My Advent wreath has been a work in progress for 32 years. I wasn't raised in a practicing Christian home. The first Advent wreath I saw was in 1973 when I started going to the Methodist Church(I later converted to Catholicism). When I got married I bought four candle holders and 3 purple candles and a pink one and it started from there. Every year I tweaked it, never getting it just the way I wanted it. This year I decided to take a 24 inch green wreath, lay it on my end table and set up the Manger inside of the wreath. I then bought 99 cent glass candle holders and used the branches of the wreath to hold them in place behind the Manger.. I have never been one for tapered candles because I thought they were too froo-froo and delicate. This year the only candles I could find were tapered so we went with it. I set it up Monday night and Roger lit the first candle. It just made Christmas in our home.
My mom loved decorating for Christmas. And because he loved her so much and would do anything to make her smile, my Dad would decorate the outside of the house for her while she decorated the inside. Back in the 60s one of the decorating devices was to take a clear glass bottle/decanter, fill it with water and add food coloring and you had a decoration. These were used all year round according to the colors of your decor and displayed in window sills or table centerpieces. Every year Mom would alternate between using red for the colored water and green. And she would remember every year what the color for that year was to be. And the bottles even got their own Christmas bow! Her cousin was a terrific artist and drew her a picture of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and one of Santa. They were hung up in the living room every year without fail. She had a milk glass(white glass with bumps on the outside--kind of a hobnail pattern) pedestal bowl and matching candlesticks and there had to be new red candlesticks every year on her shopping list. What went into the bowl varied each year...some years peppermint candies, some years apples and I may have forgotten a few of the others. A wreath went on our front door and my stocking was hung from the dining room hutch. While Mom was doing the inside, Dad was hanging lights to outline the roof of our house. Mom always chose the color...I remember one year it was all red, then the next red alternating with white lights, then blue and green the next year. What ever Mom wanted, Dad would jump through hoops to do because he loved her so much. He decorated the pine trees out front and the mailbox. He put poinsettias in the window boxes. One year he bought a 5 foot 3 dimentional lighted Santa and roped him to our chimney to make it look like Santa was about to climb down the chimney. The next year he wired a speaker to the chimney and played Christmas music for the neighborhood. When Mom died in 1968, Dad never decorated again.
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