Monday, December 7, 2009

The Second Light of Advent & St. Nicholas Day

The second light of Advent is the light of plants,
Plants that reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance...

For the second week of Advent we added pine cones to the center of our wreath to represent the plant kingdom. K had the honor of lighting the candles as we read our verse and sang our song, and she blew them out at the end of the night, too.

We added trees and pine cones to our manger scene. We don't have nativity trees yet but these will do. We only have a few pieces for our nativity and plan to buy a few more every year until it is complete. That feels appropriate to me as it goes along with the patience and anticipation of the Advent season.

Our Advent calender
Since this is the week of the plant kingdom we decided to get our tree. I know, traditionally, you are supposed to wait until after the fourth light of Advent, but this is the first year we are having a 'real' tree and I didn't want to make the girls wait any longer. Maybe next year we will wait until the fourth light but for now I am just going with the flow and with what feels right for our family.

Sunday was also St. Nicholas day, which is always an exciting day in our house. We read one of the St. Nicholas stories before bed the night before and the girls put their shoes by the front door with carrots for St. Nicholas' donkey.

As you can see I had to undo the velcro a bit on each of my girl's shoes to fit the clementine, golden walnut, honey stick and small gift.

Our St. Nicholas decorations were very simple this year. We had our usual St. Nicholas figure out on our night stand so the girls saw it right away upon waking, and we added a couple new items as well.

St. Nicholas candle found at the winter faire made by Buzzhandmade

St. Nicholas ornament by Mel of Haddy2dogs

If you desire to, you can see our last two St. Nicholas Day celebrations here, and here. We, once again, missed celebrating with our wonderful friend Tiffeni.

On a side note: I can not believe all your kind words on my ornament. Thank you so much! I don't even know what to say!!
Remember you have until St. Lucia day next weekend to enter to win!

I hope everyone had a wonderful celebration (if you celebrate these holidays) and weekend.

Wishing you all lots of warmth!



healing hillary said...

love this post. such sweet little thoughts and gifts.

good for you for going with the flow and trusting your instincts. we also got our tree(s) this week...plant week seemed appropriate :).

Ashley S. P. said...

I was trying to wait to get our tree as well but I don't think we can wait any longer! I'm too excited.

I love the clementines and the honey sticks! I picked up honey sticks at our WS Holiday Faire on Saturday for this very purpose. St. Nick also left a fruit leather in each shoe as well!

I have to ask where did you find the Mushroom dolly? It looks like German Dolls from Etsy but sometimes I'm really bad at identifying handmades...

Anonymous said...

Love seeing your celebration for St Nicholas day. It was our first time celebrating it also, and there are things that I shall make different for sure next year. Did your girl put their shoe the night before or the same night?
I love all the present you putted in your girls shoes! Did you make all of them?
Also where did you get the St-Nic book? I was trying to find a book to tell the St-Nic story, and I was not entierly satisfied with what I have found. -thanks

Joy said...

Beautiful St. Nicholas ornament and candle! Your celebration, as always, looks lovely. :)

Tonya Gunn said...

What beautiful traditions.
I really like the needle felted St. Nicholas.
Thanks for sharing all.
Warm wishes.

Becky said...

looks like a wonderful day, the shoes are beautiful with the little gifts inside! :D

Jaimie said...

Where did you get those adorable little mushroom shoes?

Robin said...

Where did you find that book? I can't find it online anywhere. Its a bit late for it this year...planning for next year! ;)

Liebe Lebenskunst said...

You might have mentioned that before somewhere on your blog, but are you German? Just asking because the Nikolaus und Ruprecht book seems to be in German.

Greetings from Colorado from a German native

Anonymous said...

this looks like a really lovely and meaningful celebration!

Mama Rose said...

Nicole, I love the idea of purchasing just a little bit to add each year for the nativity scene :D
I've been learning so much about the old world holiday through waldorf...I can't wait to include St. Nicholas day in our family tradtion next year. Beautiful pics mama :D

Nicole said...

i second the question by 'ramos family'... nikolaus und ruprecht seems to be in german indeed. :-)

KnitterMama said...

wow--i love the saint nicolas gifts. I am pretty new to this stuff and find it so amazing. Thanks for the post.

*erin* said...

So beautiful, you really make holidays special. I am fairly new to Waldorf and trying to establish our familys traditions and it is so inspiring to read your blog! Thank you!

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

All of these pictures are so sweet! I really like the St. Nicholas ornaments (I imagine many needle felted ornaments to be made over the years), and I love how you use the bowl in the center of your wreath.
We added pine cones also, to our nature table.

angela said...

We got our tree today because it is the week of plants it just feels natural to do it this week. Last week we spent time at the beach to collect rocks and shells. It is hard to find plant activities in December. Please tell me about your girls' shoes they are so beautiful.

Indigo, madder, marigold said...

I love your pictures! And i adore this time of year...the expectation, the inward spiral...the joy and magic that is inherent in children. I just got the email with your basket pattern too. Thanks for sharing your St. Nick day! I was lazy and let my daughter experience St. Nick with her classmates at school. Too hard to explain St. Nick coming so manyplaces!

kirschkernzeit said...

My favourite picture is that with the filled shoes- very sweet! But when I noticed the title of your book, I was surprised; do you also speak german? Or is it just your love for those watercolor pictures in there?
from Switzerland

gardenmama said...

I just shared your post with my children they were so thrilled to see your St. Nicholas celebration as we enjoyed ours so much. The close up of your girls shoes with treasures could not be any more cute! I love the idea of the golden walnut and honey stick something to remember for next year!

FrontierDreams said...

The St. Nicholas book pictured is by Ostheimer but it is all in German. We just look at the pics in it and read the St. Nicholas stories in the Floris book 'winter'. Ou dog behaviorist may translate the Ostheimer book for us *fingers crossed*

The shoes are by Livie and Luca. HTH!

Hillary - Plant week does seem to work, huh? I love your trees, btw :)

Ashley S.P. - I picked up the doll at our local Waldorf school but she was made by The Moon Goat on Etsy.

Petithappiness - We put the shoes out the night before so the girls could enjoy that part of the tradition. I made the clothes for K's doll but the mushroom baby was made by the moon goat.

Joy - Thank you Your celebration looked wonderful, too!

Naturalearthfarm - Thank you! Mel makes amazing things!

Becky - Thank you!

Ramos family - We are not German.. well we have german ancestory but we do not speak German :) I know it seems like it with all our German things, huh? Tee hee. We have a love for Germany's wonderful craftsmen and artisians!!

Kelly and Kelly - Thank you!

MamaRose - Waldorf is what introduced us to all of these holidays and traditions, too! :)
Thank you for your kind words!

Knittermama - Thank you! Your package is on it's way, btw!

*erin* - Thank you so much for your kind words.

Renee - Thank you! I look forward to seeing what you create over the years :)

Angela mobley- Thank you! I wonder what I will do next year when K is in school and St. Nicholas visits there too....hmmmmmmm...

Bora- ahh yes, you got us! It's the watercolor pictures for sure!

Gardenmama- Thank you! How funny, I showed K the pics you had of your celebration and she was so excited to see yours, too!

Thank you, again everyone!

Beth said...

I love the picture of the toys in the sweet shoes! Precious! Beth

fleur said...

Hello;Just visiting your blog for the first time...In holland where I live ,we also celebrate the feast of Sinterklaas..
Here in Holland SINTERKLAAS arrived 2 weeks ago on a big steamship from Spain, where he lives...Bringing a lot of his black
helpingfriends/servants; ZWARTE PIET and also a lot of presents and sweets.
During these 2 weeks he brings at night sometimes a little present for the children who have put their shoes under the chimney/fireplace,while singing songs for him.
So he rides on his white horse on the roofs and ZWARTE PIET throws the presents through the chimney.But not every night; so it's always a surprise if you will get something!!
Children are listening at night if they hear trip- trap from horsefeet on their roof!
Finally on 5 december (the birthday of sinterklaas)he brings a big sack with a lot of presents to the family's;mostly they are all together with grandparents and oncles and aunts too.
Sometimes people invites SINTERKLAAS to their homes; that's very exciting for the kids...
Last years when my children are about 13,15 and 18 years old, we make only (in secret)a surprise for each other;
a present wrapped in a handmade funny box(like a doll or a car or a big lipstick, or a football or whatever)And also a funny poem about that person.
So it is a funny evening with a lot of laughing and surprising...
On 6 decmber SINTERKLAAS leaves again, back to Spain.
warm greetings from Fleur from Holland

Amy E. said...

is there an ISBN number on the book? it should either be under the barcode or on the back of the title page (with the other publishing information). i would love to try to find a copy of that book! my husband's german and we want our children to understand at least a little of the language. this looks like the perfect way to introduce them to it and to german holiday traditions! thanks for looking! i really appreciate it!

FrontierDreams said...

Sure - the ISBN is: 3-934381-06-5 HTH!

tara_bella said...

Hi, Nicole,

I found your site by accident last night while looking up the words for the fourth week of Advent. I forget them every year. I am a Waldorf parent and pre-school teacher in CA, and I think you've done a lovely job of bringing the season alive for your kids. My family always gets our tree on the second Sunday, as well, so don't let that bother you. You have to create traditions that work for your family. Happy Holidays!

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