Just a quick post today to share one of our family traditions - the Advent wreath. For years I tried to stick with fresh greens, but found that by the time Christmas arrived they were inevitably dried out and the wreath was really quite a fire hazard - some of these I tried to put together myself and some I ordered - one year I think I paid something like $40 and it was still all dried out and awful looking by Christmas.
Last year I decided to make my own using an artifical wreath and gave myself a budget of $10. By using a coupon at Michaels and buying some decorations on clearance, I was well within my budget and really liked the way it turned out... and the best part is that this year it looks just as good!
There is something about dinner by candlelight that makes the whole experience that much more relaxing and gives us a chance to better reflect upon the true meaning of the season.
Another tradition we have is saying grace before meals which is something we have done since our oldest was in preschool. We have a standard grace that we say most nights, but a couple of years ago I stumbled upon this book which we use at various times throughout the year and on special occasions or when we feel like something different.
Into the bleakest winters of our souls, Lord, you are tiptoeing on tiny Infant feet to find us, hold our hands. May we drop whatever it is we are so busy about these days to accept this gesture so small that it may get overlooked in our frantic search for something massive and overwhelming. Remind us that it is not you who demands large, lavish celebrations and enormous strobe-lit displays of faith. Rather, you ask only that we have the faith of a mustard seed and willingness to let a small hand take ours. We are ready.
Wishing you a blessed Advent season!