One of the reasons we started Happy Hedgehog Post was to help families who are just beginning to incorporate the Waldorf lifestyle into their homes. The Waldorf calendar is pretty packed, and I know that as I look to build our family traditions, I get a little overwhelmed. I bought a copy of All Year Round to provide some guidance. Some days I find it very helpful. Others, I wonder if I will ever be “Waldorf enough.” I bet I’m not the only one who feels this way.
So join me in taking a deep breath and slowing down! If you aren’t careful, establishing a Waldorf home can become just as stressful and materialistic as the ways of life we are striving to reject. Remember that your primary goal is to build rhythm and routine for your children. If you immediately try to observe every festival and holiday, you will run yourself ragged (and go broke!). Pick a few celebrations at first. In my home, we are focusing on Advent and Christmas this year. Yes, St. Barbara’s day is coming up, and there’s Solstice and St. Nicholas and St. Stephen’s Days, too, but we aren’t there yet. That’s okay (although I’m still eyeing Plough Monday. Any day that’s dedicated to cleaning is fine by me!). In fact, if you aren’t ready to even think about holidays yet, that’s fine. These celebrations are high points throughout the year, but your daily rhythm is far more important.
When I considered our schedule, I decided that nothing anchors a day like meals do. I chose meal time as the first place to add a routine. Now before each meal, we light a candle and say a verse that shows gratitude. You might like these:
We love our bread; we love our butter.
But most of all, we love each other.
[you may choose “blessing on” or “thank you to” depending on your family’s religious beliefs.]
Oh, the Lord/Earth is good to me,
And so I thank the Lord/Earth
For giving me the things I need
The sun, and the rain, and the apple seed.
The Lord/Earth is good to me.
[Again, adapt the lyrics to fit your beliefs.]
It’s that simple. I used to throw some cheese, fruit, and chicken at my toddler and then run to the couch to catch up on The Good Wife. Now, I make it an event. We light our candle, we sing our song, and we spend time together. Once I started being more conscious about meals, I paid more attention to the rest of our rhythm, too. Our typical day goes like this: we vacuum right after breakfast (I have a weird baby who is obsessed with our vacuum), and then we go downstairs to play. He naps next (I do chores), and then it’s time for lunch and the candle and song again. The afternoons are for play dates and errands, and then it’s back home to prepare for dinner. After dinner we might do a craft or play ball with Dad (and don’t worry, my husband has recently taken over bedtime, so I stay current on The Good Wife!). I try to follow this same pattern every day, and I think I’m pretty successful. I also believe this routine leads to a calm, predictable home atmosphere that allows my son to thrive.
Do the holidays matter? Absolutely. I know that I certainly remember the Christmases and Halloweens of my childhood more vividly than any regular Tuesday. However, daily routines will make your home a happy place so that these holidays can shine. And don’t forget that every delivery from Happy Hedgehog Post has a theme based on the Waldorf calendar. Each month, you will receive season-appropriate crafts, poems, stories, toys, and recipes. Let us take care of the celebrations so that you can focus on the day-to-day. Once you’ve lit your candle, be sure to share it on Instagram with the tags #happyhedgehogpost !
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