It’s the third Sunday in Advent today, so I lit another candle on my Advent ring. We always had an Advent ring when I was little and it’s a tradition I’ve carried on. I think it’s nice to see family traditions carrying on through the generations…and just as nice when traditions we start are carried on by our children.
When my kids were little we started a tradition of having a box of Christmas books which came out on 1st December, new ones would be added each year and carol music was included so we could have a little sing song round the piano, read a Christmas story and light the Advent candle. The books were both Christmassy stories and nativity books. There was one classic year when I was ‘reading’ a picture book of the nativity and when it came to the picture of Jesus in his manger Helen said ‘But I want to call him Rachel!!!’ She insisted on calling him Rachel for the rest of the festive season…the vicar looked decidedly nonplussed!
I was delighted a couple of years ago when it was my great nephew’s first Christmas, Helen bought him a Christmas box with some books in, all ready to continue the tradition in a new branch of the family.
Back to my Advent ring… I always used to use fresh foliage from the garden or the back lane, such as ivy, osmanthus, holly, rosemary…anything looking reasonable in the garden! I put them in an oasis ring to keep it going for the four weeks. Three or four years ago I discovered oasis never decomposes, so I started to try and make an oasis free ring. I think the first year I tried a ring of wet straw – not good! Since then I’ve used artificial or dried stuff. The artificial pieces are ones I’ve had for years, I’ve not bought anything new and each year I’m getting better at putting the wreath together.
The wreath is set on a five candle candelabra, I use the centre one for the Advent candle and have the remaining four for the ring. I used an artificial length of foliage twisted round the four candles for the basis and then added various floral pics, pine cones, poppy seed heads, dried limes etc. I add some extra Christmas lights so even when the candles aren’t lit it still looks festive.
Today we lit the third candle as it’s the third Sunday in Advent…
… it looks lovely through our stained glass window.