I have promised you, no almost threatened you that Christmas and Advent-posts would be coming and, well hey, time is running guys and I have already bought most of my Christmas decoration. Although I surely will be borrowing a few things from my mother. And since Christmas time has almost arrived on our doorstep, I thought it would be good to start a little research for the 'late' ones among us and look for some inspiration (not me, I dream about Christmas decoration at the moment). Because one thing is sure: I have my own realm now and am ready to exploit every single bit of space I can find for Christmas bulbs, elves, ornaments and whatnot. And lights! In a tasteful way of course. So anyway, I think I already have all the ideas for my apartment in my head, but I thought it would fun to look for some inspiration for future years. Here goes:
The Advent wreath
So that's the history behind the custom: In 1839 the protestant theologist and educator Johann Hinrich Wichern, who administered to a few poor children, decided to move with them into an old farmhouse to guide them. Since in Advent time the children would constantly ask him how long it would be until Christmas, Wichern took an old cartwheel and with 20 red and 4 big white candles built the first Advent wreath, so the children could count the days until Christmas eve. This tradition survived until today, evolving from a simple cartwheel to a wreath with fir sprigs in 1860 and only four candles.
Of course, today there are many more options to create such a Christmas symbol, it does not always have to be the roundly shaped wreath and the decoration possibilities are surely endless. I personally like a more linear arrangement of the candles, and a mixture of fir, holly and other evergreen plants. The less the better! Maybe just a few cones and tiny Christmas bulbs in a colour matching to the candles. I always go for the (sadly, expensive) rustic ones, but they're just better.
However, there are many more ways to style your wreath, and lucky for us the Internet can offer so much inspiration:
Some very nice ideas indeed. Of course I will show you my version of the Advent wreath some time in the next weeks, so stay tuned for that!
The Advent calendar
The Advent calendar is a Christian custom dating back to the 19th century, serving as a timekeeper to count the days until the birth of baby Jesus. The first self-made calendar probably dates back to 1851, the first forms coming out of protestant surroundings. Back then families used to hang up 24 pictures to the wall or drew chalk lines to the door, which would be wiped out for every day passing. Today you can buy Advent calendars everywhere; they're normally made for kids (with chocolate or other sweets), but of course there are adult versions out there. The best ones (in my opinion) are however the self-made ones, and naturally there are like a million ideas how to craft one. Here are a few:
And then there's the rest of the decoration for Advent time, a whole range of trinkets, little figures and ornaments, window pictures, special flowers, holiday lights... I guess everyone has his own way of decorating, maybe more, maybe less. Here is some inspiration again: