Thanks to two colleagues, Ian and Jesse, I was inspired to do something for Advent with my students. I didn't have a wreath, but remembered we used to have one at our house a few years ago. It was really not a wreath, but beautiful just the same, with the four candles all in a row, set on artificial pine branches. (Would have loved real pine scent to celebrate Advent, but this will do.)It was actually perfect for our coffee table. We weren't going to use it this year, however, so my sister, Sonia said, "Sure, take it to school. When I get the decorations out, I'll set it out for you." Candles should be no problem - always plenty of those around. Earlier in the week, I had looked checked Walmart and Dollarama for candles and decided anything they offered can easily be found at home. Life lesson: never assume anything.
So November the 29th, out come the decorations and no wreath in sight. Unbelievable! This was not going as planned. While I was trying to come up with a plan B, my sister said, "There's a little ring with four candle holders here that you could decorate."
Glad that all was not lost, I proceeded to dig through some decorations from previous years, to find something that would work. With a little effort I soon had my little wreath looking rather pretty. Now for the candles. My other sister, Shirley to the rescue. She has a candle collection and would surely have nice long ones she has too many of. No such luck, animals, flowers and every other shape imaginable, but no long ones! If I ever get this thing together, one candle should be lit for patience. My patience at the moment was melting away, like the wax on a burning twisted candle.
While I was still downstairs, determined to find candles somewhere, Sonia hollers, "Linda, look, I found a candle box. Those are real advent candles!" Not sure what 'real advent candles' looked like, I hurried up the stairs. At this point I didn't really care what type or colour of candles they were, as long as they were tall and had a wick. Just as I reached her, she opened the box, revealing three 'real advent candles' - two in different shades of yellow and one white, and longer than usual. Great! Not only are they mismatched, but there are only three!
Not giving up yet, the search continued, one more candle and we're doing this. Just one candle. After checking every shelf in the house, FINALLY, I found one. It was red! Yup, may as well continue this mismatch thing. No matter, this will have to do! The children will love it just the same.
Next day, I added a few sprigs of evergreen for the centre, attached some trinkets from the left-over-decorations-tote and we had ourselves a wreath. Not as big and beautiful as the wreaths adorning my colleagues' classrooms. But it is working just fine, and the children love our little Advent ritual.
I'm using story is 'Die Vier Kerzen'. It's about four candles, peace, faith, love and hope. The first three were giving up, refusing to give light, because the people were not practicing peace, faith, and love anymore. But the hope candle speaks up and says, "As long as I'm still burning there's still hope, and proceeds to relight the other three. We're doing this in German class and are also practicing this piece to perform at our annual Christmas program
Thanks to You Tube, I was able to show the story to my class: