Making an advent wreath, and the first candle: Hope

November 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

It occurred to me, in the midst of mucking stalls today, that it must be the first Sunday of advent. I was right, and felt sad that I couldn’t be in church for it, as much as I love working with the horses. Tonight will be an evening of Christmas music and watching a sermon online, which I am glad to have, though it isn’t quite the same, is it?

Advent is a tradition for many of my faith, and one we practiced at home throughout my childhood. How solemn and exciting it felt, turning the lights down and gathering around the table, with the sparkly wreath and its blue and purple candles placed in the center. Mom would read from the blue advent book, one clearly designed for families as it featured children on the front and used words simple enough for everyone to understand. A story and reflection, a passage from Scripture, the strike of a match – and Dad would light the appropriate candle. The room would glow, and so would all our faces. We were together, and we were a part of something important.

But all the years I’ve been on my own I haven’t had an advent wreath. As I was sifting through wood shavings at the barn thinking about this I felt suddenly what a shame that was; and how many things in life was I going to forget to do, or delay doing, just because I didn’t have a family of my own yet? It is time for an advent wreath.

So I made a note to go to Hobby Lobby after walking the dog. And yet – wait. Why spend more money? Especially now? Surely I could scrounge up something from what I had around the apartment. Surely.

Here’s what I found:

The lid of a bucket, in need of a good scrubbing.

Candles gathered from corners and windowsills, some also in need of scrubbing.

Assorted fabrics.

And glittery pinecones.

Here’s what I did:

After washing the bucket lid, I covered it in fabric, just tucking the ends under so that I can reuse the fabric for something else later, if i want to.

A couple of the candles needed a little sprucing up, so yarn and ribbon helped with that.

Some tactful arranging . . .

. . . and a sprinkle of pinecones . . .

and there you have it!

My no-money-spent rustic little advent wreath.

I know, it isn’t exactly a wreath, but these are days of improvisation, right? And most importantly, it serves its purpose. What ideas have some of you come up with for making wreaths (or “wreaths”) with what you have? I’d love to see or hear about them!

The first candle on the advent wreath symbolizes hope, expectation, and prophecy. With the lighting of the first candle, Christians remember the prophecies about the coming of a Messiah, the one who would be their Savior.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.

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