Christmas isn't Christmas without...... the advent wreath

Circles stand for eternity; candles stand for light in the depths of the darkest winter; evergreen decorations stand for life in the middle of the sere and grey dead of winter and the four candles each stand in a corner of the world as a symbol of the unity of the world under God's care. The wreath stretches back to pagan times; it's another one of those great traditions from the past that Christianity appropriated and made its own.

I bought our wreath when I was first employed at a school that held a traditional Prizegiving in Liverpool Cathedral, and we have had it on our dining table every December since. Sometimes I am traditional enough to have purple candles for three Sundays and a pink one for the third Sunday (Gaudete Sunday; the week of joy) with a plain white one for Christmas Day itself.

Other years I have red candles for the Sundays and white for Christmas.

This year my daughter has worked her magic again, and brought a beautiful blue candle from Cologne. Just one, just beautiful for Christmas Day. It's lovely to have something traditional with a twist. After all, that's what Christmas should be, isn't it? A heavy dose of tradition lightened with the adjustments that are needed to suit others, or the mood, or wellness, or -like here- a gift kindly given and very much appreciated.



  1. Ours has three purple, one pink for the third Sunday and a white for Christmas day. Sometimes they have been all gold if I couldn't get purple. It is a good thing to do isn't it. xx

    1. I like the idea of gold! It is a good tradition; the children used to love eating by candlelight and watching it get stronger as the weeks went by.

  2. I think you're right, it's good to have tradition but you don't have to be too set, a little twist here and there is good.

  3. It's a lovely advent display & lucky you having such a thoughtful daughter x


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