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.
*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.