Saturday, 1 December 2012

Advent wreath reinvention

Every year, it's a German (well, Northern European) tradition to light a candle each Sunday, for four Sundays before Christmas to celebrate Advent. 

While shopping in Kehl back at the beginning of November, we found a store selling all kinds of crafty/deco things, with an emphasis on creating advent wreaths. On display was an advent wreath with a twist: not a wreath at all, but a candle holder where each pillar is in a row instead of a circle. Strictly not traditional, this one is by far the most practical in our little apartment with the Little Sausage. We plan to put it on the mantle piece out of the way of her I-wanna-touch-everything-and-take-it-apart hands, where we can see it in all its glory.

The advent candle display at Depot in Kehl.

You can make an advent wreath our of anything you like - make it as traditional or as innovative as you want to - the only constant are the four candles - but what you decorate them with is totally up to you. It took less than 30 minutes to make and looks so festive!

This is how I did it...

What you'll need:
A store-bought candle base (or make your own out of wire, oasis (florist's) foam, styrofoam, wood, metal, etc. etc.)
Dried moss and/or lichen
Flat wooden decorations, one large, one small (any shape that takes your festive-fancy)
Small coloured baubles
Small pinecones
A string of battery-operated lights or un-lit wired string/tinsel
Artificial snow for sprinkling
Ribbon, length depends on candles used

Gently tear apart and spread your dried lichen and moss around the base of the candle holder. Next, place your large wooden decoration at the back of the candle base and nestle amongst the moss. Place the small on at the front of the candle base, on the opposite end, nestling it also amongst the moss.

Now, add your decorative elements. Strategically place the miniature pine cones, small red baubles, and the battery-operated string of lights to add attention.

Add the candles and finishing touches like artificial snow or glitter. I had a bag of sparkly artificial snow and sprinkled it liberally over the whole thing, avoiding the candles. I tied ribbon around the first and fourth candles to finish the whole piece off.

Now stand back and admire!

This year, the first advent falls on December 2nd. Light the first candle, have some coffee and cake and take some time to be with those closest to you. Then the following Sunday, the 9th, light the first AND second candle. The week after, on the 16th, light the first, second, and third candle. Then on the 23rd, all candles can be lit. 

And that's Advent in a nut shell. 

Frohe Weihnachten !

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