Peace for your Path...

"peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." (unknown)

Monday, December 13, 2010

our family's newest (old) tradition: An Advent Wreath

This is my family's very first Advent Wreath.

It looks a little unconventional I know, but then, so are we (a little)...

I really wanted a new Christmas tradition this year but had no real ideas until I went to church three weeks ago on the first Sunday of Advent. The Sunday School speaker spoke about her family's Advent Wreath and that was the first time I ever thought of having one at home.

For years, I had watched different families at church be invited to light a candle on each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. They would go up to the front of the church together dressed in their finest holiday attire and read a nice Bible verse. The kids would then shakily light the appropriate candle usually while their parents and the rest of us in the pews all held our breaths that no one's hair would catch on fire in the process (there were more than a few close calls). It was all very sweet and comfortingly traditional.

Until that Sunday, though, I really just thought of it as a "church thing." But I went home and Googled "Advent Wreath" and started investigating the symbolism of each candle. That night was also the first evening to share a nightly reading from our church's publication: A True Sense of God 2010 Advent Devotional. In it, church members share ideas of ways to experience God using all five senses. In the very front of the booklet, were instructions regarding how to make your own Advent Wreath.

Suddenly, the idea was coming at me from all directions. When this happens, I usually begin to sit up and pay attention....

After school that Monday night, I dragged my weary son to Target thinking I would just pick up a ready-made version and that we would be all good to go. No such luck (thankfully) so this is what we came up with instead (after quite a while spent with me fretting and picking up candle after candle - my poor kid!). Though it takes up almost the entire center of our dining room table, I absolutely LOVE it! The wreath part is made of white Rosewood, and it is really designed to hang on a door. Luckily, the center was just barely large enough for one white Christ candle (which we will light on Christmas Eve) and four glass votive candle holders around that. We even found purple (lavender) candles to represent Hope, Love and Peace (Sunday's # 1, 2 and 4) and pink for Joy (Sunday #3). Cool!

We have been blessed to have several friends and family drop by already this season to share a meal with us, and our Advent Wreath has been a great conversation starter. We love our new tradition!

What new traditions are you starting on your Holiday Path? I'd love to hear about them.

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