The Wintergarten Spiral Walk

As children place their lanterns on the spiral the spiral is lit

Everyone sings

When the child arrives at the end of the spiral I light their lantern

Planning an event for the community can seem daunting but with a little creativity it can be easy and simple. We hold our Wintergarten Spiral Walk every year and really enjoy it! I wanted to share this with everyone because so many people have asked me about planning this and I know a few of you have felt some apprehension and the prospect of planning a community event. It can be very easy, however. The one thing to remember is to keep it simple and let the community provide the energy and interest. Planning Waldorf events is like buying Waldorf toys. With a Waldorf toy you provide the child with something natural and simple and let their creativity bring the toy alive.

With Waldorf events you do the same. Create something natural and simple and let the community bring it alive. There is no need for elaborate decorations, hiring of clowns or magicians, or fancy catering. There is no need to make every lantern perfect and everything appear “magical”. Keep it simple so it has room to take on a life of its own.

This is how we did it:

1. In the morning I sent my eldest daughter out to trim our pine tree that had not been trimmed in five years – she used the sled to carry branches to the back yard. If you don’t have pine trees you can be creative with sticks or rocks. We used to use rocks when we lived in the desert – it took more time to set up but was just as beautiful.

2. While she was cutting branches I got out all of our old Waldorf toys (many are stored in boxes because my children are older now) and sent my son upstairs to get the ones that were not stored, but were in various parts of the house. His job was to carry all the toys into the bedroom, take apart my simple bed, and move it to the storeroom for the evening.

3. Next came Sofi’s job. Sofi was in charge of setting up the toys. She placed toys in baskets and set up the little wooden figures in lovely situations.

4. My job was setting out a few chairs, making sure the dishes were all set out for use, and straightening up the area we were using and the bathroom.

With cooperation we were almost done!

Next, Sofi was given some holiday decorations and decorated the area, Suni created the spiral from the branches Mosi had cut and I vacuumed the floor. Our co-planners soon arrived and helped us finish the spiral. They also brought many extra lanterns and a big pot of yummy soup!

Each guest brought a dish to share and as they arrived they placed it on the counter. By the end of the arrivals we had an amazing buffet in the kitchen – homemade corn bread, vegetarian soup, cookies, cakes, mac and cheese, and muffins!

The kids played, the parents chatted and then we all shared a meal.

After that we started the spiral walk. Rob opened with some bars of silent night on the lap harp and everyone sang. Mosi sang a song she loves to sing and one by one each child and family walked the spiral, had their candle lit at the end and walked back to place their candle or lantern along the path. We were not able to get enough live musicians so we played some harp music on a CD player.

It was a lovely simple evening!

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