I'm not usually a very crafty lady :), but this year I enjoyed using my good friend Lucy's idea for a homemade Advent wreath.
All I did was trim some wayward branches from our Christmas tree, cut off excess stems and fashion in a circle with some copper wire. Then, I tied a purple ribbon around it (mostly because that's what Lucy did, and it looked lovely) and put my four candles in the middle.
Growing up, I always loved the big Advent wreath they had at church. Seeing one more candle lit each week always filled me with the most wonderful anticipation of Christmas.
I love being Catholic more and more as I get older. Catholics have such beautiful liturgical traditions, appealing to all of our senses, that are there to help us know, love and serve God more intimately. Even as a very little girl, I can remember perfectly understanding the symbolism of waiting and of God's light growing as He prepared to come to live among us and to free us from our sin.
Lucy's family has their Advent wreath as the centerpiece of their kitchen table, and before dinner every night, they light the candle(s) for the week and sing a verse of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." What a beautiful tradition to remind me and my family daily of the real Reason for the Season. It is little traditions like this one in Lucy's home that give me a clear image of the "domestic church," of the importance of the family and the home in bringing Christ into our children's hearts.
Parenting, creating family traditions, and establishing a peaceful, prayerful, happy environment for and with my husband and child(ren) in our home--otherwise called homemaking :)--is a challenge and an art that I now appreciate so much!