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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Toronto, Ontario
Davenport Rd/Spadina Rd
 
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"Waldorf education is 'schooling with heart'. Students and parents love our smaller class sizes, strong teacher relationships, incredible curriculum, unique opportunities and arts-infused academics!" —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $21,700 to $24,700
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Waldorf Academy 21700 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Burlington, Ontario
Appleby Line/Upper Middle Road
 
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"Halton Waldorf School offers an education that fosters confidence, independence and intelligence. Located on five forested acres, the school has been uniquely designed to support the goals of Waldorf education. Est 1984" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $14,360 to $19,360
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Halton Waldorf School 14360 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Calgary, Alberta
 
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"Calgary Waldorf School’s rich and engaging curriculum carefully balances academic, artistic and practical activities to stimulate intelligence and encourage creativity." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 9 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $3,890 to $14,850
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Calgary Waldorf School 3890 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. West
 
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"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! SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS AVAILABLE!" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; Waldorf
  • $15,500 to $17,500
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Alive Montessori & Private School 15500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
Thornhill, Ontario
Bathurst St/Rutherford Rd
 
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"Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics, arts and movement while addressing the intellectual, physical, emotional and social aspects of child development from preschool to gr. 12." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $18,000 to $24,000
  • Day school
  • 360 students
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Toronto Waldorf School 18000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
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