Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Little HolyDays: Celebrating Spring

Spring celebrations and Easter tend to get lumped in together now a days- we see crosses mixed in with baby chicks everywhere we go.  When trying to plan out some of our "Little HolyDays" I knew that as well as celebrating the big and little Feast Days and Holidays that I wanted to mark the passage of the year and the seasons.  This is in part because I think a great part of our society has a great disconnect from the natural world and I want to encourage that kind of awareness within my children.  I want them to understand the wonder of the seasons.  Like Kathleen in her post "A Christian Celebrates the Spring Equinox"  I too feel it's right to celebrate creation via the seasons.

So with that in mind I decided to attempt to find ways to mark our seasonal holidays from our religious "holydays" and marking out the first day of Spring as a special day in our calendar seemed just the spot to start.



This year, since Mr. Man is only 2, we plan on keeping thing simple, but in a way that can be added to in coming years.  Sadly a nice walk outside, even around the neighborhood was out of the question due to high, chill winds and a temp hovering around 19 degrees.

We started by taking a page out the proverbial Waldorf Book and set up a Nature Table. 


 The scarf and vase are from around the house.  The flowers, nest, eggs and animals are courtesy of Hobby Lobby (the rest of the animals are in reserve for Easter Eggs).



The trees I "Waldorf-Hacked" by using 40 cent wood cut outs from Hobby Lobby and using a little wood glue to fix them to a base - took about a hour or so to do.  Don't tell me I no longer use my theatre degree.

 We also tried our hands at making toddler version of Waldorf Transparencies.  It will be nice to have these in the decoration bucket for next year.   Inspiration for the birds HERE and inspiration for the flowers HERE



Our tools - tissue paper (leftover from Martinmas), construction paper and transparency paper.



 We hung the cut outs on the door and went to town - our 2 year old got the idea really quickly and it was just a long enough project that it kept his interest through the whole thing.









I finished it up by adding the other side of the transparencies and cutting them out and now they're up making our first day of spring a little brights.



One idea that we're saving one more year, but would like to begin for a Spring celebration to take us into Easter is to make a Resurrection or Hill of Calvary Garden.  The first day of spring is rarely spring like here in the midwest, so as much as I'd love to plan for digging in the garden I think a little indoor gardening will be a better plan.  Getting our fingers dirty and planting the seeds would be a nice "spring" activity and once the grass sprouts it will be just about time for Easter.  At the moment I'd rather focus on the resurrection in our Easter lessons than the other parts of the story.

I'll be sharing more of what we're doing Easter-wise in another week or so as the day approaches.

By celebrating Spring and the changes taking place around us I feel that we're setting the stage for all the religious celebrations to come while allowing us to stop and give thanks for a new season of green and growth after a long winter.

A Prayer for Spring
LET US PRAY

As the earth once again turns to face the sun we rejoice in this season of
spring. We give thanks, O God, that each day grows longer in light and that the
earth has been liberated from the grip of winter.
We remember the resurrection of Your Son Jesus from the depths of death’s
decay in the tomb, we lift our hearts to You in gratitude. We thank You for the
gift of a day and all the graces it holds.
We ask for the grace, O God, to live in a new way. Grant us fresh dreams and
new visions. May this day come upon us like Spring herself, so that our hearts
may be filled with hope.
May we thus taste more deeply the joys of simply being alive. May we find the
countless hidden treasures that You have scattered throughout this day and
season! May Your peace rest upon all the members of the earthen family with
whom You have made us one.
Amen.

Are you doing anything to mark the passage of the seasons?

5 comments:

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  2. I love the spring transparancies. Great idea for celebrating Easter and spring.
    Here in Denmark people say that spring begins on March 1stand they are often disappointed. It was spring for like four days, sice then it has been freezing and snowing, and will continue to do so for at least a week to come. The American custom, starting spring on Spring equinox, is just so much more sensible.

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  3. Love the transparencies!! We have not done any in a long time!! Wishing you warmer weather.

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  4. Eek! Your nature table is so cute! I love it!! And your bird craft is beautiful. Totally pinning this for next year.

    I'd totally forgotten that in the past, a major reason I wanted to observe the solar festivals was to reconnect with nature, since I also find we're disconnected with the natural world. I've been wanting to do it for so long that I kind of forgot why I wanted to start in the first place. Thanks for the reminder!

    Also? I JUST discovered Hobby Lobby this last week during our road trip in the U.S. Oh my word. Best. Store. Ever. It's probably a good thing we don't have them here because I would spend way too much time/money there.

    And lastly: what a lovely prayer. I want to remember that one for next year. Thanks for sharing it.

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  5. The transparencies are lovely! x

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