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Advent Wreaths and Thankfulness

Six years ago as I began writing French Ethereal, I wrote four posts leading up to Christmas inspired by the poem Love Came Down at Christmas by Christina Rossetti. They were published every Sunday culminating with the poem typed out in its entirety celebrating the birth of Jesus on that final day.

I have never belonged to a church which lit an Advent wreath, except maybe when I was very young when my parents still attended a Catholic church on base in Concord, Massachusetts. But I love the idea of lighting a candle in remembrance of Christ Jesus’ birth and for all that He did for us! So, this year I thought it would be nice to share our thrifted Advent wreath and light a candle each week as we move into this most special time of the year…

Advent wreaths have historically been made with bunches of evergreen branches creating the wreath, but I don’t have any pine trees or cedars growing in our yard, nor are there any close by that I can cut small pieces. I will have to go on a hunt for greenery as I drive around our city to surround our little wreath here. I do like the gilt leaves and the soft blush and deep lavender candles set in their small cup holders!

I am thankful for a wonderful Thanksgiving week off from school as I was able to be outside digging and planting in our sideyard. Mr. Ethereal and I spent a quiet Thanksgiving day by ourselves with a nice full breakfast. I was thankful for time to really cook throughout the day ~ completely unhurried.

I am also thankful for soft rains we had beginning late Saturday afternoon and continuing into the late evening. Our plants are all watered in and plants which needed to be planted are now in the ground. Our weather this week is supposed to drop right down below freezing, so all of our tender plants have been brought indoors until the cold spell breaks in a week or so. Here in our dining room is the coolest spot in the house, besides our bedroom. The flooring in here is tile, too, which makes it a nice place to bring plants inside.

This rosemary topiary really needs a good trimming, doesn’t it?? I didn’t dare give it a haircut as we moved into November, not knowing if we’d get an early cold snap. If it warms up again, I will trim it up.

Technically, rosemary can take the cold down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but I brought them all inside since the two newest aren’t planted yet.

The bougainvillea is blooming beautifully, just like our old one back at our last home did in late fall every year! I don’t know what I will do as this one grows into its adult form… They like to grow into large climbing hedges with large thorns, good for draping over sheds. Really it can’t take the down to 0 degrees F. cold here in North Texas…

Maybe I can train it to stay short in a larger pot?? 😉

Well let’s check out some other Advent wreaths, shall we??…

Advent Wreaths found on the web

Purple candle lit, sitting in evergreen wreath with other candles
Found on Stephanie Fenton’s Read the Spirit site; photo by Stephen Little, Flickr
A cute Mason Jar Advent Wreath found at Brandy’s Happy Home.
Advent calendar found at Doozies Corner in McKinney TX
Cindy of County Road 407 found this Advent calendar at Doozie’s Corner.
Bowl and 4 candles with greens and ribbon.
Laura of Decor to Adore fashioned this avant-garde Advent wreath.
diy-christmas-horizontal-wreath
Judith of Botanic Bleu created her hanging wreath (which could easily become an Advent wreath with the addition of candles) in this DIY ~ Hanging Horizontal Boxwood Wreath.

A Little Advent Wreath History

courtesy of Wikipedia through my Pinterest page, Faith

According to Wikipedia, “the concept of an Advent wreath began among the German Lutherans in the 16th century.” In 1839, Johann Hinrich Wichern, a Protestant pastor in Germany whose life was spent working in urban missions, created a wooden wreath to help the children in a mission home, Rauhes Haus, to understand the time of Advent and how long it was until Christmas. He created a large wreath out of a wagon wheel and used six small red candles to be lit on each day of the week and then the large white one to be lit each Sunday.

This custom gained ground among German Protestant churches and later within the Roman Catholic church. “In medieval times Advent was seen as a time of fasting… as people looked to the Second Coming of Jesus,” but this older meaning has lost favor over time and now the Advent wreath is more a reminder of the Christmas feast and a reminder of his birth and later his sacrifice on the cross for us.

Well, friends, I hope you’ve enjoyed this first week of Advent wreath inspiration!

With Thanksgiving just passed, I am ever thankful for you, my friends! I appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness throughout this crazy year and during my illnesses. Thankfulness is my mindfulness mantra this year. What all have you been thankful for this year? I bet it is many things!!!

“He has shown you kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

Acts 14:17, found in Wisdom for Each Day, Billy Graham

Blessings to you,

Barb

3 thoughts on “Advent Wreaths and Thankfulness”

  1. This is such a great post, Barb! I’m thankful you guys had some time off to rest and relax. You’ve been such through a wild year and while you make it look easy, I know it probably hasn’t always been that way. Love, love, love your advent wreath and all the reason why it’s important to you to celebrate His love. It’s the best part of Christmas. Hugs, CoCo

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