Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sharing Our Light

"The sunlight fast is dwindling,
My little lamp needs kindling.
It's beam shine far in the darkest night,
Dear lantern, guard me with your light."
This past week we celebrated Martinmas.  The actual day of Martinmas is November 11th, but we waited until Friday to celebrate.  I wanted two full weeks for the tale of St. Martin and this sweet story to sink into Mannchen and Töchterchen's heart and being.

Martinmas is one of the celebrations honored in Waldorf schools and celebrates St. Martin of Tours.  St. Martin was honored for his peacefulness and generosity - two extremely important qualities to embrace entering into the holiday season.  This was our first year celebrating and for the past two weeks I spent some time each day talking to the kids about what generosity is and how to show kindness towards others.  I told them the story about how St. Martin cut his cloak in half, to share with a cold beggar and we talked about what we have that we can share with others in need or who have less than us.  We discussed how his love and kindness brought warmth to others and how we can both find and provide warmth in the coming cold months.

We spent a little time each day this week working on making our own paper lanterns - to take our light out into the cold darkness of the world.  I found several tutorials on Pinterest and so many more ideas for the years to come.  We used thick watercolor paper to make our lanterns.  On Monday we painting them, Tuesday we oiled them, Wednesday we cut and glued them, Thursday we added handles, and Friday we had our lantern walk before dinner (in their PJs).  On Friday morning we also made Pumpkin muffins to share with our neighbors and family.  (The neighbors ended up not being home when we went and I never anticipated that the kids would be so disappointed!  They were so sweet and ready to share their love and light.)  We also learned the song "This Little Light of Mine".

All ready to walk with our lanterns!

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine. let it shine!"
Happy Martinmas to everyone.  We wish you a holiday season filled with light, love, and warmth.
Do you celebrate Martinmas?  What are your favorite traditions?