Advent is an especially busy time for Waldorf moms. It is, indeed, a time of preparation. From the time I lay out the blue cloths for our nativity tableau, to the time the little Christ Child doll appears on the creche, it is a flurry of activity–internal and external. I make it a point to make something every Advent–whether it’s a gift which I sew, knit or crochet, or a treat, which I bake in the kitchen. I’m not very good at crafts. My stitches are not perfect and the outcome is not as neat and polished as I want, but I like to think that the intention I consciously put on the pieces I create somehow make up for my lack of skill. Ha ha. When I find the imperfections–and there are many of them–I cop out and tell myself it really is the thought that counts. Well, it isn’t just that. But it counts.
I do this because it’s good for the children to see a different picture of the season. Outside, we cannot escape the materialism and consumerism that have taken away much of what the season really means. We have that, too. 98% of my presents are bought. Of course I try to be conscientious about my choices, but still, they are bought. So I make sure that the children also see me making an effort towards creating something and giving something out of my own doing, nevermind that I’m not an expert. I try. And that is important. The striving is important. And strive I do.
My nativity tableau is evolving weekly. This week, the plants appeared. On Sunday, my sheep will appear, then perhaps a dog, an ox, and towards the end of the week, the donkey will appear on the path, ready to carry Mary to the stable. As this is going on, I am also preparing for the weekly Advent celebration of the Christian Community, which happens on Sundays for a group of parents and their children who want to be able to experience the festival in a community. It has been worth every effort so far.
In this weekly celebration, the children have been busy doing as well. The first week, they made paper lanterns which they used the very same day, at dusk, to light their way towards a little hut we set up for an Advent story. Then they walked a beautiful spiral in the woods. The second week they made gift cards out of materials from the plant kingdom. The children are also preparing.
In my mind, there is a list of things to do. My roses have been ordered for the tree, and the pick-up date is on my calendar. Christmas breakfast is already in my head. Gifts that need wrapping are nicely hidden still, but the little ones are starting to emerge and, as usual, my study is turning into an even bigger mess. There are more presents coming out of the kitchen as well, and I’m making both mental and physical lists about what I need there and when. Deliveries are sliding into place. All the elements that have been forming in my head over the weeks leading up to Advent are now becoming concrete pieces of the puzzle. Everything is moving towards fruition. That is one aspect of Advent.
The other has to do with my internal spaces and that deserves another post, coming up. :p
In the meantime, Happy Advent Doing.