A guest post by Andrea Doornbos
Advent means “coming,” it’s when Christians anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ. I grew up celebrating Advent; every night before we ate dinner we would do a short Advent reading and light the Advent candles. For those of you not familiar with how it works, here is a quick breakdown.
Advent is four Sundays long. This year it starts November 30th. The first Sunday in Advent you light the Hope candle. Every day during the week you light only that one candle. The next Sunday you light the Hope and Faith candle (sometimes called Peace) and light only those two candles during the week, and so on. The third Sunday is Joy, which is traditionally a pink candle. And the fourth Sunday is Love. On Christmas you light all four candles as well as the tallest candle, the Christ candle.
I wanted to carry on this tradition with my three girls- ages 7, 5 and 1. This year I found a couple of resources for Advent readings. The first is a daily reading that uses the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones which can be found here. The next are four simple Sunday readings that involve hymns and scripture. The last is what I am going to try this year; 25 advent readings for young kids, each including a short reading, scripture, and prayer. I think it will be a great way for my kids, husband and me to focus on Jesus and preparing our hearts to celebrate Christ’s coming.
For the past several years I have been searching for a family advent wreath. This year I got serious in my quest but still came up short… I didn’t like the design or how they looked flimsy (and reminded me of my childhood wreath with fake greenery going up in flames due to candles falling over). Yikes! But hey, at least it’s a funny memory now.
So, I went to the one place I knew would inspire me, Pinterest! I dug through my crafting stash and made a trip to Michaels. I am super happy with the result and am pretty sure there will be no greenery in flames atop our dining room table.
A large round or long platter (I used 2 stuck together)
5 candles: 4 short, 1 tall
Sparkly or festive holiday decorations you have tucked away: I used pine cones from my Fall centerpiece and some gold shiny sprigs and pinecones I found at Michaels for 50% off
Red and Gold paper: from my Creative Memories days
Gold Letter Stickers
Ribbon (whatever color you want- you could use traditional Advent colors: pink and purple OR whatever matches your decor)
- First, I used the glue gun to glue the the ribbon around the candles.
- Then I traced circles onto my gold paper and cut them out.
- I cut out small rectangles and glued those to my gold circles.
- Then I used gold letters to label each candle with the corresponding word.
It’s that simple!
Traditionally the wreath has three purple and one pink candle. I used all white candles since they match my decor better and I differentiated between the candles with pink and red paper. After that I set my candles on the platters and played around with the holiday decorations I had. Feel free to be creative with the project, and better yet, involve the kids! Hopefully you can start your own Advent traditions as you focus on the reason for the season, the Christ that came and is coming again…
Happy crafting and Advent reading!