The Advent Wreath, and indeed the whole season of Advent is ignored by the general public, these days it seems.
Not so when I was growing up. Yes, the municipalities put up the Christmas lights about two weeks before Christmas, but in our hearts, we knew it was Advent.
Advent, the time of waiting for Christmas.
First came out the Advent Wreath. My father would bring a small hand saw with him into the back yard and cut some greenery. This was artfully arranged to cover the golden Advent wreath and from out of no where, my mother would whisk out brand new candles for the season. The Advent Wreath was put in the middle of our dining room table, and stayed there in prominence until after January 1st when it was finally taken down and put away.
Considering how easy it is to make an Advent Wreath, and how inexpensive they are now to buy, it seems a real shame that more people don't practice this tradition. All you need is something round; a round plate, a wreath, anything. You don't have to use the usual long taper candles either. In the past, we have used fat pillar candles and candles in glass globes. If you have little children, you could even use battery operated candles.
Decorate the wreath with evergreens, or we've used garland wrapped around the wreath. We've left it simple with no adornment, we've put a small nativity inside the circle. We've even hung it from the ceiling over the dining table.
A good book to read about Advent, and indeed many Catholic Traditions is "Through The Year With The Trapp Family Singers" by Maria Trapp.
Why not give the Advent Wreath a try this year?