For me the first Sunday in Advent heralds the beginning of Christmas, we usually have an Advent candle, when the children were little we had Advent story books and we’ve always had an Advent ring.
An Advent ring has four candles with the idea that you light just one on the first Sunday, two on the second and so on. A few years ago I bought a candelabra on Otley market (a bargain at £10!!) which has four arms and a central candle. It’s perfect for Advent as usually I put the Advent candle in the centre. This year, what with lockdowns etc, I missed the chance to buy an Advent candle, so I will light the centre one on Christmas day.
In the past I always used an oasis ring as the basis for the ring, filling it with foliage from the garden. Since discovering that it is not biodegradable I’vebeen trying to find alternatives. I’ve started using an artificial length of foliage I bought a few years ago. I circle it round the candelabra and then start attaching lots of natural and artificial bits and bats.
It’s a bit precarious at first, things are mainly just poked in, if I’m lucky I have a length of wire attached to curl round something. There’s fircones, poppy seed heads, cinamon sticks, dried clementines and limes, beech masts, some gypsophilea sprayed silver together with a few sprigs of artificial stuff. The last to be attached was a fine string of twinkly lights. Adding the lights does mean it isn’t just a feature when the candles are lit on a Sunday, it looks pretty every evening.
Now I’ve got used to attching everything, I rather like my new style of Advent ring, though I do miss the scent from the pine and the rosemary which I used to include. It does feel safer too when the candles burn low!
It makes quite a nice display on the sideboard with the gingerbread house, Christmas cake and all my Christmas smalls and of course my new Christmas cross-stitch on the wall.