Dear Rainbow Garden Parents, December, 2013
It is hard to believe that the winter holiday season is upon us! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, shared with loved ones. I was a little under the weather, but still had a wonderful time with my family.
Jack Frost is coming to visit more frequently now. Please keep in mind that we go outside in all types of weather, so dress your child knowing that we will be playing in the snow. Hats, waterproof mittens, scarves and a warm coat with boots are wonderful, but snow pants make outside winter play so much more fun! Please be sure you child has snow pants, a hat and mittens every day, even if there is no snow on the ground. Woolen undergarments also provide a protective barrier for your child’s delicate skin. Layers can always be taken off, but too little clothing can be dangerous. The children will have shorter recess in the cold weather, but we certainly will be outside every day even if just for a walk. Please regularly check your child’s extra clothes supply. During the cold months, every child needs warm pants, a long sleeve shirt, extra underwear and three or four pair of socks in his or her box.
The Winter Fair will take place at Tamarack on Saturday, December 7th from 10-5. The Winter Fair is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our community and invite guests to our school. Visitors will experience live music, delicious food, hand-crafted items for sale, children’s activities and more! Our job in the Rainbow Garden is to help Mrs. Hunter set up an art display on Friday and then help to staff it on Saturday. Please see the sign up sheet on the bulletin board outside the classroom.
It is a tradition in Waldorf Schools to hold an Advent Spiral, or Winter Garden. It is a reverent event that focuses on the light coming from within to shine in the darkness. Although Advent is a Christian celebration of the coming of Christ, the idea of letting one’s inner light shine in darkness is universal. The Rainbow Garden children will not participate in the larger Spiral in the gym, but we will have our own version of the Winter Garden in the classroom during our regular circle, where it will be less overwhelming. Next year, they will be ready to experience the Winter Garden in the gym with their kindergarten classes.
The Shepherd’s Play is another tradition in Waldorf Schools. It is a medieval nativity play which is presented by faculty and parents as a gift to the children and the school community. This will be my ninth year performing in The Shepherd’s Play. Ms. Jo will be the substitute teacher that day with Ms. Alya. They will bring the children to see the play, and I’d like to invite you to join them at 8:49am, Thursday, December 19th. Tamarack children look forward to the play every year. Even if the nativity story is not part of your family’s tradition, it is a fun play and a lovely story which offers an alternative to the materialism we often see this time of year. Please feel free to come to me with any questions you might have.
Where do young children stand in the midst of this busy season? Children, as well as adults, can become overwhelmed during this time of the year. I encourage caretakers of children to be aware and sensitive to the demands placed on young children during the holiday season. Be aware of what your child is telling you (both verbally and non-verbally). Is your child getting tired and irritated after a day of shopping? Are they getting sick? If so, they may be experiencing holiday related stress and it may be too much for a three, four or five-year-old. If we attend to the young child’s rhythms, the season of Inner Light can be a joy for everyone! Slow down and take time to enjoy the bare trees, the starry sky shining through, or the silvery glow of the moon. These are simple pleasures that we can all enjoy together. May we all enjoy a peaceful holiday season!