Families will not only learn the history and significance of Advent wreaths, but they will also make one for their own homes.
Download Advent Wreath Family Handouts
To print: 1 per family
Document: 3 pages.
The download contains three handouts for this activity. The first is a short history of the Advent wreath and instructions for making one. Copies of that handout should be at every wreath-making station. The other two handouts are blessings and prayers for the Advent wreath. You may wish to have those at the stations as well, or you could make them a part of the Take-Home Kit.
Set up wreath-making stations stocked with the following materials for each wreath:
- Printed handouts
- Styrofoam ring, 9" in diameter
- Three purple candles
- One pink candle
- Evergreen branches, artificial or real—enough to cover the surface of the ring
- Clippers for cutting branches
- Floral wire and tape (if using real branches)
- Felt pen or nametag to label the finished wreath
You will need enough volunteers to assist wreath-makers and at least one or two people to keep all stations well stocked with supplies. When recruiting volunteers to staff this activity, choose people who enjoy arranging flowers. Their experience and enthusiasm will be great assets!
Note: Be sure to have a place to store the wreaths while participants attend other Activity Centers. They should be able to pick up their wreath at the end of the event.
Tips for Gathering Materials
Styrofoam rings: These can be found in craft stores or general stores that sell craft supplies. To find them on the Internet, type “Styrofoam ring wreath” or “Styrofoam ring floral” into a search engine.
Artificial evergreens: These are available in most craft stores and over the Internet. They are very easy to handle and nonallergenic. To find them on the Internet, type “artificial greenery” into a search engine.
Real evergreens: If you would like to use fresh branches, check with a local florist to see what is available in your area. Common evergreens include holly, white pine, and balsam fir. Cedar is attractive and widely available, but many people are allergic to cedar, so it may be best to avoid it. Avoid yew branches and berries because they are poisonous. Your local florist may be willing to donate evergreen branches. Or you might ask parishioners to donate prunings from their cultivated evergreens.
If you are going to use real branches, you will need to provide some additional materials for your wreath-makers. Include a pair of garden clippers, some floral wire, and a roll of floral tape at each station.
Candles: Chances are good that any store that carries Styrofoam rings will also carry bulk candles in seasonal colors. To find candles on the Internet, type “Advent candles” or “inexpensive candles” into a search engine. Alternatively, you can use white utility candles decorated with purple and pink ribbons. If you do, be sure to keep the ribbons well away from flames.