Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nativity on a budget, stories and scenes...

What a joy it is to celebrate these next weeks of Advent with the children!
I feel so inspired to do so many things, but I must stop myself from overwhelming everyone involved, most importantly the children.
I have a list of ideas for the next weeks, but I'll be selecting only a few...
I'm looking ahead to St. Nicholas Day with the children. The stories of St. Nicholas will be the hallmark of our story telling all month long up until Christmas. The best resource I have found online is The St. Nicholas Center. I have gleaned all of our weekly stories from this site thus far.

This week, we hear the story of St. Nicholas and The Shining Orange. (story here)
I picked this story to address some of the run-of-the-mill sharing and using kind words to each other incidents we sometimes have during playschool. We don't directly "tell" the children to be nice to each  other. We also don't "make" them share. Addressing these things through story and setting up "vignettes" so the children can work their own way through has worked very well thus far.. (for example, if 2 children are not getting along, we may have them sit together at a beautiful smaller table of their own during lunch time. One may also take on the "job" of helping the other gather nap time supplies...)

The puppet photographed above is my first standing puppet I have created...or kind of. Truth is, it's not finished yet. I began working on it during my course at Sunbridge this past Summer, and I needed a lot of guidance. I think I still do!!

Hey, all of you haphazard hand sewers out there! I feel you!

I spent much of this past month shopping around for a wooden Nativity set. Many of them were too cartoon-like for my taste, and the really beautiful sets were far too expensive. I really love the Ostheimer pieces, though. The craftmanship is unsurpassed, I think.
I was pleasantly surprised when I found these pieces from Padillly. I ordered Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the Star, and a kneeling Angel...all for about $97.00. There is also a coupon code ("jellybeans") on the site to receive $5 off an order of $50 or more. I'll add more pieces next year and as time goes on. I decided to use some of our tree blocks for a manger in lieu of spending even more money. I think it will work out well.
This week, the manger is bare, except for some stones. Next week, we'll add plants, and so on. I'm glad to introduce these details slowly and gradually. The children seem to notice them so much more rather than them *BAM* all of a sudden just being there.

Here are a few other sets which I admire for quality and price...
(this is not to say that I don't FULLY believe that handmade items are worth every penny.)

Most of all, my favorite needlefelted set depicted beautifully in a Christmas Card

We're looking forward to the days together as 2011 comes to a close...
We've learned so much together and the children have happily become so independent; recently honing our dish washing skills:)
...on a random note, if anyone knows of a website which sells a beautiful and large stoneware/enamel bowl, please send the link along in the comments section:)

It is always a pleasure to write this blog...thanks for reading:)


  1. We are opting for a simpler Christmas this year.... although in fairness it seems to have cost me rather a lot???? Maybe that looses the point! But the effect is still lovely and i am enjoying not being over whelmed by the sparkly clutter of previous years!
    I know how hard it is with the Nativity, I spent £23 on a wonderful hand knitted set from Ebay last week. Think they are on my blog, if you fancy a look. I am so happy with them!
    I love your little doll. i am one of those haphazard sewers too!! lol

  2. It's ALWAYS a pleasure reading your blog...thanks for writing/sharing : )

  3. Oh how funny! I just made standing puppets just like that and I gotta say they look very similar. =) I tried to needle felt some hair on with roving and it didn't quite turn out like I meant to. oh well, practice, practice.

  4. Your nativity is beautiful and so meaningful. We have this one, which is really affordable yet still rustic and kid-friendly.

  5. I picked up a nativity manger (at our thrift store!) that we're not using, it's not Ostheimer but it is wood and rustic! I wonder how much it would cost to ship it to you? We really should be neighbours! ;o)
    ~ joey ~
    ps. I love your puppet! We're halfway through sewing our first Waldorf Doll, wish me luck!

  6. Your puppet is great. I still haven't found the courage to try my hand at a doll yet. One of these days...

    And thank YOU for writing this blog.

  7. Loving your blog, found it through The Magic Onion.
    We get our enamelware dishes through The Wagon Mound, I know they have a 10 1/2" diameter bowl, but I don't know if they have larger.

  8. We've bought the Holztiger Nativity set for this year, to share with our recently adopted children. I searched and searched for lovely wooden figures so that the children could play and act out the Christmas story. Ostheimer was beyond our budget, but I'm really happy with Holztiger - so much in fact that we bought other animals for our children to have for Christmas.
    We're new to the Steiner journey, having come this way since the children have arrived, but I love the Steiner lifestyle and it seems to provide such a gentle rhythm for our little ones who experienced so much trauma and chaos in the past.
    I love reading your blog :-) and this is the first time I've left a comment I think,
    Happy Christmas to you!



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