Monday, November 14, 2011

Martinmas Celebration and Holiday Reading for Little Ones.

I love Martinmas.  We have an annual tradition of celebrating St. Martin's Day with decorating lanterns, telling the story of St. Martin and then after the sun sets, taking a lantern walk.


St. Martin in known for taking his sword and cutting his cloak into two pieces.  The additional piece went to a shivering cold beggar who was scarcely clothed.  Traditionally Martinmas is celebrated with lantern walks signifying what St. Martin saw in the poor beggar.  St. Martin recognized the divine spark in the beggar,  and offered protection with his cloak.   To make a lantern, we may feel like we too are protecting our own little flame and carrying it through the dark world.  It may only be a small and fragile light, but every light brings relief to the darkness.  -Taken from All Year Round, A Calendar of Celebrations.

My flash is presently not working so these pics are a bit blurry. 
Here are the lanterns we made this year.  Cut pieces of tissue paper and glue stick the pieces on to a glass jar.   Attach a handle made of twine or other.  Brush a coat of Modge Podge on top and allow to dry.  Voila!  You have a gorgeous lantern to adorn your holiday home.  

We also use the story of St. Martin as an impetus to donate coats, clothes, etc., to those in need.  If furry friends are on your radar, you can collect non-filled blankets and donate them to your local animal shelter.  Dogs will appreciate something warm to sleep on, other than concrete, as the nights get colder.

I ordered some Christmas selections from Amazon last week for our home holiday book reading.  I really love the illustrations and the simple and sweet messages of these stories.  Here's what I ordered and I can highly recommend these, now that they've arrived.  (Age 3 plus, yet my 1 year old likes to listen too.)

Since having children, I am continually shocked at what one finds in books aimed for little ones.  The amount of name calling, sarcasm, and unsavory illustrations are disturbing.  However as you can see above, there are some wonderful books that aren't all that popular to be found.  One of our favorite winter time stories, (and authors for that matter,) is The Story of the Snow Children by Sibylle Von Olfers.  You will be captivated by the illustrations alone. 


Happy Holiday Reading and Tradition Making!

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