Making or Purchasing an Advent Wreath

We use an Advent Wreath every year during our Christmas season family devotions. For more articles about Advent, go to my Counter-Cultural mom blog.


The Advent wreath can be purchased or made from real or artificial evergreen boughs. Traditionally, it holds 4 candles on the wreath and one in the center.

We arrange our Advent wreath on a circular tray every year so that it can be easily moved. We keep it on the coffee table in the living room, where we celebrate advent nightly. Some families prefer to keep their wreath on the dinner table and light the candles after their evening meal.

I’m not very crafty, so I construct a very simple advent wreath every year. I have four taper candle holders in Christmas shapes…one looks like angels, one like Mary and Joseph, one like the Magi and one like the shepherds. I place these four candle holders in a “square” shape on the tray, and place a flat bottomed tall white candle in the middle of the square. You could even use votive candles.

Then I fill in around the candle holders with artificial greenery.

Traditionally, three candle holders get a purple candle, the fourth gets a pink colored candle. These colors can be hard to find, so I often look for them around Easter time and tuck them away for next year.

As you can see in this photo, I didn’t have the purple candles, so I used burgundy instead. I don’t stress over it. The main point of the candles is that they show the passage of time, as more candles are lit the closer we get to Christmas. The candles remind us that Jesus is the light of the world. As we read in Isaiah 9:2, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

There are many other ways to make a simple advent wreath out of artificial or real greenery, and an online search will yield instructions for several variations. The most important thing to remember is that the advent wreath is a fire hazard. Take care around young children, and don’t allow the candles to burn down to the greenery. Never walk away from your lit advent wreath for even a moment. Replace candles before they get too low. I have never used fresh greenery, because it is a great fire hazard as it dries out. If you are using fresh greenery, replace it frequently as it becomes dry.

Many Advent Wreaths can be purchased online or in your local Christian bookstore. I got mine one year after Christmas for 75% off. Church Supply has several simple models, including one for less than $10. CBD has several models, as well. Both of these sites sell replacement candles, but make sure you get the right size! Last year I bought candles online and they were too small to fit inside my candle holders.

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