It's hard to believe Sunday is Gaudete Sunday, the third of advent!
Each year, I've come to love advent more and more as we've tried to focus more on things geared towards reflection and less towards consumption. Of course our social commitments are in full holiday swing, but I like to keep our home stays simple until the third Sunday of advent. The advent wreath is one of the only things we put out, and it's pretty awesome to see our kids take an interest in it. I'm sure if it were buried in the rest of of Christmas gear, it wouldn't cause so much of a stir.
The idea is that you light one candle for each week of advent....a purple (a color of solemnity and preparation) candle the first and second Sundays of advent, then a pink (color of joy and anticipation) candle the 3rd Sunday of advent, and then the final purple candle the fourth Sunday of Advent. Each year, we've done something slightly different for the actual wreath, but this year's is my favorite. We clipped boxwood and lavender from the backyard and attached them in bunches to a metal ring (which at one point had ben part of a lamp shade...) and then placed the advent candle holder inside. Boxwood and lavender dry nicely, so now, almost three weeks in, it;s drying out and looking lovely and a little wild, which I like. And it smells awesome. Advent candles are hard to find though. Stores often pack up the nice purple and pink candles in order to sell advent sets, which are rarely as nice. These Root candles are actually from last year, and they are the best I've found. I love how natural they look, and they burn forever.