Today we’re sharing an excerpt from our new study, Advent: The Weary World Rejoices. This 5-session study includes group discussion guides, personal study, and activities for adults, teens, and kids. Below is one of the adult activities from the study! Order your copy or see a free sample today at LifeWay.com/AdventStudy.
Set the tone for the Christmas season by creating a lovely aromatic wreath (or garland or ornaments) you can enjoy all month long. Usher in holiday scents by using dried oranges, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks. Do this activity on your own or make it a festive craft night with friends or family! If you have enough supplies, encourage everyone to make two—one to keep and one to deliver to a neighbor who might need a little Christmas cheer.
• Large embroidery needle
• Cinnamon sticks
• Whole bay leaves
Prepare the oranges and apples a day ahead. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Slice fruit ¼-inch thick with a serrated knife and arrange them in a single layer on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Or, place the slices directly on the oven rack. (If using this method, place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any that fall.) Bake for 4 hours, turning a few times. Allow slices to sit overnight to continue the drying process.
Assemble the wreath or garland. Start by threading a large needle with twine. Tightly wrap the twine around a cinnamon stick (or drill holes in cinnamon sticks to string them), then add an orange slice and an apple slice, several bay leaves, and another orange slice. Repeat until you reach the end of the twine. Tie up the ends, hang, and enjoy!
As you breathe in the wintry scents of orange, bay leaves, and cinnamon, consider Mary’s anticipation of Christ taking His first breath. Meditate on the hope Jesus embodies for all people – friends, family, enemies, coworkers, strangers—even as a helpless Babe.
Stay tuned for more Advent fun! We’ll be doing some special things together on the blog in the coming weeks. 🙂