Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

On the making of Advent wreathes

I've long held that fake greenery is an abomination. Fake Christmas trees, for instance -- the contradiction of celebrating the birth of Christ by putting up a pseudo tree is ludicrous, which is something I tell myself every year while wrestling with our 3' wire 'n plastic abomination. But no more! This year, we're going green: a live tree (though not until a few days before Christmas) and real greenery on the Advent wreath.

Having never constructed a wreath before, we consulted the internets and were provided with these handy instructions for making all kinds of elegant wreathage. We already had the bare-bones four candle holders on a double-wire framework, but pine boughs seem to be in short supply in our back yard. Fortunately, Lowe's sells pine garlands, which (along with some thin florist's wire) worked up just fine. I had envisioned this as being a nice mother-daughter project, but the girls decided they'd rather sit all afternoon in front of a movie while I fussed with the wire and the sharp pine needles and scratched myself more than once. But I kept my thoughts to myself, and so bear no responsibility for the incident at dinnertime tonight, in which the five-year-old mildly observed, "Oh, a little ketchup spilled on the table. Dammit."*

With the wreath assembled, we followed the Blessing of the Wreath ceremony from the Magnificat Advent Companion. Then, everyone's favorite moment: The Lighting of the First Candle, followed by the Keeping of Your Sister From Blowing Out the Candle.


Yes, we're using last year's candles again.


*MrsDarwin was seized with a sudden fit of coughing, while Darwin choked out, "That's not a nice word for little girls to say." We believe we have traced the source to this hilarious video, though we don't blame Julie D. for posting it because it was so delightful.

11 comments:

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

We had a computer in 1992! We remember! (We actually had a PC in 1988--we were grad students and got it used in a deal--you wouldn't believe it!)
Too funny!

Rick Lugari said...

I can appreciate the sentiment behind getting a real tree to celebrate Christmas. And as much as I like that thought as well as the thought of cutting down one more tree in order to tick off the tree-huggers and global-warming Chicken Littles, I find that my cheapness and laziness prohibits me from doing so. Therefore, the Lugari's will yet again place their gifts under that marvel of man-made materials. Maybe I'll warm up my van for an extra few minutes a day throughout the season in order to atone for not having sacrificed a tree for Jesus.

;)

Melanie B said...

I abhor the plastic greenery too. For the last two years we've been making do with a simple metal circle for a "wreathe". I'd thought vaguely about buying some greenery but it seemed like quite a project and I'm also a bit worried about how flammable the pine boughs might be, especially at the end of Advent when the candles start to get quite short. But then again, seeing your beautiful creation, I might just have to hie me to Home Depot....

mrsdarwin said...

Ana,

I really started laughing when the lady picked up the cordless phone, since I remember that my family had one just like it.

mrsdarwin said...

Thanks, Melanie. Putting the wreath together took perhaps an hour, and wasn't actually that hard because the garland was already wired together. It was just a matter of attaching it to the wreath. I made my wreath with two layers of garland (which left plenty to make a door wreath, if one so desired) and a yard of ribbon per candle. I just hope that it stays green throughout Advent...

The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

Opinionated Wreath tips:

-Keep the wreath in a plateful of water during the day to keep the boughs from turning crispy too soon.

-Not all tree places charge you for the boughs. The Home Depot near us, & St. Louis up Burnet, let you have the boughs for free.

-Better yet, clip them for free from some of the "cedar" (actually juniper) growing amok in the hill country.

-Craft wire from Hobby Lobby is cheap and handy for making Advent wreaths, joining sticks together to make Jesse trees, and in general is the duct tape of the holiday season.

-Leftover birthday candles make great slow-burning tapers so that little people can light the candles with safety.

Julie D. said...

Glad to contribute to the Darwin family ... ummm ... culture? :-D

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I have a Christmas tree that we have just set up in my classroom, very much child-decorated. But it is 'fake'. One year I had a child in the class who had an extremely severe allergy to pine, and I have never had a 'real' tree in the classroom since.!

angelmeg said...

It would be great to put real pine boughs and a real tree in my home to celebrate Christmas. Sadly mrangelmeg is horribly allergic to tree sap, and since we love and need mrangelmeg much more than we need to have authentic pine boughs inside the house we have resorted to fakery. We do have a really nice pine scented candle that doesn't make him sick.

sigh, the things we do for love.

Jim Janknegt said...

We have been buying our Christmas tree from one of the Christmas tree farms in Elgin for the past 12 years. It is a really fun outing for the kids. Besides trees they have lots of animals and tractor rides. The tree stays really fresh since you cut it down yourself. And it is supporting local farmers.

bearing said...

Looks nice. My candles are in a round casserole dish 'cause I can't find the Advent wreath in our attic and there aren't any evergreens in our neighborhood.