Creating a connected circle – an Advent ritual

The Terrace Advent candle

The Terrace Advent candle

This is another Christmas tip from Jane Gotto at The Terrace – a rather special one that you could use in a family group, in a circle of friends or in a workplace.

December begins on Sunday and with it comes the thrill of the Advent Calendar. Sadly, the ritual of opening a door a day to reveal the Christmas story, or if preferred, the classic pagan and secular images of Christmas , has been overtaken somewhat by commercialised chocolate calendars. It can still be fun, but essentially it means little and can’t even evoke feelings of nostalgia for Christmas past. Of course, that nostalgia can be a sentimentalised version of the festive season and depicts a celebration many have never enjoyed. So perhaps it is time to do something different? To create a new meaning, or rekindle old feelings?

A regular December ritual of giving at The Terrace involves the distribution of Advent candles. All in the connected circle lights the candle for the day marked (being careful to blow it out as the next mark is reached!) and takes time to contemplate what this time of year means to them and the things that are important to them. It doesn’t have to be at the same time of day and no-one is checked up on so everyone loves it and feels connected through the Christmas period – thinking of each other and the year travelled, and offering a reminder of years past.

So why not pop out and buy some candles to offer to your own ‘circle’? They aren’t expensive and don’t tempt you to eat a week in one go as some of the chocolate calendars do! Perhaps some people won’t be able to engage with the idea – that doesn’t matter. It still offers them the chance to think about the people they connect with and could prompt a rekindling of relationships that have drifted over the year.

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