Simple, Rustic Advent Wreath

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My advent wreath for this year is different. As my mom would say, it's creative. The foundation of my advent wreath for 2013 is a vintage dough trough and it's sitting in the middle of my dining room table. This year, it's not a wreath at all. It's a wooden oval of sorts, that serves as a simple reminder of

                                                                                                                       the reason for the season.

It is filled to the brim with mixed greens including pine,cedar and juniper which I clipped from trees on our property.  It  contains magnolia leaves and boxwood, and several types of pine cones including those that I bleached last month.

It also has re-purposed green glass wine bottles on loan from my brother, the winemaker and chalkboard tags that were a gift from my friend, Trina, last year.

This week, as the candles are lit, it has become a reminder that it's now just over a week until Christmas.  Of course, there's still much to be done here at the farmhouse.  The weeks since Thanksgiving have passed in a glittering, multi-colored blur.

There are still a few last gifts to be purchased, handmade ornaments to be completed, wrapping and baking (in my crazy oven) to be accomplished.

But each day, as I pass this keeper of the count of the days to prepare for Christmas, I'm also reminded to slow down and to enjoy the sights, and sounds, and smells that are so abundant this time of year.

The silent beauty of first snow fall and the squeals and laughter of neighborhood children as they discover and re-discover the joy of making snow angels or having a spontaneous snowball fight on the way home from school.

The sound of silver bells, being rung in churches and on street corners or Christmas carols being sung everywhere I go...including more than a couple of impromptu radio sing along duets with my youngest as we've run errands last week.

The seasonal aromas of fresh pine, paper whites; a fire in the fireplace, and cookies;  warm from the oven.

Sure, I'm still decorating...and shopping....and baking....and waiting for my oldest to finish college finals before he can come home this week.  And no,there won't be enough time to finish everything that I'd like to do...there never is.

There will however, be memories made and time spent with those that I love.  Whether it's a card, a quick telephone call, or the thought of a time long past that makes me smile, one thing is certain, the vintage wood dough trough Advent wreath on my dining room table reminds me that there are now eight days until Christmas

                                                                                                      so I need to hurry up

                                                                                                                                    ...and slow down.


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