While Christmas is still a month and a half away, the season of Advent starts right after Thanksgiving! Admittedly, I've been guilty about overlooking Advent in years past; I get wrapped up in decorating and stressing out about Christmas shopping just like everyone else (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I meant to get an Advent wreath last year but never got around to it. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the whole history and symbolism of the Advent wreath, I won’t pretend to be some sort of religious expert. Instead, here are a couple good articles:
What is the Advent Wreath? (About.com)
The History of the Advent Wreath (Catholiceducation.org)
This year, I thought it would be fun to try and make my own. Here’s one example of a traditional wreath:
[ image credit: Catholiceducation.org ]
The two purple candles are lit on the first and second Sundays of Advent. The pink candle is lit on the third Sunday, and the final purple candle is lit on the fourth Sunday. And there’s usually a white candle in the center to be lit on Christmas Eve, too. When you light the candle(s) each week, you should take some time to appreciate this season and its meaning.
I thought about just recreating this look, but then decided to put my own little twist on it. I perused the Christmas and candle aisles at Hobby Lobby for materials and found these:
Candle ring - $3.49 (50% off)
Mirror base - $2.99 (50% off)
White pillar candle - $2.49 (50% off)
Pink and purple(ish) votives - $.99/ea
Votive holders - $.60/ea (from Wal-Mart)
I couldn't find the right colors of pink and purple votives, but got the closest I could. I decided to go with these instead of taper candles because I felt they would look better and not get knocked over. After assembling everything, this is my deconstructed advent “wreath” on our dining table:
If you know me, you know I’m drawn to sparkly things like a moth to light, so I couldn’t resist the temptation to add a glitzy touch with the candle ring. And I like how the mirror adds a reflective quality and helps to ground it. Although I did realize after reading through this article that I’m missing the evergreen element, which is supposed to symbolize life. Oops. It's pretty, but maybe lacking a little meaning.
So, when I was shopping at Home Goods this weekend (while visiting my sister; unfortunately we don't have one where I live!), I found a 12" wreath--complete with berries, pine cones, and ice crystal-tipped garland--for $12.99. Substitute the mirror for a new charger from Z Gallerie ($2.95), and I now have this:
Which version do you like better?
The garland wreath has a nice, full look to it. And I can always use the other candle ring elsewhere in the house. But since it's not Advent yet, I still have a couple weeks to decide. For now, it's back to my simple fall centerpiece!
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