Just before winter draws us inward, Grow With Me friends and families have ample occasion to enjoy the festivities of the season together. Our co-op shares several heartfelt annual holiday traditions.
We kick things off by gathering for a Stone Soup Thanksgiving family potluck. In the weeks leading up the feast, Ms. Katy uses her storytelling magic to impart upon the children a beautiful folk story of a hungry community coming together to contribute one ingredient per family to a large pot of stone soup that they then share among themselves in celebration. We in turn bring in one ingredient per family to contribute to our own communal pot of Thanksgiving soup, which we enjoy together. It is a warm, noisy gathering of families and the children are excited to share the event with their loved ones.
During the month of December, Grow With Me meets at a local nursing home to sing carols for the residents. We parade through the halls with our voices and instruments before convening in a community room to perform the carols the children have practiced in school. It is a magical and emotional experience to see the faces of the elderly, injured and disabled alight with the joy of the children’s infectious holiday spirit. We look forward to it every year.
And the culmination of the season is Grow With Me’s Solstice Spiral, where past and present Grow With Me families gather to carry our candles through the darkness into the spiral as a symbol of the promise of the light’s yearly return. This year we were graced with the primal rhythms of drums played by a former Grow With Me family, and after the ritual of walking the spiral was complete, a gaggle of kids of all different ages overran the upstairs playground with the laughter and screams of a familiar tribe in play while inside families gathered and partook in holiday treats.
May the joy of the holidays sustain you through the cold winter days while we hold onto the sun’s promise of the Solstice.