Family life

DIY Easy Advent Wreath

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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

You guys, I SO don’t do Pinterest. I admire those who have, you know, taste or an eye for crafty things. I’m just not wired that way.

When we lived in the church parsonage back in Wisconsin, the congregation let us choose our own paint colors, which meant Daryl chose all our paint colors because he understands things like neutrals and saturation and contrast tints.

I chose just one color, the color for my home office, and I picked an electric asparagus green which prompted Daryl to respond, in that loving way only a spouse can, “I’m glad this room makes you happy but I am about to have a seizure.” He never went into my office again. Come to think of it, I really didn’t, either.

It’s not just colors that keep me from being crafty, though. My mom sews amazing and beautiful things and actually enjoys it, and she tried for years to teach me to sew, but even trying to sew fills me with a weird sort of rage that only resolves itself when I step away from the sewing machine and go out on a run.

I’m just not built for crafts.

You want a 5,000 word essay by tomorrow? A sermon by Sunday? Gluten-free chocolate chip coconut scones in an hour? I’m your girl. Just don’t make me sew or fiddle with crafty things. It’s just not my jam.

But sometimes things need to be handcrafted, even for us less-than-crafty-folks because A) it’s waaaaay more affordable, B) it makes it special, and C) kids love making things.

Enter: Advent Wreaths.

If you’re familiar with Advent, you know it’s a season of gathering darkness (both literally and figuratively, as daylight shortens and we get ever more ready to welcome Jesus). The Advent wreath is a tangible reminder that even in a time of darkness, God’s light shines.

This project can be as simple as you make it. And we made it verrrrry simple for reasons stated above. Also: toddler. Also: preschooler. You get me.

Here are your minimum supplies:

  • Four candles of one color
  • One candle of a different color
  • A tray/plate/vessel of some kind to station them in
  • Greens, sand, or other anchoring material (optional)

See what I mean? Easy-peasy. It doesn’t even have to be a wreath, per se. It can just be a collection of candles.

The candles will need to last for awhile, so use something bigger than a tea-light. If you use skinny ones, you’ll need some way to anchor them. If you use big ol’ fat ones, you can just set them on a plate or tray.

Four of the candles traditionally stand for peace, hope, joy, and love. Three are traditionally purple while one is pink. The fifth candle is usually white and stands for the light of Christ. That said, Advent wreaths are extra-Biblical (not to say they aren’t great church traditions, just to say that they don’t appear in Scripture, much like other things that have become traditional in worship – like pianos, announcements, and the passing of the peace), so do what works for you and don’t worry about being “right.”

We kept our Advent wreath simple, but the sky’s the limit in how fancy you make it. The preschooler wanted it PJ Masks themed, but since I had a pretty serious argument with my husband about the Lego Advent Calendar last year (I loved it; he thought it missed the spirit of Jesus-in-the-manger because: consumerism… and he’s pretty much right but I LOVE LEGOS), we kept it brand-name free.

If you want Scripture readings to go along with a nightly Advent candle lighting, here are some good ones.


How are you preparing for Advent?

4 thoughts on “DIY Easy Advent Wreath

  1. Dear Courtney, I am truly sympathetic to your aversion to things crafty! I have noticed over many years, that when called upon to help with VBS or the like, being unable to do much of anything else, I’ve often been given the job of cutting out various shapes. After doing about 1 sheet of these “very important” shapes, I begin to feel I must put the scissors down or I’ll hurt someone with them. I wish I’d realized that a nice brisk walk in fresh air might have made it possible to cut out more than one sheet of shapes!

    In the 90’s, as my hips deteriorated with arthritis, making it nearly impossible to walk, and not being able to turn out 5,000 word essays, or come up with a sermon, or even bake exotic goodies, I was pretty much turning out completed crossword puzzles. Not seeing that as the legacy I wished to leave behind, and being out-numbered with one adorable grandchild after another, I taught myself how to crochet. You know how that turned out, and I am churning out three afghans before April for the greats that are one the way. At some point in the greats, I choked on crochet for a bit, but buying blankets was costly, not very remarkable, and meaningless to the recipient, I have of late bucked up and returned to crocheting. Since I can do it while Grandpa watches TV, it is a welcome diversion from football and “shoot ‘em ups.”

    I absolutely love your essays, Courtney. They are always entertaining and informative, even for 80-year-olds. As one wag in the deep past used to say, “I am too soon old, and too late smart,” thanks to you.

    And I do apologize for giving you the anti-crafting gene. Please forgive me. I repent in dust and ashes.

    Love always, Grandma

    P. S. I’m looking forward to your Advent postings for the days ahead, but I won’t be putting the advent wreath together. I’m sure you understand.

    >

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    1. This comment made my whole day. Probably my whole month. Don’t repent of the anti-crafting gene you passed on to me, Grandma. I’m sure it’s what’s helped me turn to writing, and that has been very, very good for my soul.

      I love you!

      Like

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