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Christmas time at Waldorf

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The following is a first-person account of Waldorf education from a Waldorf alumnus, Shane Alexander. To learn about the difference between Waldorf and Montessori schools, read our comparison guide. You can also read our guide to Waldorf preschools.

The holiday season is always the best time of year at Waldorf. We had the Christmas Fair, plays by the lower school, food, and even a visit from the big jolly guy from the North came to pay the High School students a visit. Secret Santa ran for the last few weeks before Christmas vacation.

Gnomes were popular during the Holiday season at Waldorf
Gnomes were popular during the Holiday season at Waldorf

Days leading up to the holidays were busy and stressful.  Running around from class to class worrying about Main Lesson tests and projects due, you tend to get this reassurance that everything will pay off as you smell the candle wax in the air as the lower school was in the gym area standing in line dipping gently into this huge pot making their own candle which they will later decorate.

The best was when you had a really stressful day and you would return to your locker and see a gift for you hidden away. It was from your Secret Santa. It always made my day. It might have been a little gift certificate to the coffee shop down the street, or a gnome doll or even maybe a CD of your favorite artist at the time. It all made it worthwhile. The stress, the tests, the homework. The cold days walking up the huge hill. It made your headache go away and remember that the holidays are just a few short weeks away.

It was reassurance.  

The Christmas Fair. A weekend event usually held on the last weekend in November where Waldorf turns into a huge three floor Holiday playground full of gifts, food, music, and arts and crafts for the kids. The students and staff played hosts as thousands would enter the doors to spend the day walking around the round school buying, eating and celebrating.

Every Monday in the month of December the whole school would gather in the forum to light a candle. It was our Advent ceremony. One representative from each class would have a candle in hand and walk to the front of the forum to light it. They would return to their class and remain standing until all the classes did the deed. It was a beautiful weekly gathering that started off your week with a peaceful feeling.

Advent Kicks off in December
Advent Kicks off in December

From the Christmas fair to the Secret Santa's, it was all a wonderful time of year at the Waldorf School, but above everything, it's the smell of candle wax that I miss the most.

—Shane Alexander
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List of Waldorf schools

  • Toronto, Ontario
    Davenport Rd/Spadina Rd
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $5,040 to $19,950

Small class sizes combine with a vast classical education to create a diversity of understanding that leads students to build the confidence they need to comfortably go out into the world in their own unique way.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Waldorf Academy 5040 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Thornhill, Ontario
    Bathurst St/Rutherford Rd
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $12,470 to $23,400

Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics,arts & movement, and addresses the intellectual, physical, emotional & social aspects of child development. Preschool to gr. 12.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Toronto Waldorf School 12470 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Calgary, Alberta
  • PS to 9 Coed
  • $4,280 to $14,420

Calgary Waldorf School’s rich and challenging curriculum carefully balances academic, artistic and practical activities to stimulate intelligence and encourage creativity.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Calgary Waldorf School 4280 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Burlington, Ontario
    Appleby Line/Upper Middle Road
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $9,520 to $16,000

Halton Waldorf school offers an education that fosters confidence, independence and intelligence. Our school is located on five forested acres and has been uniquely designed to support the goals of Waldorf education.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Halton Waldorf School 9520 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. West
  • PS to 6 Coed
  • $15,500 to $17,500

NOW WITH LICENSED DAYCARE! Bring your child for a free trial to let him or her experience the difference. Don't be surprised if he or she doesn't want to go home at the end of the day!

  • Day
  • Montessori
  • Waldorf
Alive Montessori & Private School 15500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
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