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Recently: Holiday magic at Emerson Waldorf Faire


By Valarie Schwartz

Magic happens regularly at the Emerson Waldorf School, but it’s been a few years since the holiday magic going on this week has stood on its own.

“It was combined with the Fall Faire, but that got to be too big, so we’ve moved it back to the Christmas season,” said teacher and parent, Kathleen Stone Michael.

The Holiday Faire, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, will feature crafts, puppet shows, games, food, music and fun for all ages. Admission is free but activity cards that can be purchased on site will allow for the purchase of food and gifts.

Everyone involved in the school community has had a hand in preparing for this event, but children in grades 4-12 were invited to attend an after-school workshop this week with Donovan Zimmerman, founder of the Paperhand Puppet Intervention. About 18 students participated in creating “puppets” that will open the event with a parade to the theater where two puppet shows will be performed by students during the faire.

Zimmerman explained to the children that their project would start by designing stars. The stars will be as big as the children can take them while still able to hold them up attached to poles from which streamers will flow down.

“You get to help create it,” Zimmerman said. “It’s an idea that inspiration will move forward. You’ll help manifest the dream.”

After a few demonstrations of how to do what they would be doing — with repeated advising that he would be the one cutting out the shapes using a box cutter — sketches were drawn on paper then enlarged onto pieces of cardboard. Many star points were drawn and cut out, for attaching to the main body of the stars designed by each student, and later painted.

Eighth-grader Ari Borhanian was excited to be working on the project.

“I thought it’d be really fun,” he said. “I like puppetry and thought making a big puppet was a good idea. I’m glad I had the opportunity and am very excited to see how it works.”

“What we’re trying to do at Emerson Waldorf School is teach that it’s more about the process than the end result,” said Anne Mandeville-Long, development director. “It’s fun to welcome Donovan back. He knows how we have certain philosophies.”

One of the features of the Holiday Faire is an Enchantment Shop. Over the course of the school year, while their children sleep, parents make very small items that children can buy as gifts for their parents from inside a house only children can enter that they will find along a woodland path. Another treat will be a “gingerbread house” that only small children can enter.

Live music and healthy homemade treats will enhance the pleasure of the day.

“We’re bringing something to the wider community as a gift,” Mandeville-Long said of the school fundraiser.

Bring the children on Saturday, but from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday a sneak preview of the Craft Sale begins at the Woodland Shop on campus. Besides crafts made by parents, there will be European handcrafts, felted bowls, toddler dolls, scarves and more.

The school is located at 6211 New Jericho Road. See www.emersonwaldordf.org for more information.

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