Well it's almost week 2 of Advent and I should have posted this a couple of weeks ago, but I had other things on my mind and so did my best friend. Next year I'll try to be more timely:)
One of the things a family can do to celebrate the Advent season and help focus their minds and hearts on the Christ child, and the whole story of the Nativity, is to make a special wreath--called an Advent wreath-- for their home. Many churches also have one at this time a year (see link below for more info).
Making the wreath isn't very difficult or expensive (next year I'll post better directions and the photos I took this year) Basically you just wire on 'cross shaped' evergreen boughs to a round wire frame and continue doing this all the way around that frame, overlapping the previously wired on section. At the top you use the wire in a 'blanket stitch' fashion to secure the wreath's greenery (Note: make sure you pull the wire well as you wrap each section and wrap it twice around the frame).
FYI: I prefer wreaths made of fir but my best friend also makes ones of boxwood and many like them instead. I am such a traditionalist!
Making the bow -- if you choose to add one -- can be a bit difficult. For those not up to the challenge you can check with florists or craft stores in your area for pre-made or custom made bows. Fortunately for me, my best friend makes amazing bows:) but I decided to just use a red ribbon tucked under and on top of the boughs because it was the look I was after. FYI: I am still working with it to get that look perfect though--I have a few issues with perfectionism you know:) If you are trying to be thrifty you can save the bow for a wreath next year as it should be in good condition.
Can you see the little jul bok, isn't he cute? Also please note the unruly ribbon! Bad ribbon.
If desired you can add other decorations now--glass ornaments, pine cones, juniper, incense cedar and so forth. You can wire or hot glue them on. I just placed mine on the wreath as it lays flat on the table. I chose straw Nordic Christmas tree decorations this year in keeping with a Scandinavian theme. The set-bought several years ago-consists of angels, hearts and jul boks (little goats). Often you can find decorations, Christmasy picks for 1/2 off at craft stores or look at garage/thrift stores.
Now as to the candles--I was going to use my Swedish electric candle set in the center but was not happy with the result at all! I ended up using three white/silver piller candles and a rose one (they're on a plate which is under the 'hole' in the wreath's center). I still need one more for Christmas Day but I'm pretty sure I have one--somewhere....
A final note---I know it's not necessary to warn you all about getting the flammable ornaments/ ribbons/greenery or kids (LOL) too close to the lit candles!! I never leave my lit Advent wreath unattended and only leave the candles burning for a short time. Isn't this red nice and in keeping with the season?
Link to more information:
Advent wreath (Wikipedia)
And still more Advent blessings your way! Aimee