Honestly Advent: Calendars, Wreaths, and Traditions

Friends, welcome to the first piece of this year’s Honestly Holiday series!  Today, we’re going to be talking about Advent!


If you’re scratching your head and wondering, “What in the world is Advent?” it’s the four week period leading up to Christmas.  Some churches and denominations put a heavy emphasis on it, while others don’t mention it at all.  The idea, though, is taking four weeks to prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate Jesus’ birth.  It’s a time to get excited, to count down, and to spend time doing the things that matter most.  There are lots of different and fun ways you can incorporate Advent into your home; here are some of the things we like to do here in the Artsy Family!

Create and Light an Advent Wreath/Box


Advent wreaths can be pretty much any shape or size you want; the important part is to have four candles, one for each of the four weeks, and a center candle for Christmas Eve or day.  Each week, you light a new candle, in addition to the ones you’ve already lit as a way of counting down.  Sometimes the outer candles are colored {usually three purple and one pink} and in different traditions, they represent things like peace, love, joy, hope, etc.


Sometimes they can be huge, like this one our church used last year…how cool is that?!  But it’s also fun to have one in your home that you can light with your family on a weekly or even nightly basis to help get everyone excited about and focused on the season.

decorations13We’ve had several different types of Advent wreaths in the Artsy House over the years.  For several years, we used this simple one where I wrapped berries around a gold candle wreath.  But last year, we attended an event where we made the super cool stenciled wooden box with mason jars and fresh greens pictured above.  For more information on that one and a full tutorial, check out my Advent Box post.  {That one also uses battery operated tea lights…yay for fire safety with kiddos around!}

Make a Countdown Chain


This tradition is really special to me because it’s something I grew up doing every year with my parents!  We make a simple paper chain to help us count down to Christmas.  Each day, we tear off a link of the chain after dinner and it tells us how many days are left!  You can also write activities on the links, or anything else you want!

Make/Use an Advent Calendar

I think my favorite of all the Advent traditions we do is our Advent calendar.  It starts December 1 and what we like to do is come up with a fun family centered activity for each day.  Sometimes it’s as simple as “kiss under the mistletoe” or to read a particular Christmas book.  Other times, it might be making a gingerbread house or gumdrop wreath, baking cookies, doing some holiday shopping, decorating our tree, or driving around to look at Christmas lights.  Each day, we all look forward to finding out what we’re going to do together.  For the past several years, we’ve used a storebought calendar that looks like a bunch of little presents stacked on top of each other.  You open up the doors to find the activities written on slips of paper inside.

But this year, I decided I wanted to make our calendar instead!  You know Silhouette is my jam, so when I saw this limited edition Silhouette Advent Calendar Kit, I begged for it.

It contains:
– a solid wood frame, painted white
– a 20-shape download card
– 35 hanging clips

I was really looking forward to showing you all how I made it and how crazy-cute it is, but sadly, it still hasn’t come yet!  I stalk the mailman every day to no avail.  But, at least I can show you some photos of what other people have done with it!  Take a look:

Silhouette Advent Calendar

Aaah!  Isn’t it fabulous?!  See why I wanted it!  To see more inspiration and all the fun kinds of things you can do with this kit, check out the Silhouette Pinterest board.  While I’m waiting for mine to arrive, YOU can order your own Advent Calendar Kit to play with!  Right now, if you head on over to Silhouette, you can get this Limited Edition Kit for 40% off!  It’s regularly $39.99, so that means you can get it for just $24!  And it’s something you can reuse every holiday season!  To claim your special deal, be sure to use the code ARTSY at checkout!

I hope this gives you some fun ideas for ways to celebrate Advent at home with your family this holiday season!  Come back tomorrow for a simple and elegant DIY Holiday plate!

Hugs & Glitter,


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  1. That mason jar advent candle box is right up my alley! So pretty! (I don’t decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but I’m seriously so excited about Christmas that I’m not sure I can wait this year!) Great ideas Amy!

  2. I love the advent candles mason jar. Our church does the candles too. We have an advent calendar that we still do even though my kids are 19 & 16. Can’t wait to see your calendar 🙂 Hopefully it gets to you soon!!

  3. I love the Silhouette advent calendars! My girls look forward to our advent calendar so much that perhaps having another one might be in order!

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