Ah, the Advent Wreath!

It is the beginning of Advent and I am so pleased, our Christmas wreath already adorning the table. This Sunday, it will be two candles and then three and then it’s Christmas! I love the German tradition of the Advent wreath and look forward every year to my Advent trip to the local garden store to buy 2 fresh wreathes, one for the table and one for the door. I buy some nice ribbons, this year made of felt, and add some pinecones, miniature bulbs and whatever else I find in my Christmas box. It is fun to decorate the wreath exactly how you want to have it, and everything you need is at your local Knauber, Obi or whatever home & garden store is in your area.

The first time I truly became fascinated with the Advent wreath was when my daughter was in German Kindergarten. In the midst of all the 3- to 6-year-old children playing, there was a huge wreath hanging down from the ceiling of the Kindergarten with REAL candles burning! After my initial shock at the great potential for a forest fire in my daughter’s Kindergarten, I thought it was beautiful. I still don’t understand how this could be accepted under any fire code, but it got me hooked. If you haven’t done so yet, I can only recommend you get a fresh wreath, buy the little silver or gold candle holders that you can stick into the wreath, get some candles to put on the holders and decorate it! It is a lovely centerpiece for your table, and a great reminder every Sunday that you are nearing Christmas.

Advent wouldn’t really be Advent for our family without the Advent Calendar either. This is a fun German tradition for the kids, and your Advent Calendar can be as simple or as complicated as you choose. The gist it that every day of Advent, the kids get to look in their Advent Calendar in the morning to see what’s in it. Interestingly, kids have no trouble getting out of bed every morning during Advent. In choosing a calendar, you can get the predictable chocolate calendar, where a door is opened every day, exposing a piece of chocolate. There are others too such as lego calendars. You can also choose a fill-it-yourself calendar which is more work for the Christmas elf but more fun. Over the years, I have filled the little pockets with chocolate snow bunnies, reindeer and legos, and now we have graduated to nail polish and lip balms. Would be curious to hear if you are filling your own Advent calendars and what you put in them!