Advent wreath: One Christmas accessory you actually need

If your family can pull off only one Advent tradition, this should be it. Ready-made Advent wreaths can be purchased at Catholic bookstores, websites, or even garden stores. Or make your own: Set four candles (three blue or purple and one pink, if you can) amidst the boughs of an evergreen wreath. Light one candle the First Sunday of Advent (Nov. 28 this year) and each Sunday add one more candle. Light the pink candle on the third Sunday (called Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday, because Advent is half over). It’s a great way to bring alive the symbol of Christ, the Light of the World. Gather as a family for dinner, read from the Bible or a prayer book, and light the candles. You can even grab that day’s readings from usccb.org (click on Readings, at the top).       —by Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the 2010 General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association. Here’s a sample issue.

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