"O Holy Night" is the title of Focus on the Family's 2017 Advent calendar. Get 23 Scripture readings and devotions, along with a new object or Bible character to create your family's own Nativity scene!
This year, Advent begins on Dec. 3. So don't miss out on an easy way to help your family stay focused on Jesus this Christmas season.
How to make an Advent wreath
To add to your Advent journey, consider using an Advent wreath at dinner. The Advent wreath is part of the liturgical countdown to Christmas. You can buy a ready-made Advent wreath or make it yourself. One way is to make a paper Advent wreath found in the December 2017 issue of Focus On the Family magazine. Or here is how to make a traditional Advent wreath:
1. With green crafting wire, fasten live or plastic evergreen branches to a wire wreath circle.
2. After you attach the first branch, lay the second branch over the end of the first so it covers the stem.
3. Continue in this way until you reach where you began.
4. Tuck the ends of your final branches under the foliage of the beginning branches. This circle of evergreen branches reminds us of God without beginning and end, and of His faithfulness.
5. Set four candles in candleholders inside the wreath. Traditionally, the wreath holds three purple candles and one rose-colored candle.
- The first purple candle represents the long years of waiting for a Savior. It is the anticipation and hope that the Messiah is coming.
- The second purple candle represents Israel’s preparation for the Christ child and our preparation for the second coming of Jesus.
- The third candle lit, the rose candle, represents rejoicing, the joy that the Messiah is coming and you’re getting closer.
- The third purple candle represents the peace that God gives to all who wait on Him.
- The optional white candle in the center of your Advent wreath is actually not for Advent. Advent ends on Christmas Eve. This candle is lit on Christmas Day as a celebration of Jesus’ birth.
6. Place the wreath in a central location in your home.
How to use an Advent wreath
Light the Advent candles every day at dinner in this manner:
- Beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, light the first purple candle.
- On the third Sunday before Christmas, light the first and second purple candles.
- On the second Sunday before Christmas, light the first and second purple candles, and the rose candle.
- On the final Sunday before Christmas, light all the purple and rose candles.
On Christmas day, celebrate Jesus’ birth by lighting the white candle in the center of the wreath.