I’ve decided we are not doing a countdown calendar this year. I just didn’t want to invest the time it takes to make one and organize the little presents. Plus there can be fights about whose turn it is to open that day’s gift. This year I needed simple. I needed relaxed. I needed beautiful. And I do think our advent wreath turned out beautifully don’t you?
The base is cut from a pine log out at J’s parents house. We used it (and a few others) for decorations for Mrs. Iverson’s woodland animal birthday party a few months ago. Eventually it is destined to be a “dinner plate” to be used in the girls backyard “mudpie kitchen” in the spring. The centre is cut from a lovely cedar heartwood log. We drilled 4 holes into it, melted a bit of wax into the holes and placed a beeswax candle into each (the candles were left over from our Earth Day celebration downtown this past April). We had a few branches that needed trimming on our evergreen out back and we used our glue gun to keep them in place. The berries are from some grab bag I had from VV.
I was raised Roman Catholic and the advent wreath was central to the lead up to the Christmas celebrations. Of course the use of evergreen wreaths with candles during this season predates Christianity and so an advent wreath can be enjoyed by Christians and non-christians alike. I loved telling the girls about this piece of their cultural heritage and sharing something so peaceful and serene with them. It ties in so nicely with our yearly discussions about Solstice and the symbol of the evergreen and its promise of new life in spring. The light of the candles holds back the darkness just enough for us to remember that the light will return.
Each night at dinner we’ve been lighting one candle and letting it burn while we eat. The girls take turns lighting it (there is another random candle for the girl who does not get to light the advent wreath that night : ). So instead of chocolate/candy highs (and then lows) we’re enjoying candlelight dinners and a more gentle and peaceful sort of countdown.
Now this is a tradition I can live with…