Advent wreath. (Erik Jacobsen photo)

Advent wreath. (Erik Jacobsen photo)

Family togetherness: How to make an Advent wreath

Eric reminisces about making wreaths with his mom and shares how they did it

It is now only ten days before the first Sunday of Advent. Before we realize it, it will be Christmas.

I believe that for us gardeners, it is now an excellent time to focus on something more meaningful, like what families can do together and how they can be there for one another.

When I think about the first Sunday of Advent, the advent wreath comes to mind. The Lutherans first used the Advent wreath in Germany in the sixteenth century.

I’d like to take you along to my childhood days when my mom and I made the Advent wreath.

First, the inside part, made of straw, was kept from year to year, but I will take you through the making of it.

You can use any straw you want. I should mention, it is an outdoor job. As you make the circle the size you want for your home, you will squeeze the straw together hard to make it about three inches thick.

To hold it together, use thin wire and go around the straw as many times as necessary to keep the shape you are after.

For decoration, you need spruce branches. It would be best if you cut the tips in lengths of three or four inches. Then lay them on the straw circle and secure them with strong black thread.

Now you can decorate it with white and red ribbon. Then the four bottom candles can be inserted. You can do this by heating a finishing nail to red hot and insert it into the bottom of each candle. The length of the nails should be less than the width of your finished wreath.

When cool, insert the nail, now attached to the candle, into the wreath.

The wreath can be used as a centrepiece on a table or made to hang from the ceiling.

So why all the fuss? As stated earlier, this could be a chance for family time without electronic interference. Or, as someone once told me, “It makes memories.”

So, what is the Advent wreath helping us to look forward to? It can be so many different things. One could be that when we light the last candle, the days are getting longer, and with that, the gardening season is approaching.

If you have questions or suggestions for gardening topics, please email me at