Oh, Advent! The (often) forgotten precursor to Christmas. In recent years our family has tried to be more deliberate about celebrating Advent, and it has been so very exciting. In fact, I’ve become quite the Advent advocate, for a number of reasons. 

  1. Advent makes Christmas even better! Some may say that holding off on all the Christmas decorations, music and merriment until near Christmas day sounds like you’re a bit of a killjoy. I’ve found the opposite to be true. Instead, I’ve noticed how it builds anticipation, allowing us to fully enter into Christ coming at Christmas (which actually extends until Friday 5th January!) 
  2. Waiting is good for us. I’ve got so many things on tap in my life, and a little bit of patience and waiting during Advent has really helped me to focus on what Christmas is really about. 
  3. We get to celebrate two very exciting seasons, not just one! OK, Advent is not a pseudo Christmas, but it really is so fun (especially with kiddos) to have two seasons of the church liturgical year to celebrate, back-to-back, and there are so many Advent-themed activities and feast days to get into during the Advent season.The tradition of creating Advent wreaths is a great way to aid our waiting and preparation for Christmas during Advent. Similar to a Christmas tree, there is something particularly special about the smell of the evergreen in the home, reminding us that Christmas is near. It’s also a great way to explain the beauty of our faith to children; the circle of the wreath and the evergreen – God’s eternal nature, decorative orange – new life and life everlasting. The four candles, symbolic of the four weeks of Advent, as well as the four thousand years from the creation of Adam and Eve to the birth of Jesus Christ. Everyone makes their wreaths differently, but here’s how we do it:

Per family we used:

  • 1 Floral Foam Wreath (25cm) – around about $15 each
  • Evergreens gathered from lovely neighbours or a friend’s evergreen
  • Advent candles (one rose, three purple) – around $2.50 each
  • You could also use beeswax and tie purple/rose ribbons around them
  • Recycled spray bottle with water to keep the wreath fresh
    Optional extras: dried orange slices to decorate

Instructions:

  1. Spritz your floral foam with some water to keep the evergreens spritely
  2. Arrange your candles with one in each corner
  3. Fix some evergreens in place around the wreath, making sure to cover the bottom of the wreath
  4. Optional: Nestle in some dried orange slices to decorate
  5. Spritz your wreath daily (or get a child on the job) to keep it fresh until the end of the Advent season

We try to create our wreaths as close to advent as possible so they stay as fresh as they can throughout the advent season!

A lovely aid I have discovered is the CAY Advent wreath prayers printable booklet download. It contains all the prayers for blessing the wreath, as well as prayers to recite each week during advent, and some history around the advent wreath. It’s only $4NZD (plus printing if you don’t have a home printer) and it really is great having something physical to use for prayer. 

Praying that your advent is blessed, and your Christmas is merry and bright (especially down here in the southern hemisphere!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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