On November 30, 2011, we’ll have a simple meal in our parish hall for anyone who signs up (usually about 45-60 people). As the adults clear the family-style meal, the children will gather at prepared tables for the Advent Workshop crafts. (Last year, we had 33 children participate.)
Our Advent Workshop is a longstanding tradition in our parish on the first Wednesday in Advent. We have had many different crafts over the years, ranging from Chrismon ornaments to simple creches, Jesse Tree ornaments, and Advent paper chains. The general expectation for an appropriate craft is that it be spiritually uplifting, liturgically correct, developmentally appropriate for ages 3-18, be of keepsake quality, allow for individual expression, be a child-driven activity, and (most important) be completed in one hour.
This year (this week) my always very helpful and more-than-patient husband, the one who decorates our parish hall every year for the season, had rotator cuff surgery. My easy access to getting things done just got undone – he isn’t moving anywhere fast. However, he came up with this craft prior to the surgery, and we’re working on the details now: the battery operated Advent Wreath for children.
One of our particular goals for this year in Christian Nurture is to bring the many families who only attend Sunday School into corporate worship and help them enjoy the liturgical traditions of our church. These families may not already have Advent wreaths. Our hope is that the children will have their own to “work” with, and the adults will be encouraged to have a traditional wreath for the family in their homes.
Our prototype consists of a 6 inch wooden “Floral & Craft Ring” from Michaels. We added four 1 1/4″ dowels cut to varying heights (ours are 2″, 2 1/2″, 3″, and 3 1/2″) and topped them with battery operated tea lights (also from Michaels, sold in packs of 24). The dowels will be glued to the wreath and the tea lights will be attached to the top of the candles with velcro buttons (to enable turning on the lights and changing the battery, if necessary.)
We’re planning on several many ways to decorate the wreaths, so expect more details as we brainstorm. (Feel free to chime in!)