We have had a fantastic week, studiously ignoring all offers of irresistible discounts at 4am or at any other time, knitting, reading, playing in the snowflakes (it's a stretch, but the first ones fell this week and it was a jubilee!), planning holiday events from St.Nicholas to a cookie exchange to an Advent Spiral. We honored the first day of Chanukah yesterday, and we plan to listen to the story of this event today and bake a salt dough menorah, that I found here:http://flowingwithmyducklings.blogspot.com/2010/11/chanukah-craft.html
Alienor will be beginning Old Testament stories after the first of the year, and I did not want to miss an opportunity to begin with a festival that children can easily relate to.
This morning we are off on a walk before we begin lesson work. It is 20 degrees Fahrenheit, a perfect winter temperature! We'll come home and make a fire in the fireplace and stay home to work and play.
So why the "fall-out"? I had a really hard time forgiving stores in the US for what I saw as the unnecessary spoiling of a holiday last week. For the first time, my sister and her husband, like thousands of other in retail, not only had to work on that Friday following Thanksgiving that we refer to around here as "National Buy Nothing Day," but they had to leave our family get-together and leave their baby with my mother for the night, to drive home to be at work from 10pm-6am. Not to denigrate their profession in any way shape or form, but could not the stores wait ten hours to make a sale? People would be lined up at the door be it 6am, 8am or midnight. Who can find a babysitter to work from 10-6am when it is not a regular arrangement? Sigh.
On the other hand, I had a life-changing experience in the form of attending a belly-dancing weekend event. I love dance, I love music. I have not ever been particularly talented in either, but I have participated in some form or another my whole life; musicals, band, orchestra, learning piano all over again, playing the penny whistle and recorder with my children. You may have read of my fascination with Flamenco: http://www.ahomeschoolstory.com/2010/07/el-flamenco.html and: http://www.ahomeschoolstory.com/2010/07/el-flamenco_08.html for the photo. While Flamenco will always hold a special place in my heart, I know it would take years of discipline and dedication that should have ideally started in childhood to obtain a satisfactory level.
Belly dancing, on the other hand, while also an art form that takes years of training to master, is not only more accessible, but it is also a celebration of women dancing, laughing and being together in the music. I love sensual movement, the diverse music, the jewelry and voluminous skirts. I especially love the joyful friendship they share, this group that I was graciously invited into for a day and that has already become a meaningful connection in my world. Here is the website for this great troupe: www.tribeunda.net.