The first time I had ever seen or even heard of an Advent wreath was in a Methodist church where I was a paid soloist. It was a big thing, the size of a automobile tire, and was hoisted up in the air by a black chain. Each week a different family would have the honor of lighting one of the four candles representing a Sunday in Advent. This might all be old hat to you, but I’d really never had this tradition in my family, nor in the church I attended as a child.

Here, every home has one, along with the Christmas tree. These were for sale at a florist’s shop in town, although it’s probably more common to make your own. This year I bought a plain wreath and decorated it myself with cinnamon sticks, dried orange slices, and gold ribbon. Instead of sticking the candles into the wreath, I placed four small tea-candle holders in the wreath’s center and, heretic that I am, I light them all.

(Heh, and this is supposed to be a singers blog. I’m beginning to think it’s becoming more Lonely Planet meets Hints From Heloise.)

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