For as long as I can remember, my family has set up an Advent wreath every year, lighting a new candle each Sunday of the Advent season until we reach the Christ candle in the centre on Christmas day itself. This Sunday ritual is one of my favourites, so when I realised I'd be spending the entire season of Advent in my own place and not at home, I knew I needed to set up an Advent wreath for myself.
I could have bought one but I didn't like any of the options I could find in my price range, so I decided to devise my own. I knew I wanted something rustic, unpolished. My first thought was to use a grapevine wreath as a base, but all the ones I found were so rigid and densely woven it would have been hard to affix the candle holders. But a trip to Hobby Lobby produced a hank of raffia and a coil of floral wire wrapped in green fibres.
After some experimentation I formed the wreath by braiding the raffia tightly, then twisting and tucking the ends into each other. (Conrad ran off with several strands of raffia during this process; he was convinced the whole procedure was for his benefit!) Then I fashioned candle holders out of the wire, forming "cups" out of coiled wire, then using the ends of the wire to fasten the holders to the raffia wreath. The final step was to wrap the wreath with a length of wide gold ribbon which I had lying around.
|Purple or royal blue are the traditional liturgical colours of Advent.|
I put my "Christ candle" in the middle on a glass candle base I already owned, and surrounded it with evergreens clipped from the bushes in the garden.
I like the end result! It's definitely "rustic" (perhaps a little too much so, but it suits me). I don't know whether it will hold up to years of being packed up and re-used, but for this year, I love it. I lit the first candle yesterday for a few hours; it was comforting to be carrying on this familiar ritual.