A Season of Festivals: St. Lucia Day

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A Season of Festivals

Seasonal festivals serve to connect humanity with the rhythms of nature. Many festivals which originated in ancient cultures have been adapted over time.  To participate festively in the seasonal moods of the year benefits the child's experience.  There is joy in the anticipation, the preparation, the celebration itself, and the memories created.  This time of year, we celebrate the darkening days, and the light within us all.  The school year begins with Michaelmas, followed by the Martinmas Lantern Walk, and continued last week with St. Nicholas Day and the Spiral Walk.  This week, Class 2/3 will lead the celebration of St. Lucia Day. 
 

St. Lucia Day

The festival of light named for Santa Lucia is celebrated on her birthday, December 13.  Lucia, whose name means "light," lived in the fourth century in Sicily and her birthday is honored in Sicily with a seasonal celebration. The celebration also became a traditional one in Sweden beginning in the eighteenth century, and this is the one we celebrate at our school.
 
In this ceremony, the youngest girl from the family is chosen to be Lucia.  She rises before dawn and prepares luciakatter (literally, lucia cats), which are rolls seasoned with saffron and cardamon.  Then, dressed in a white robe with a red sash, wearing a wreath of candles on her head, Lucia leads a procession of people, some maids of honor, others star boys, to bring rolls and coffee to the neighboring families.
 
It is our school tradition for Class 2/3 to prepare the luciakatter, dress in white robes, and bring bread to the other classes during main lesson, led by Lucia who is chosen from the 7/8th grade.  We will be singing Santa Lucia, which begins, "Now in the winter night, good folk are waiting, see now the maid of light, darkness abating."  We are looking forward to this celebration tomorrow.

Class 2/3 Farm Trip Fundraiser

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Class 2/3 Farm Trip

The 3rd Grade Farm Trip is traditional in most Waldorf Schools.  Third graders study the food, shelter, and clothing of many cultures throughout history and this experience
is designed to enhance that curriculum. 

It is also a rite-of-passage for 9-year old children, as they enter into a developmental stage in which they have a newfound sense of self-awareness.  This week-long trip may be their first extended absence from home, but within the safety and support of their class and familiar teachers, a sense of budding independence is fostered.

Elderberry Syrup Kits for Sale

You know when you go to the health food store to buy your elderberry syrup and you end up spending $20 for a small bottle? You think to yourself "I wish I could have a whole quart of elderberry syrup for just $15..." Well guess what, now that dream can be a reality! Class 2/3 are selling elderberry syrup kits which make a big batch and will keep you and your family healthy all winter long. Added bonus- all the proceeds will go to the class 2/3 farm trip fundraiser. Please help support these kids on their big farm trip adventure, an experience they will never forget. 

In case you are wondering what elderberry syrup is for? Elderberries have been a folk remedy for centuries and used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. It's a wonderful way to prevent illnesses when taken daily as well.

Snack Pouches, Quilt Raffle & CD's for Sale too...

There are other ways to support the class 2/3 farm trip fundraiser- look in the lobby for snack pouches made by the talented Dina O'Neil and fun CD's for kids. We are also raffling three beautiful handmade quilts- check them out in the lobby at school.  They might look lovely in your home, or be an excellent Christmas gift. Tickets are $5 each, or three for $10. 

Waldorf Sponsoring Children for the Holidays

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This is a busy time of year. We're all making lists and thinking about how to make the Holidays a special time for our children, full of memories. Recently, the Outreach committee has been speaking with the Department for Children and Families, wondering what our community can do to help children who have to be taken from their homes and families.

We have been hearing stories of children who are moved from house to house, spending their days at the DCF offices, waiting and wondering where their next bed will be. For many children in the Foster Care program, the Holidays are not exciting and magical. One thing we can do to help is sponsor a few children for Christmas.

Families at the Waldorf school are each donating a gift for a child or a teenager (teenagers seldom get sponsored because people prefer buying gifts for young kids). Toys, clothes, mittens, hats, are being collected.

We plan to do more projects partnering with DCF going forward. We are hearing that children sit all day at the DCF office in Hyannis with nothing to do. DCF suggested we could put together six toy baskets full of activities for kids to play with while they are waiting in the office all day. After the holidays we will start collecting items for these baskets. Children in our school will have the opportunity to make some of the items- they can knit stuffed animals in handwork class, and the morning glories can sew little gnomes. We will be delivering the gifts after December 15th. Contact Emily Holmgren for more information and, thank you.