Yesterday I was asked about our Christmas decorating tradition and I said that we choose to put up our tree on December 24. It is really quite a fun tradition and a rich one that includes delicious omelets, listening to Lessons and Carols live from King's College in Cambridge, opening gifts, and wonderful company.
She asked, "So what do you do the other 23 days of December?" I said, "We do Advent."
This year I did what I should have done years ago and put together a new advent wreath and candles.
We were given a wreath on our wedding day and it is the kind that only holds those tiny tall taper candles, and this one barely held even those in place. They constantly broke in half, never lasted for the season of Advent, and just plain didn't look good. I didn't care much for the form of the wreath itself.
In the spirit of frugality and beauty I made a change. I shopped for tall glass holders for candle inserts that would last year after year. I found some at St. Pat's Guild for a great price. To ensure that I could use the candles for more seasons throughout the year, I bought clear holders and white candles. Michael's supplied the ribbon and the rest just fell into place. I wanted to use real greenery and have that "Christmas tree" aroma at our table. I stopped at a tree sale by the side of the rode expecting to shell out a few bucks for garland. When I told the lady what I intended to use it for, she pointed to some branches on the ground freshly cut from the top of a tree. I could take them at no cost. I was giddy. They were just what I wanted and free.
The girls and I took a few minutes this morning to construct the wreath and decorate the candles. We choose a simple design. Tape seemed to be our only option for connecting the ribbon, but we didn't want it to show. Double sided tape would have worked beautifully, but ours has been hiding out in some dark corner of a closet for months now. So, I thought of using sewing pins instead. My daughter rummaged through the Altoids box of pins I have and found some to match the ribbon. Good call.
Yes, we do Advent these days. And it is fun!