30-Minute Martinmas Lantern

We are deep in the festival season now, a time when it seems there is a new festival to be celebrated every other day. The season kicks off with Michaelmas in September, then moseys on to Halloween. After that, it picks up speed, rushing quickly through Martinmas, Thanksgiving, and St. Nicholas’s Day. You might say it’s snowballing, rushing through Advent downhill toward Christmas and the year’s end. I admit I’ve had fewer cycles to give to all of this celebrating because of work, and that is disappointing to me. But one of my daily lessons in life and parenting is I must do what I can, and that is all I can do. It is enough. (I tend to fight this lesson a lot.)

Before Thanksgiving, we went to a St. Martin’s Lantern Walk at Lucas’s school. The children in second grade made their own beautiful lanterns from milk cartons. They whitewashed, painted, and created tissue-paper windows in their lanterns before the big event. On Friday, November 13, about a hundred people gathered in the darkness at school and walked a lovely path through the woods. We came upon a beggar man and St. Martin on his brave charger (a real horse!) in the night. Silently we watched Martin give the beggar a cloak to wear and a sack of food, for Martin is a generous man. The children sang their lantern songs, and carefully carried the lighted lanterns dangling from a stick.

About a half-hour before it was time to go to this festival, I realized that Asher would be sorely disappointed not to have a lantern to carry, too. So I whipped up this one, using a plastic jar and leaves and tissue paper. I was drying it with a hair-dryer just before we walked out the door. Instead of fire, I placed a few glow bracelets inside the lantern and sealed it up tight. The lantern glowed nicely—and safely—which was just as I had hoped. It got bounced around an awful lot!

Now, nearly a month later, the lantern is looking a little worse for wear. If I had had more time, I would have covered the top with a pretty fabric.

Asher's 30-Minute Martinmas Lantern

Asher's 30-Minute Martinmas Lantern

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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