|This year for advent we are trying to strip away the glitter and look past the tree lights. Advent was traditionally a time of penitence and fasting, a sober time when we travelled through the long journey that lead up to Jesus’ birth. One of the reminders of that original meaning we have left is our Advent wreaths.
Advent wreaths are made of 5 candles placed in a ring, the central candle always stands for Jesus and is usually white, while the others are sometimes coloured. The four surrounding candles are said to represent either hope, peace, love and joy OR characters that prepared the way for Jesus – patriarchs, prophets, John the Baptist and Mother Mary. Each Advent Sunday a new candle is lit as we journey towards the Christ child’s arrival.
|This first week we will make our ring and place the first candle.
This is a one page printout, and you’ll also need scissors and paper glue. I’d recommend printing onto thicker paper. I’ve added leaves using scrap-paper and a paper punch but you may chose to add whatever decorations you wish or none at all.
For printing in Colour PDF – 1 page
|Cut the ring this doesn’t have to be exact and you can make it into a large circle if you find it easier.|
|Removing the middle pieces can be tricky so younger groups may want to leave them in place.|
|Separate the edge along the dotted lines and fold to give some height. Folding each piece inwards and then out again is the simplest method.|
|Once everything is folded it’s time to get decorating. you can be traditional and use leaves and evergreens or let your imagination run wild. Paint works well with this non-flat surface.|
|While decorating try to leave the dark squares untouched as these will be needed to attach the candles.|
|Roughly cut round the two candles with Abram then glue the two pieces back to back leaving the lower half of the stand without glue. Cut carefully round the candle and stand then open the end of the stand like a split pin.|
|There are 2 options for the candle flame: either leave the flame attached or snip it off and make a slit for the second flame.|
|Glue your first candle into place and read out the accompanying card.
Part 2 – Isaiah, next week!
Grandma likes to strip away the culture and get down to the meaning of Christmas too. She has a family advent activity based on the nativity figures. This activity, in book form, is free to print out in English, or it can be purchased in English or Chinese. More languages are being added. You can find this family activity at:
There are also free lessons and games that continue and deepen the Advent experience.