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. 

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
Ett Rott Monogram

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.

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


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