Inspired by my need to honor my faith community and all those who have loved me and opened their hearts to me, I decided to really celebrate Advent this year.
Saturday,I unpacked the handmade stoneware ring shaped candleholder from the box under the bed....
I found the 4 Advent candles at the Hallmark store...but they didn't have a white taper for the center candle. I set the wreath up on a small quilt made for me by a dear friend...but it wasn't complete without the white candle.
I decided to stop in at Target on my way to work yesterday. I found the candle I needed ...I wanted to get the wreath "perfect" for this first Sunday in Advent....so I was disappointed and almost gave up when I saw how long and slow the check-out lines were. I would be late to work!
Then I saw one of my special friends, Paula. We had not been able to get together for a visit for months now....Paula was there! and she was already in line! She arranged for me to go in front of her so that I would not be late for work and I could get my white candle!
After work, I put the candle in its holder in the center of the wreath. then we lit the candle representing the first week of Advent, leaving it burning during our evening meal. (see photo).
I love looking at this wreath on my coffee table! It tells me, in a visible way, that in a few weeks, it will be Christmas...by the time I light the 4th purple candle, all of my family will be here with me!
The little quilt underneath the wreath was a gift from the same dear friend /artist whom had helped me checkout at Target, Paula! She had taught classes at my quilt shop. Making this little quilt as a gift for me ,(several Decembers ago), Paula chose colors to represent the solstice...and found a wonderful pine-needle print batik for the border.
It seems almost "magical"....I had set up the wreath using the quilt she had made for me (this was the first time I had used it in this way), I hadn't seen her for months, and then she appears as an "angel" in my time of need!
For me, it all comes together in my heart at this time of year....I try not to pick my beliefs apart or to label those of others. I find I am much more of a " both/and "than an "either/or" type of person. Advent/solstice is a time for uncondional love and quiet reflection.
For more information on the customs of Advent and Christmas, use the internet...here is link to a good article.....
Celebrating Winter Solstice - School of the Seasons