Advent Candles for a Mantel

Monday, November 25, 2013 by
Are any of you celebrating the Advent season this year?  Besides being an exciting countdown to Christmas, does it mean something more to you?  On the liturgical calendar, Advent takes place on the four Sundays preceding Christmas, with the Advent candles being lit one by one as the weeks go by.  That means that the first Sunday of Advent is coming up this weekend. 

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I grew up in a family that took it’s Advent celebrating seriously, and it was one of my favourite celebrations of the year.  We had a real greenery wreath with four red candles in the German tradition.  In the evenings we would light the appropriate candles, do Christmas readings and sing carols.  I remember it being really meaningful.

And so I’ve attempted to keep that tradition alive in our own family.  Here’s a glimpse from last year.  Truthfully it’s often too rushed to be ideal, and sometimes there’s more mayhem than meaning.  But if there are a few moments of great family memories and of understanding our faith, then I consider it worthwhile. 

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This year I’m adding a second set of Advent candles which will sit up on the mantel in the room we use the most.  They are up out of harm’s way and can be lit any time, even if only while we eat dinner, as a visual reminder of the season.  They were really easy to put together.  Here’s the how-to so you can recreate your own version too.  Just sharin’ the Advent love.

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I started with four of the mini SOCKER plant pots from IKEA.  I love these little pots and keep a huge stash of them for all kinds of decor and gifting.  I wanted to fill them with something heavy that could also hold the candles in place.  I found a bag of dried lentils in the pantry.  I’m pretty sure I bought them for crafting and not for cooking.  I can’t think of anything I cook with dried lentils.  In they went, but only filled up two of the pots.  Darnit.  So I found a huge bag of rice and filled the other two pots with that.  Work with what you’ve got…that’s my motto.

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Then I cut four tags from black cardstock with my large oval punch.  With a stencil and some craft paint I numbered the tags 1 through 4.  I punched a hole into the top and reinforced the hole with clear reinforcements.  Just because I love office supplies, that’s all.  You could totally skip that step.

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I tied the tags onto the pots with some rustic twine, pushed the candles into the lentils/rice and covered the surface with some decorative moss.  And there you go.  I just plopped mine up onto the mantel.  But I think they would also look great as a centrepiece on a tabletop or sideboard gathered onto a tray with some pinecones or greenery or ornaments.  And you could use any kind of candle of course.  Votives or pillars would work great.

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Can’t wait to start lighting them!

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…personally, Andrea