Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Week of Christ-Centered Christmas Countdowns: The Advent Wreath

I actually had no idea what an Advent Wreath was up until a few years ago when my husband's family introduced me to it.  My in-laws bought us our own last year and I was really excited to make it our centerpiece at the dinner table... but I still wasn't sure exactly how they worked or what it all meant.  I decided this year would be the perfect time to look into it a little more and make it part of our Christmas countdown.



If you're like me and aren't sure what this Christmas tradition is, it's basically a way to count down to the advent or "coming" of Christ to earth.  There is a wreath that holds 5 candles that provides a weekly instead of daily countdown to Christmas.  Each candle represent something and each Sunday for the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas, you light a candle and discuss it's significance.  On Christmas day the last candle is lit and you celebrate the "arrival of the King."

I found this post that did a really good job of explaining some history and different ways it can be used here.  It also has some Scripture readings and sample prayers you can use as a short devotional with your family.  Let me know if you know of another good resource for this.  I also got this giant Advent Wreath poster set from Oriental Trading Co. that can act as a guide as you go through the candles.



You can make your own set by finding a wreath you like, and 5 candles (a larger white one for the center with 4 longer ones for around the edge...either all purple or 3 purple and 1 pink).  Some place like Hobby Lobby or Michael's would probably be a good place to start.  You can also find advent wreaths like the one I have at places like Hallmark (that's where the one pictured above is from), online (variety of styles and prices as well as candle sets through this link) and I'm guessing Christian bookstores too.

This one can vary quite a bit in price depending on how fancy you decide to go, but time-wise it's probably the easiest to execute.  If a daily countdown is more than you can squeeze in right now, perhaps a once a week time to sit and reflect on the true meaning of what we're celebrating this season would be more manageable.  I'm looking forward to adding it to our celebration this year starting this Sunday!  And it really is a pretty decoration!  :)

Is the Advent Wreath new to you?  If you've done it before, what are your thoughts?



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3 comments:

  1. We have done an advent wreath for a few years and I love it! We also use a Nativity scene with it and the kids act out the story. It's such a good reminder and it works to "ground" us in the meaning of Christmas.

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  2. Thanks for all the info and the link to kencollins.com. Last year I was thinking I'd like to do a family advent wreath, but I was like you and didn't really understand what it all meant. This is so helpful. I'm going out to look for one this week. :)

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  3. I remember my childhood church bringing out an advent wreath every year but never really understood what it was for. Thanks for the information. We are doing the Truth in the Tinsel again this year but may add the wreath as well. I think the kids would love to create a wreath for this.

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