Since Frog Pond is a welcoming community to families from all religious and cultural backgrounds, we have built our two main family gatherings around the natural cycles of Spring (Grandmother Oak Tree Tea Party) and Winter (Winter Solstice). While we do incorporate fire, candles, the night sky, feasting, gathering with family and friends, and other symbols that are common to many of the religions of our families, we do not celebrate religious holidays.
We welcome guests, especially grandparents, all year long to come tell about their holiday traditions. Learning about religious traditions is far different than practicing a religion in a multicultural school.
Winter Solstice is an evening of fun that includes an outdoor gathering by the fire with singing and drumming. During this outdoor gathering, there is a team of decorators and furniture movers that do a small miracle in the building to turn it into a winter wonderland of glitter and good food. Because of the nature of this event, we’ll be spending at least an hour outside while the inside is converted for the festivities. Please be sure to come dressed to be outside for at least an hour and be sure that children have appropriate clothing and gear at school to keep them comfortable outdoors as well.
Next we have a meal together with the Tadpoles upstairs and the Frogs downstairs while families with each wander up and down. Herb Tyson makes two appearances in order to sing to each group. The children finish their meals very quickly and then go outside to play in the dark with glow sticks while they enjoy the wonder of the night sky and the fire. This leaves a time for parents to spend time with each other and relax while the kids are playing outdoors.
In the coming weeks your children will be learning about invitations, decorating, feasting, gathering, night sky, fire, seasonal changes and having fun with friends in preparation for the event. You may have already heard your children talking about watching the sky turn from day to night while lying on the Toad Mountain hill with the Frog Class. They have watched the moon come up and seen the bats come out. This has engendered an interest in bats and the night sky. The Tadpoles made the first fire of the season in the new fire pit.
After the Thanksgiving holiday, we will be asking for volunteers to assist with the party by signing up for activities including set up, clean up, food donations (which follow strict guidelines), and volunteering to supervise children outside. We look forward to sharing this special evening with you and your children!
We will be celebrating Winter Solstice on December 15th this year. It is a little early because we have found the week before Christmas is too busy for many families. So it won’t be exactly the shortest day of the year but it will be good and dark to enjoy the night sky after dinner.