you bought all the presents?  Where are you celebrating the holidays?  If it’s at your house, is everything clean enough?  What are you going to serve?  Will everyone get along?  If you are celebrating elsewhere, that means you’ll spend part of your much-needed time off traveling.  Throw in work parties, kids’ recitals, and perhaps some volunteer or church obligations, and the whole season is less a time for celebration and becomes more of a stressful slog.

Winter in the Waldorf home doesn’t have to be so hectic.  It’s certainly a busy time; there are plenty of celebrations and special days to observe.  Here’s a quick list of some of the festivals you might enjoy in your home:

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When it takes an hour to get the kids dressed, every errand becomes an event.

Fourth Sunday before Christmas: Advent begins
December 4: St. Barbara’s Day
December 6: St. Nicholas’ Day
December 13: St. Lucia’s Day
December 21: Winter Solstice
December 24: Christmas Eve/Adam and Eve Day
December 25: Christmas Day
December 26: St. Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day
December 31: New Year’s Eve
January 5: Twelfth Day of Christmas
January 6: Epiphany/Three Kings Day
First Monday after Epiphany: Plough Monday

With so many big days, how is it possible that a Waldorf winter could be anything but stressful?  In the next few blog posts, we will give you some simple ideas to observe the season’s festivals without overwhelming the kids or driving yourself to exhaustion.  Visit the Happy Hedgehog blog on Sunday for some Advent ideas, and again throughout the winter for more ways to celebrate this season.  If you are new to the Waldorf way of life, pick a few to try out this year.  If you have a veteran Waldorf family, please share thoughts and links in the comments!
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