The Final Candle of Advent ~ The Christ Candle

It’s Christmas Eve and we are finally here! Kids are snuggling down in their beds, presents are wrapped and under the tree. Family friendly holiday movies have been playing on repeat for weeks along with the predictable but still-fun Hallmark movies, too…

A Christmas wish…

As we arrive on the night before Christmas, we light this fifth candle along with the others ~ the Christ Candle ~ which is also part of Week #4, the week of Love…

God loved us so very much that he sent his only begotten Son to save us ~ a grand gesture of ultimate Love. A tiny newborn babe lying in a manger, the Savior of the world…

The Holy Family…

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, so the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’ 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”

Luke 2:15-20, NKJV

Throughout this Advent series, I have pulled quotes from Christianity.com and other articles. I like what this section says about the fifth candle, the candle of love, the Christ Candle: (and really, I can’t say it any better!)

Heavenly Father, the whole meaning of Christmas can be explained in one little four-letter word…LOVE. You sent your gift of pure love to us that first Christmas. Love descended from heaven to be born of a virgin. Love lay in the scratchy hay of a manger in a meager barn in Bethlehem. All of your love, God, was robed in the delicate skin of a baby and wrapped in swaddling clothes. This final week of Advent helps us to reflect on the magnitude of love that was made manifest in Jesus.”

Hope Bolinger

Jesus was a sweet precious baby come down to earth to save us all from sin. This thought makes me realize that each time a new baby is born on this earth, it is a reflection and a reminder of Christ Jesus and his birth.

We are given a gift to celebrate when each new life is born and to love that child as He has loved us!

Love the amazed look on Milo’s face! Milo is looking at me in my son’s camera/FaceTime call.

Milo’s first Christmas!

One of my favorite photographs of our grandson! Love how happy he is!!

Our fifth candle reminds us to “love one another as Christ has loved us.” (My paraphrase of part of John 13:34.) Traditionally the center candle is all white signifying Jesus’ holiness and purity. I have white candles but this one with holly and a few pine needles melted inside and surrounding the candle reminds me of the manger wrapped around and cradling Baby Jesus…

A wintery scene in a transferware bowl found several years ago on Galveston Island at an antique shop there.

Our table is set with my best china pieces today, the Old Country Roses by Royal Albert pottery in England. My husband bought eight place settings for me from the Royal Albert outlet we had in Lake Elsinore, California about twenty years ago now. It became the china pattern I used for many teas I hosted and for many family Christmas dinners. We will use it again this Christmas and when our daughter drives up from Austin for New Year’s.

Again the little turned “Noel” signs are used in this tablescape ~ I like this table’s welcoming plaid and simplicity. Many Christmases and teas I would set one extra place setting for Jesus, honoring Him as a welcome guest.

I love it that in the Bible there were so many meal times with the apostles but also with Mary and Martha, the two sisters, and with many other people! Meals are such special times to reconnect with family and share intimate thoughts and secrets and hopes… Wouldn’t you like Jesus to come over and eat dinner at your home? 🙂

This tablecloth would have made a lovely swaddling cloth, don’t you think?

Our holiday table and dining room with the only two crystal pieces I found to decorate the chandelier this year! Two stars above!! I never shared the dining room hutch but you can see it pretty well here. I hung a small wreath I found in my Christmas ornaments and created a small doll house on the left for the family living in the hutch’s dining room. I found the fireplace my parents bought me for a Swiss doll house I had in high school and brought it out to warm the family’s Christmas…

Our Holiday Home Tour

From the dining room we get a little view into the living room. Since Thanksgiving, I have been pulling off the slipcovers and giving everything a fresh wash, vacuuming and polishing.

This holiday season I went for a family Christmas with red plaid and a reindeer themed ribbons twining down the Christmas tree. Red continues in the few Santas sprinkled throughout the room and the main one on the coffee table.

a view from the dining room
a view from the entryway

Winters in the living room are filled with clear and bright light! This home is so light-filled this time of year making it really cheery. The pillows I found this fall are reversible so I’ve flipped them around to the checked sides for wintertime…

Mr. Ethereal and I are working on two projects these two weeks: putting down some new insulation in the attic and hanging the French iron fencing outside in the new garden area.

I picked up a 9′ x 6′ drop cloth at Home Depot this morning to make a new slipcover for the wing chair this week. I should be able to get it done before Amy comes up this next week. Eventually the chair will go to her new home when she finds one she loves. She really loves this chair to sit in and read in it. I have to say, you do get nice and warm snuggling in it and the wings are perfect for keeping your head from flopping when you fall asleep… We bought it and its ottoman from a neighbor at his garage sale when we lived in our first home.

With all the uncertainty of this year and being ill twice with the COVID virus, I went for a simple look this year in our decor. Just some plaid on the tree and here on the coffee table.

Simple seemed the way to go this year… I’ve heard sooo many friends saying they craved simplicity this year instead of over-the-top Christmas looks! Here are all the Advent posts if you missed any of them…

Advent Week #1 ~ Advent Wreaths and Thankfulness
Advent Week #2 ~ The Candle of Peace
Advent Week #3 ~ The Candle of Joy
Advent Week #4 ~ The Candle of Love

The greatest gift of all came that first Christmas. It wasn’t wrapped in a beautiful package and set under a decorated tree. The greatest gift came wrapped in the flesh of baby Jesus and laid in the rough wood of a manger. Our perfect gift would later be rewrapped in the scars of our sin and nailed to the rugged wood of a cross on Calvary, all because of love.

Hope Bolinger

Our presents are few and unwrapped. A box from our son and his family (maybe a family portrait?? We shall see tomorror. 😉 )… Presents and Christmas ornaments which were our daughters growing up to go home with her for her future trees… A new spice rack for the kitchen in need of real organizing! A new tea kettle from Mr. Coffee to replace the one which died over Thanksgiving…

It’s all good! I made two Gothic arched windows from the leftover styrofoam from the winterizing Hubby did on the garage doors this late summer/early fall. They are really rough but it was to save $70… The ones at Hobby Lobby are on sale and I may still grab them after Christmas. ;)’

Saw some homemade Gothic arches on Laura and Aaron’s Garden Answer YouTube channel this fall and thought of creating these similar to the ones she made for their church a year or so ago.

And here is the storage box I made which should have been part of a Pinterest Challenge this fall but didn’t happen in time as I was just over being ill, so I made it after the fact. This was the beginning of the plaid theme…

My favorite photo… Grace and Peace

Silent night! holy night!
All is calm all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace!

Silent night! holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar

Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia
Christ the Saviour is born!

Silent night! holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

Silent Night was written and composed by Franz Xaver Gruber (music) and Joseph Mohr (words), a Christmas song of Austrian origin (as per Wikipedia.org). It is a perfect song for a perfect night, a perfect time of year.

The most perfect day in all the year…

‘Silent Night’ is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011. The song has been recorded by many singers across many music genres. The version sung by Bing Crosby in 1935 is the fourth best-selling single of all-time.”


More candles for Christ…

Grace and peace to you this Christmas,



The Candle of Joy ~ Advent Week #3

Welcome to Advent week #3. The third week of Advent is the week of Joy!

I don’t know about y’all but I have been having fun reading about the meaning behind each Advent week’s candle!!! The third week of this holy time of reflection is known as “the Shepherd Candle,” where the joy that our Great Shepherd has been born, according to writer Hope Bolinger at Christianity.com. This is really perfect timing to me as I have been rereading in the gospel of Luke, chapter 2…

Good tidings of great joy!

The angels have just visited the shepherds in the fields somewhere outside of Jerusalem but have just gone away (Luke 2:15), so now the shepherds decide to go into the city to see this Savior, this “newborn babe…”

Our young shepherd here looks on at the newborn Savior, part of this Italian Nativity we bought more than 20 years ago, when Costco was Price Club (in California). I love the serene look of this shepherd’s face and his small flock of sheep, who look to him for guidance just as we look to our Savior for his lead… I will share the whole mantel decorated in a separate post. For now, here is a link to a similar Holy Family to ours and another with Wisemen and the Holy Family.

Our friend Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home shared her beautiful home at Share Your Style this past week and I noticed that she had a “Joy” pillow! It fits out theme. 🙂

Joy and Why a Pink Candle for Week 3?

Hope Bolinger also writes that the use of a pink candle for Week 3 of Advent has lots of theories behind its use but “has its roots in something known as Gaudete Sunday.” Father Tim wrote in his blogpost, What’s Up With the Pink Candle?, that the pink or rose colored candle is used because of Gaudete Sunday where the “introit (intro) to the [Catholic] mass begins ‘Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete” meaning “Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say rejoice.’ ” Sometimes the priests would wear pink vestments on this third Sunday of Advent.

“During this third week of Advent, this Sunday celebrates the passage Phillipians 4:4-5, its verses extolling readers to “rejoice” for “indeed the Lord is near,” states Ms. Bolinger.

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again, rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

Philippians 4:4-5 NLT, apostle Paul in a letter to the church at Philippi

Here in this week’s tablescape I’ve lit the two lavender candles and one pink candle. *Ignore the second pink candle… 😉 I still need to find a third lavender one. For this week, I thought about joy and how winter whites always bring me a lot of joy, so I decided to go with white for purity, and for winter, as my theme.

I found this dresser scarf/table runner at an antique shop in Idaho back when our son was pole vaulting at a winter invitational in Pocatello. The hand sewing is so fine that it is very difficult to tell which side of this linen piece is the right side. Amazing needlework!

Birds are also part of this week’s theme and I remembered I had a few white creamware birds so they flew out to the table to join in the Advent celebration. They were followed shortly by a pair of s/p shakers, Royal Doulton’s Old Country Roses, which were found at a seconds shop at a local outdoor mall in Lake Elsinore, California, many years ago now. The sweet bird napkins I found in Fallbrook, California at a fall market sales event for $5.00 for four. They are precious with their saying of:

I sing because I’m happy!

The brown writing on the napkins inspired the use of the Johnson Bros. Friendly Village winter set of teacups around the table. Winter Greetings by Catherine McClurg for Lenox creamer and sugar round out the pretties on the table.

I changed out the large wreath from Advent Week #2 for some simple Nordic style boughs which were given to me by Laura Ingalls Gunn of Decor to Adore several years ago at a DFW bloggers Christmas luncheon and shopping day. Wish we could have met up again this year! Maybe in 2021. 🙂 The soft pine boughs look lovely overlaid on the gilded Advent wreath. The fifth candle is awaiting Christmas week and is a vanilla candle with pine boughs and holly embedded in the wax.

I’ve set the table with a nice breakfast served with tea in mind. Mr. Ethereal and I do like to cook breakfasts on at least one day each weekend, if we get up around the same time. He really liked this morning’s table setting!

One of two pieces we brought back from our trip out to California in June.

Our Christmas cactus is blooming happily and is enjoying fresh soil in this sweet blue and white pot I found for it online. I am happy to use this antique potting stand for it although the stand still needs refinishing. The cactus looks happy there and indeed it should! It blooms for our Savior, Christ Jesus!!!

My hope is that these posts about this time of Advent bring you much joy! I have enjoyed creating each tablescape with you in mind and our Savior’s happy birth… The little Noel signs at each placesetting came from Judith of Botanic Bleu and her annual French Country Christmas Sales event just this last weekend.

If you missed either of the two previous posts, you can find them here and here.

Blessings to you,