Advent wreaths hold great meaning for many Christians during the holiday season. Dating back to the Middle Ages, this custom is upheld by many churches. Creating an advent wreath to display in your home gives you the opportunity to personalize this rich custom for your family, and fashion it to be a pretty part of holiday decor.
Before decorating your Advent wreath, you must choose wreath materials. Traditionally, these wreaths are made from live evergreens. However, living greens may not be best if you intend to reuse the wreath year after year. If you want to create a wreath from living greens, you can find these premade at a local florist or greenhouse. If choosing faux greenery, purchase an evergreen wreath from a craft store. Attaching sprigs of faux greenery to a grapevine wreath is another option if you choose to use faux greenery.
Traditionally, there are three purple candles and one pink candle in an Advent wreath, symbolizing a time of prayer and preparation and also rejoicing. When making your own wreath, using purple and pink taper candles is traditional. For a less traditional take, tie three purple ribbons and one pink ribbon around four white candles. For a completely nontraditional wreath, feel free to choose other colors. Gold and silver candles as well as red and green candles of all shapes are popular. Consider using jarred votive candles for ease. If using tall taper candles, attach florist candleholders to the wreath tightly, using florist wire to display your candles.
Because Advent traditionally is a season of penance and preparation, traditional Advent wreaths should be decorated simply. Use natural materials such as pine cones and holly berries in the decoration of your wreath, but in keeping the wreath in line with the tradition, do not overdo it. Purple ribbons may be added, or the wreath may be hung using purple ribbons to suspend it from the ceiling.
If you choose to decorate your wreath more modernly, then anything goes. Add Christmas balls and flowers, attaching them with craft wire. Ribbon on a less traditional wreath can be any color you want. Choose to add beads, garlands and other decorations, paying less attention to the level of embellishment than you would if you were strictly following the custom.