Crafting Christmas Wreaths

IMG_3220Hi friends– I’m not much of a Christmas crafter– No painted ornaments, no knitted stockings…   But when we were up in SF over Thanksgiving, Jessica took us down to Studio Choo– for a morning wiring together Christmas wreaths– and it couldn’t have been more fun!

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We got a quick lesson and then were left with bountiful buckets of greens and berries and the tools to go to work!…

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It took us a while.  And every wreath was individual– from Ani’s pinkish flowery wreath to Jessica’s asymmetrical berry laden one.

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All around the studio, everything was beautifully organic.

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So fun to watch how each wreath developed stem by stem wired around the ring.

Thanks Jessica for one of the best “Girls’ Day Out” ever!!



Christmas Advent

Hello friends– So, so many years ago, when our boys were 3 and 1 year old, we lived for a year in Costa Rica.  When Christmas rolled around, I started to think that I wanted our small guys to understand about the birth of Jesus.  There was no Target store full of Christmas trappings, but one day downtown I passed a bakery with bread baked into rings. I scooped one up, put in 4 candles and we had our homespun version of an advent wreath.  And so our family’s advent celebrations began…

I know there are probably fancy prescribed advent liturgies somewhere, but over the years raising 4 kids, we kept it simple.  The four Sundays before Christmas, we would read a little, sing a bit, eat cookies and pray.  I loved those times together.  Here’s the idea:

Sunday #1– Someone little in the family lights just one candle on the wreath.
–Read Luke 1:30-33 and talk about the annunciation, the angel coming to tell Mary she would have a holy son.
–Sing “Silent Night”
–Read this part of the story from a Children’s Christmas Nativity Book.  We used Jesus the Child by Jenny Robertson (Zondervan) and Tomie de Paola’s The First Christmas is a beautiful pop-up version of the Nativity.
–Eat Cookies!

Sunday #2– Light 2 candles on the wreath.
–Read Luke 2:4-7 and talk about the trip to Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth.
Sing “Away in a Manger”
–Read the birth account from your Christmas story book.
–Cookies for all!

Sunday #3– Light 3 candles.
–Read Luke 2:8-14 and remember when the angels appeared to the shepherds to tell of Jesus’ arrival.
–Sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”
–Read the Shepherds story from a Christmas book.
–More Cookies.

Sunday #4– Light 4 candles
–Read Matthew 2:9-11
–Sing “We Three Kings.”
–Read the story of the 3 Kings from your Christmas story book.
–Don’t forget the cookies.

So for a lot of years I’ve been baking up that advent wreath (with easy Bridgeford Frozen Bread Dough).  And a couple Christmases ago when our Grandgirls were her for Christmas, we lit all the candles and did the whole story in one sitting after Christmas Eve dinner.  It made my heart so happy–the dearest part of my Christmas that year.


P.S. I don’t think Laurel is bored in the this picture– or asleep.   (really, believe me)–just looking down on sweet Charlotte– I love those two girls.