I had been feeling sad that we didn’t have an advent wreath. In Orthodoxy you need one with 6-7 candles – one for each Sunday of Advent and then one for Christmas Day. These are made but I have never ordered one. On occasion I would turn over in my head ideas for making one, but never came up with a reasonable solution.
Yesterday morning I happened to see an Instagram post by Orthodox author, Jane Meyer. She had made an impromptu wreath by arranging six votives on a plate and adding greenery and red berries. It looked lovely, not makeshift at all, and seemed within reach. The only problem was a lack of greenery. We have nearly none in our yard, certainly none that would be appropriate, and there is one in the public areas of our neighborhood. I admit to feeling some bitterness over this (because I really miss being able to gather from the yard).
I had to take Robby to class yesterday because Father was out of town for the day. It isn’t practical to drop her off, drive home, then turn right around and drive back to pick her up, so whomever goes with her stays until she’s done on those days. I took my censer basket to work on and parked near a little greenbelt. After a while I saw that in the growth next to the road there were a few red berries. Not many, but suddenly I realized I might have the makings of greenery for a wreath.
I hopped out and investigated. After trimming the few little branches I thought there might be more so I began wandering up and down the edge of the wooded strip. I saw a tiny pine seedling and picked it. I hoped for more but didn’t see any. After putting what I had collected into the van I wandered a little farther. That’s when I found branches with lots of berries, a few pine branches thrown into the bushes, and, believe it or not, plants that looked almost exactly like holly! It was a Christmas greenery buffet!
We took them home and had enough to arrange on a platter plus two vases. The platter gave me some problems because it’s hard to find something big enough and flat. Eventually I hit on using the one that says, “Happy Easter.” It’s covered by the candles and greenery so it doesn’t matter. The candles are a bit of a hodgepodge, but I managed to cobble a group together arranged by height into a spiral. Yes, three of those are in mint julep glasses stabilized with rice. (I have lots of matching votives but I wanted taller candles so there was less chance of greenery winding up in a flame.)
Overall it works. I didn’t want perfect to be the enemy of good here.
I am struck that there are so many times I wish for something and without my even asking for it, God provides.
O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endureth forever. [Psalm 105:1]*