Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

this post is from my Celebrate the Rhythm of Life Monthly program packets sampler 

"Gung Hay Fat Choy!"

In China, every girl and boy 
Celebrates the New Year
in a very special way -

With fireworks and dragons
colored red and gold - 

They welcome in the new year
and chase away the old! 

~ Helen H. Moore


hear a Gung Hay Fat Choy song here

Dear Readers,

A warm welcome to the February blog for Celebrate the Rhythm of Life!

Thank you for coming by to have a look. I'd love your frank feedback on what you love, what is missing and what you can do without.

I am so deeply touched by all the beautiful and kind words in your e-mails. I had no idea if anyone was reading my blog and finding any value in it. It feels so good to read all your notes and have a little picture of the individuals out there, all of connected by this cold, electronic machine, yet feeling warmth streaming through from all around the world. Thank you all.

This is a work in progress. I will be adding things as they days go by and including tutorials, so check in here on this page to see what is new. I have photos and tutorials and more on every topic coming in the next fews days. The sections on toddlers, handcrafts for children, handwork for mom and nature activities are coming in the next few days. Keep looking.

In future months, the plan is to have it all laid out for the release before the first of the month.

February begins with Brigid's Day. Brigid is a fascinating historical personage for she began as a powerful fire goddess and with the advent of Christ endured and was transformed into a Christian Saint as well as to become the Patroness Saint of Ireland. The old met the new and transformed yet with integrity, Brigid maintained her power. It is said she has a mantle much like that of Mother Mary.

Candlemas, as a season in the pagan and Christian calendar comes to an end officially on February 2nd, then heralds in Chinese New Year on the 3rd, 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit with fifteen days of celebration following the new moon until the full moon. And then there is Valentine's Day. What a lot to celebrate!

Here, in Vermont, we are blanketed with snow and enjoying more snow. If you are under snow, have you made a snowman yet? Built a snow fort? A snow lantern? Made an ice window or ice lantern? Been sledding or ice skating? Warm woolen blankets, lots of layers and a thermos of warm cocoa or tea can make the snow a pleasant experience for all ages. When do the snowdrop flowers emerge where you live?

Choose what to celebrate with care. Remember that less is more and too much of a good thing is not a good thing, especially with young children. One relaxed activity can bring heaps of fun. I have all these examples because I have had a child of my own in early childhood for the past fifteen years and have had lots of time to celebrate and refrain over those years with my children and with families and children of The Children's Garden, my nursery program. I'm bringing you pictures of possibilities to peek at, forget about and then find your own way into that which speaks to you.

One fond memory is of a Valentine's tea party for four, five and six year old boys and girls. We ate cupcakes with fluffy frosting, drank tea from pretty china cups on a table set with a pretty cloth and flowers and made heart shaped origami. I like to make heart shaped scones on Valentine's Day because they are simple and delicious and lovely to behold. Some years we might open a jar of homemade strawberry jam from last summer for this day.

Whatever you do, keep it simple and make room for the breathing and fun. If you find yourself breathing fast, dropping into bed at nigh exhausted or holding your breath during the day, rethink your day and remember children need 1) sleep, 2) food, 3) play and 4) fresh air alongside a warm, loving adult to thrive. That's all they need.

If you have time to do the laundry, prepare the meals, do the dishes, clean up after, sleep adequately and go outside everyday and still have time leftover, then take up the celebrations. Otherwise, just light a candle with meals and celebrate being together, being sane and having quiet moments.

The Rhythm in this guide is something I have used that works for me. It is meant to be a little snapshot of one way of doing it, among many possibilities. I hope it will inspire you to find your way into a rhythm that works for you and your family.

I will continue to post throughout the month in this column. Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at:


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