Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Simple & Natural Advent Wreath Ideas

We've practiced Advent devotions for many years. As a young married couple with a new daughter, it was a great way to begin family devotions since neither one of us grew up with families that practiced a daily devotional reading together. Starting with a simple Sunday evening time of worship during Advent was less intimidating and much more "do-able". 


In time, we carried it on throughout the year on a regular basis (although I can't claim that we've done it every single day). It has brought us a lot of joy gathering with our children to read the Word, a short devotion or discussion, sometimes a song, and always a prayer. 


ChicDeco
But back to Advent...


Advent basically means to prepare one's heart for the coming Messiah (the word comes from the Latin "adventus", which means “coming” or “visit”). It begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve, however, many practice a family devotion during the week as well on Sunday (it's up to each individual). Each candle symbolizes something different in preparing one's heart for the coming of the King and the readings match the symbolism of the candle. The main thrust is to prepare one's heart for the arrival of Jesus as a the baby King and Savior of the mankind.



Children love the lights; the candles illumine the room as a reminder that Christ is the Light of the World.  Traditionally, the round wreaths are a reminder that God is eternal, but again, it is your preference how your Advent "wreath" is set up and what you symbolize. You might choose to number your candles or label them with the themes of Advent: hope, peace, joy, and love.

Just about anything will work for your presentation... silver trays to mason jars, bundt pans to clay pots. Be creative with what you have and build from there. And the kids can go on a nature hunt to help gather greens and other natural elements.

The photo above is my Advent wreath from last year. I had lots of fun making it, mostly with stuff I had around the house and a few Dollar Tree items.



Apparently the Scandinavians have been faithful to keep up this practice of celebrating Advent because there are many lovely, natural ideas to be found...

Little Scandinavian
Sjarmerende Jul
homespun living
Hege Greenal-Scholtz
Freudentanz
Ett Rott Monogram
Patchwork-blomsten





















Ivaalex
Fabric Paper Thread
Sivs hus

Even some mason jars will work if you don't have many supplies. The jars below have epsom salt to mimic snow or sand (for those of you who live near the beach or desert.
The Inspired Room
Budgetwise Home
If you're traveling this year, a small can converted makes a darling mini advent wreath. Personally, I might forego the mushrooms, but pinecones would be cute.

Lecker.de
If you need an Advent devotional, Anne Voskamp has written a lovely Jesse Tree Book which can be used for daily readings. 

By the way... it's never to late to start. You can begin today!


What have you used for your advent wreaths?


Cradle To Cross Wreath



17 comments:

  1. Wonderful photos and post ! So warm and cozy ! Have a great day !

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  2. Amy, I loved everyone. They were all beautiful!

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  3. I LOVE the one in the terra cotta pots!!!!

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  4. We purchased our Advent wreath at John Michael Talbot's monastery in Arkansas 17 years ago. It is made from wood and carved with Christian symbols all around.

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  5. I love the natural wreath ideas you have shared Amy because I am passionate about making wreaths using all manner of materials and at Christmas my glue gun almost becomes a natural extension of my arm! I tend to use silk leaves and flowers because the real flowers and leaves wilt quickly in the heat of our summer but I also decorate my home on Christmas Eve with natural materials as I am blessed to have an abundant supply of greenery at our property and a bay tree that is need of pruning this year! The easiest wreaths to create are the ones that use natural materials and it can take just a few minutes once you have gathered your materials. I have a tutorial at my Christmas blog www.christmasateden.blogspot/2009/12/christmas-table-centrepiece-using.html
    for a Christmas table centrepiece that could be used for an Advent wreath. All that is needed is a shallow bowl with a flat base, green apples, small pine cones, nuts and some cinnamon sticks, a small amount of greenery and of course candles. There is no gluing, no wiring and no florist skills required! I'm going to recreate the same one for this year but use clove studded oranges in place of the apples.

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  6. Amy, I have not done an Advent wreath since oh probably 8th grade, but I am going to do one this year! Thanks for the inspiration and belles photos~

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  7. Andrea, I'm sure yours will be lovely! Do post photos!!

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  8. I used to own a craft store in Germany and making an Advent wreath was always a big thing in my store. In the two weeks before the 1st of Advent I would be holding classes every evening Teaching people how to make Advent wreaths and arrangements.

    We would make the evergreen wreathes from scratch, using all varieties of evergreens we could get our hands on.

    Ribbon, lace, bows, beads, glitter spray, snow spray, ornaments, bells, dried fruit, cinnamon, anise, cloves, angels hair.....there are so many, many possibilities.

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  9. Heidi,
    How wonderfully fun! It would be a real treat to spend an afternoon with some friends making Advent Wreaths. You've inspired me to maybe gather some friends next year and try this. And I love your idea for incorporating cinnamon and other spices - it would smell so good!!

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  10. it always was fun Amy :o) we would be sitting in the craft area of the store...watching the snow, listening to Christmas music and enjoying spiced apple cider. I can see you doing the same thing :o) Have fun and take pictures!

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  11. oh, and you can add a drop of fragrance oil (just a drop)to the melted wax of your candle to get even more great winter/Christmas aromas spreading thru your home.

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  12. Oh, another disclaimer - add the oil when the candle is out, but the wax is still soft ;) don't want ya'all settin it on fire...lol

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  13. We have a simple advent wreath/nativity that doesn't work well and I've never really cared for. I pinned two of these advent ideas for next year on pinterest. I can't wait to make one of these next December for advent! These are so beautiful!! I never see much on advent, so I really appreciated this post. Thanks!

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  14. Thank you for the beautiful Advent ideas!! All were so inspiring to look at. It is nice to get reacquainted with Advent. Thank you.

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  15. This year I had my first Advent wreath. I love your blog and am inspired by you!

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  16. I loves your blog and your advent wreath ideas. Thanks for sharing!

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