Preparing for the Advent Fair
by Kamila Szymczak
Advent has always been a special time in Camphill Communities. It is a perfect moment to clear the minds and prepare for Christmas to come. It is the time to become more involved and more caught up in the meaning and the possibilities of life as a community.
This time of the year is also very special for everyone who lives and works in Newton Dee. For some people it means involvement in more activities, rituals and services, and for others this is the time they are getting the Christmas spirit. The Advent Fair that takes place on the 6th of December officially starts Advent time in Newton Dee.
Almost all the workshops are preparing something for this very particular day. It is easy to notice that preparations start many weeks earlier and that having your contribution to this event is of great importance and is deeply engraved in people´ memories as a crucial part of Newton Dee’s lifecycle.
For me, an observer only, it was a very unique experience to witness all these intense preparations, so different from what I have been associating with this time of the year before I came here.
The Craft Studio, apart from clocks and candles, is focused on preparing Christmas decorations and cards. There is also a wide variety of earrings and beaded decorations. At the Toy Shop stall one can find wooden chopping boards, toast tongs, jigsaw puzzles and more. People involved in the Activity Group – outstanding knitters – are preparing hand warmers, head bands and scarves. There are also beautiful cards with Christmas stamps.
At the Metal Workshop stall one will be able to find a wide range of original hand-made jewellery – earrings, bracelets, bangles, while in the Doll Shop there will be abundance of Christmas decorations, cards, stockings, stars and angels.
The Bakery and Confectionary are baking Christmas cakes, biscuits and a whole range of breads in baby sizes what will make it possible for visitors to try out these delicious products.
Cairnlee House will be selling things prepared in their weaving workshop – scarves, table runners, handbags. They are also making clay products – candle holders, plates and various little Christmas decorations, felted snowmen, gnomes. Each and every workplace is doing their best to prepare everything on time.
It cannot be forgotten, though, that this is the moment when in the very midst of the busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth, we should take time, slow down, be still and awake to these important days to come.
Life in a Camphill Community, or rather life in general, seems to be a constant Advent season. We are continuously waiting to become, discover, improve, complete and fulfil. Hope, struggle and expectation are all part of the Advent time and also of the Advent Fair, which will be its special opening.