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Festivals, Holidays, Inspiration, Sunday With Sarah

Finding Light Beyond the Glitter












Welcome back to Sunday with Sarah! It’s really nice to be with you again.

This has really become a highlight of my week — to just sit down, and connect with you, and share my thoughts.

It’s been a really busy week for me, and I bet it has been for you, too! It’s pretty hard to avoid this time of year, even if you don’t own a toy business. There are just so many events competing for our attention this time of year, it can become so stressful. With the commercialization of the holidays, it’s become just an orgy of buying and spending and parties and overeating.

I woke up this morning thinking about the word “holidays”, and what’s that’s come to suggest in this day and age, and remembering the root of the word: “holy days.” Holy days. So how do we find time, how do carve out time during this crazy time of year, to find what my friend Lynn Jericho calls “Inner Christmas?” (She’s got a great website I invite you to check out at

And how do we do that with children? How do we help them connect with the true meaning of this season?

I was grateful this week to my dear friend, Marcia Kimpton, another Waldorf early childhood teacher, who sent me a list that her former assistant created. It’s a list of activities she does with her children during the Advent season — one that can be performed each day during the weeks leading up to Christmas.

That list included things like:

  • Bake Cookies
  • Make a Paper Window Star
  • Make Cards
  • Make something for a neighbor and deliver it
  • Visit the Elderly
  • Make a Wreath

I’m sure you get the idea, and I’m sure you can think of many great ideas to add to such a list.

And I had a further thought: As a family you could write down one activity on a card or piece of paper, then put them all in a jar or a basket, and let your children pick one activity from the basket each day. It might be in the morning, after your children open the door on the Advent calendar.

Choose one activity from the basket to perform that day. Not a big task, not an all-day thing, but an activity that will let you take time away from the busyness, do something fun together, something that may be for others, something that helps bring the joy back into the season.

I would like to leave you with a passage from one of my favorite books on Waldorf education. It’s called The Recovery of Man in Childhood by A.C. Harwood.

I was reading this week a chapter about celebrating festivals with children, and he writes:

“The festivals, which have survived from older times, have become commercialized orgies of spending, and present-giving, and eating, and drinking. The child needs more than this. Civilization needs more than this. If we nourish the soul of the child by providing a spiritual experience of the rhythm of the seasons, it is also feeding a starving world.”

So, I invite you to reflect on that, and I welcome your comments this week. What other activities can you suggest that you can perform as a family with children, — simple activities to bring meaning to this time of year? And what ways have you found of slowing down during this busy time and connecting with the true meaning of the season to find soul nourishment for yourself?

Let me know, let others know. I welcome hearing from you. Have a peaceful and meaningful week., and see you next Sunday!

Please visit Lynn Jericho’s website for inspiration in finding  your own Inner Christmas.

What other activities with children can you suggest for a more meaningful holiday season?

What ways do you find to keep your inner light burning at this busy time of year?

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Crafts, Easter, Holidays

Spring Has Sprung: Dyeing Easter Eggs Naturally

Spring has finally sprung here in Maine! This morning, after three days of deluge-like rainfall and flooding, we finally awoke to bright and welcome sunshine. When I stepped outside this morning, I saw the first spring bulbs blooming outside my doorstep. I was heartened that they had survived the pounding rain, and it inspired me to grab my camera. You can see, the honeybees are already out now, too!



The flowering bulbs reminded me that (yikes!) Easter is only three days away. My boys, being teenagers now, aren’t champing at the bit to color Easter eggs as the did when they were younger, but when I gently queried William (the artist formerly known as Whit) as to whether he was expecting a visit from the Easter bunny this year, he made it clear in no uncertain terms that he is. Made me realize it’s time to dye some eggs!

Photo by Emily Weaver BrownPhoto by Emily Weaver Brown, used with permission.

While I was teaching, we would always dye eggs naturally in our class, using colorful vegetables and fruits to produce subtle but beautiful hues. Red cabbage (yields a vibrant blue), and yellow onion skins (burnt sienna) were my favorites. We’d let the eggs soak in the dye baths overnight, then the real fun came the next day when we would pull the eggs out from under layers of cabbage, and later slowly un-peel the layers of onion skins that were wrapped and tied around each egg.

When they eggs were dry, we’d rub a little vegetable oil over each one to give them a glistening sheen. Gently, we’d place them in the baskets of Easter grass we’d grown, and admire them as a marvelous, colorful centerpiece before the children took them home for Easter.

Here’s a website with great recipes for dyeing eggs naturally.

Read about Emily Weaver Brown’s experience with natural egg dyeing, and see more of her gorgeous photographs!

Have you tried dyeing eggs with fruits, vegetables, or other plant materials? Please share your experience, challenges, and suggestions!

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