The first week of Advent is characterized at home with the making of the Advent wreath. I love gathering the greenery for it! We go to our small woodland and find pine needles and cones that have fallen on the ground yet still green; and this year I added some bay leaves. The base is a piece of sectioned tree stump which I bought from Wied Incita Nursery.
Apart for the wreath, we will set up the calendar with the story of Jesus to read and add every day. Lastly, our crib will be set up. Tomorrow we will fill it with shells, stones and crystals of every kind. Many Waldorf families, use this verse throughout each Advent week:
The first Light of Advent It is the Light of stones:
The Light that shines in seashells In crystals and our bones.
The second Light of Advent It is the Light of plants:
Plants that reach up to the sun And in the breezes dance.
The third Light of Advent, It is the light of beasts:
The Light of faith that we may see In greatest and in least.
The fourth Light of Advent It is the Light of humankind:
The Light of hope, of thoughts and deeds,
The Light of hand, heart and mind.
For me personally, this verse reminds me of how God made the world starting with the earth and rock itself, plants, animals and finally humans. It is a good reminder for us as Christians. And so as the verse indicates, each week we will add up to the crib till in the end only baby Jesus needs to be added on Christmas day.
The first week has within it the feast of Saint Nicholas (6th Dec). This week will be mostly dedicated to this great Saint who helped so many and was so humble. At home we read the book, Saint Nicholas: The real story of the Christmas Legend. We will gather the money saved throughout the year and give part of it to a charity chosen by the children. Sometimes, we give it to the school, our church or similar. This we do to simulate Saint Nicholas giving out money to the poor, being kind and generous just as Jesus asks us to. If you wish to learn more on this wonderful saint, you should head to the St Nicholas Centre. It has lots of stories and activities you can do with the family.
We will also start our advent magic, with the teaching of being observant and patient for the children. Every day, an envelop is put somewhere with an activity, something fun to do together and random acts of kindness. So they need to be on the look out and sometimes patient as it might take long for them to find it.
This year they will also have the gift of a new book which will take us all through a wonderful journey in Advent. It is called Jotham’s Journey and it filled my heart with joy whilst reading it that very first time. It also reminded me a lot of our own journeys on this earth in search of God and the truth.
Wish you all a lovely first week of Advent. May your hearts be filled with peace and excitement!