Dear Family & Friends,
In Advent Lesson Four, we learned about the rich meaning of the Advent Wreath. Here are photographs and Margot’s Easy Steps to Create an Advent Wreath. I used a few of my cherished heirlooms and antiques. I hope this lesson inspires you to use what you already have in your home!
Step One: Candles
Purchase your Advent Candles ASAP, so that they will arrive by the First Sunday of Advent, which is November 27! Here is the website:
You may choose either one Do-It-Yourself Kit [$30: enough to make three sets of five Advent Candles] OR one Already-Made Set [$18 for five Advent Candles].
Each set includes five candles, in three colors: Three Royal Blue OR Three Royal Purple — plus One Pink plus One Ivory. When you order, specify “Blue” or “Purple.”
These are 100% pure beeswax candles, which is very important, both for symbolic, aesthetic, and health reasons. Trust me on this for now.
Step Two: Candlesticks
Search around your home for five complementary candlesticks. As you see in the photographs, my Advent Wreath includes two sets of matching candlesticks plus one unique single candlestick in the center. They are all heavy, clear, cut-glass antique candlesticks, circa 1900. You can mix and match candlesticks, in any combination of material [I like silver, pewter, or glass], height, style, and vintage.
Step Three: Container
Gather together the candlesticks inside a container — a tray or platter of some sort — any solid, sturdy material will do. Choose a container that will allow enough room to position the evergreens. I use a cherished silver serving tray that my mother gave me decades ago. However, I have not yet polished the tray. So, for this “photo shoot,” I covered the tray with a midnight-blue piece of vintage velvet fabric.
Step Four: Bobeches
Purchase bobeches, which are round, clear-glass “collars,” which catch the candle drips and protect the surface under the candles. An antique shop should have these.
Step Five: Evergreens
Go to your locally-owned nursery and ask if you may gather a few evergreen branches that fall onto the ground, between the rows of Christmas trees for sale. Now you have free evergreens with which to decorate your Advent Wreath! Do not be fussy about the arrangement: Trim off the thick, stiff part of the branches. Overlap the remaining soft, pliable portions, secure them together with thin ribbon, and bend the finished length into a circle, securing the final shape with more ribbon. The color of ribbon should be ivory, blue, or purple.
Step Six: Display
Decide where to display your Advent Wreath. I chose the brick hearth: the space in front of the fireplace, in my living room. Propped against the front of the fireplace opening, I positioned an antique mirror. The Advent Wreath sits on the silver tray, which sits upon an off-white painted-wood, over-sized serving tray [hand-made from wood salvaged from antique furniture]. I like the “drama” of the off-white painted-wood against the dark velvet against the clear glass candlesticks. When the candles are lit, the tableau will reflect off the mirror and looks beautiful! You will have to use your imagination, as I have not yet obtained my Advent Candles, evergreens, or ribbon.