Caroline looks forward to the first day of Advent for months because, as she says, it's candle lighting time! Advent wreath candles, that is, helping C count down those long-for-her weeks until Christmas.
Since our wreaths are made out of fir and dry out quickly, I usually wait until the very first day of Advent to buy one, visiting the local floral store and the fancier shops in the malls. This year we didn't find anything we perfectly liked, and I had just about decided to buy the most passable version and prune it to satisfaction when I remembered that some of our Czech friends make their own wreaths.
Sure enough, a little digging around in our local shop turned up ribbonless wreaths, candles to spec and all the decoration you might want. We picked up a tiny mushroom in honor of Eurolush, golden pine cones which reminded me of the South, and dried cinnamon and oranges for C who thought they smelled divine.
Just before dinner, we constructed our wreath - C shows you how. Her favorite addition, held in the wings till last, is the angel given to her by one of the ladies in a neighborhood store. It was a present given to her for a smile and a long question in Czech. For her it represents serendipity, for me it's a reminder that behind stern public faces there are soft hearts. Soft hearts and hands that make beautiful wreaths, then light their candles in our December dark.
If I'm not working or hanging out with our 10 year old while a bouncy 5 year old dances around us, there's a good chance I'll be hammering away on our piano, reading a book or trying to sketch. I live in Prague, Czech Republic and hail from the U.S. South.