Sage has been celebrating the Wheel of the Year for 25+ years, and being a holiday junkie, she just can't get enough of the sabbats!
The Sabbats are for celebrating! Even if your family isn’t all Pagan, it’s nice to support each other and spend the day together. If you’ve chosen to raise your children without religion, or in the religion of your spouse or family, this may be the one small way you can share your own faith with your kids. If you are raising your kids Pagan, it’s a great way to develop family traditions and memories.
Doing seasonal activities that reflect the meaning of the occasion is a great way to celebrate and enjoy without pushing anything overtly religious or ritualistic on each other. Just keep the meaning of the season in mind and try some of these great activities.
Engage in Festive Crafts
Crafts are always fun—especially holiday crafts. You can make crafts for this fall Sabbat to decorate your home with, and these are things you can leave up until Thanksgiving if you like.
Make a Wreath
Try making a fall wreath for your door.
- Get a grapevine wreath from the craft store, or make one if you have bendable vines available to you.
- Go on some nature walks and let the kids collect anything that strikes their fancy—pretty colorful autumn leaves, acorns, pine cones, feathers—whatever nature sees fit to gift you with as you go on your way.
- Come home and affix them to the wreath. Hang it on the front door or the wall.
Another great thing to do with wreaths is to lay them on the table for decoration. Put a decorated fall wreath on the table with a bowl of fresh autumn fruits or gourds in the center. Alternatively, decorate small wreaths and use them on the table to encircle candles in glass holders. Finally, miniature wreaths decorated with things make really cute napkin holders for the table.
Bake Bread Together
Mabon is the second harvest festival and is often called Harvest Home. Incorporate this into your holiday by making some bread together. Don’t use a bread machine— let you and your kids really get your hands into the dough. Make it yourself and take turns kneading. Throughout the process, pour into the dough all your love for hearth and home as well as all the blessings you wish for your family. When it’s ready to bake, sprinkle it with seeds or with herbs like rosemary, lavender or thyme. This will make the bread so fragrant. If you have time, find a recipe for homemade herbal butter—this will nicely complement your fresh bread!
If baking bread isn’t your thing, how about apple pie or pumpkin muffins? Really anything that utilizes seasonal produce will be ideal.
Read or Tell Stories Together
Stories are so important, but for some reason, our society is really losing the art of storytelling. For the Sabbat, turn off the TV and look for some stories you can tell. One of the best stories to start with would be, of course, the story of Mabon, son of Modred—the Celtic hero for whom this Sabbat is named. Any other culture’s harvest myths and stories will do, though. I personally have always loved Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. If you're looking for a book to read with your kids, try Rupert the Rabbit. Pagan children love the character of Rupert, who brings them through the cycle of sabbats in his stories.
If you want to kick your stories up a notch, do seasonal enactments—prepare scripts or cards so that you can pass them out, and each person who is part of the celebration can play a part (or two). You can all get up and act out the story, complete with costumes and props if you can wrangle them up.
Being a harvest festival, sharing the Earth’s bounty with those in need is probably the most meaningful and seasonally appropriate activity you can do. Why not set aside some money (and coupons, if you’re into clipping), then go shopping for canned and boxed goods so you can go and donate it to a local food pantry?
If your child loves animals, you can purchase food or treats and take it to the local animal shelter. Call ahead to see what they specifically use or need. Another option is making bird or squirrel feeders for the local wildlife to enjoy.
If you want to get a little closer to home, try a website like Freecycle.org and look for your local area chapter; then post an offering of people and/or pet food and choose someone who responds. Deliver the boxes of food to those in need. Even if it’s only a couple of bags of beans, rice, and peanut butter, it will do someone a world of good and show your child that as we freely take, we freely give—the very give and take that is the essence of the cycles of the seasons.
May your Autumn Equinox be joyful this season.