Last year as I looked forward to Christmas but not so much of the preparations, I decided: “I’m not getting organized for Christmas this year. I think I’m just going to show up for it.” (from Come As You Are: Christmas Without the Frenzy)
Christmas became something I could look forward to with anticipation, without feeling like I was putting on a one-woman show. I paid close attention to our favorite simple holiday traditions, choosing to only do those instead of what might be on someone else’s “must have” list. And I realized that when someone asks if I’m ready for Christmas, it doesn’t have to mean, “Did I finish my shopping yet?”
This year I have the same feeling of anticipation, but I realize that with a new baby, everything takes a little more planning. We’re more home-centered than ever, so we want to do a few more decorations. I decided that I would enjoy making some things, but I want to use materials I can find outdoors and around the house to make our home cheery.
When we were growing up my family had an Advent wreath made from a ring of florist foam with sprigs of ivy attached to it. Florist foam isn’t something I normally keep, so I looked around the house for something I could use instead. I found my granny’s old Bundt cake pan in the kitchen.
Four votive candles are placed in the cake pan, one for each of the four Sundays before Christmas. We’ll light the candles at dinner time each night, starting this Sunday. Cranberries between the candles hold them in place. A center candle (secured with a little hot glue) will be lit on Christmas Eve night.
There’s nothing much simpler and more beautiful than candlelight at Christmas time.