Christmas Eve is just two days away, and what better time to slow down and reflect on the true meaning of the holiday? Today I am thrilled to be joining together with a few of my blogging besties as we share how we are celebrating advent.
Advent is celebrated over the four Sundays that lead up to Christmas, or sometimes from December 1st through Christmas Day. Advent means “coming” in latin. This is the time that Christians remember the coming and birth of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
Every year I display my vintage Italian Nativity during advent and also through January. During Christmas it is on display in the music room on top of our antique organ.
After Christmas I move it to the dining room faux mantel to enjoy for a few more weeks.
In addition to nativities, advent wreaths have traditionally been used to celebrate the season. This year I came up with a unique way to incorporate a mini-advent wreath into my Christmas decor. Instead of packing away the beautiful art deco ladies lamp that I scored in early fall, I transformed the ladies into “advent angels” for Christmas, and designed little groupings with vintage angels and sacred themes around them.
You might recall seeing this Vintage Art Deco Chalkware Lamp in my late summer and fall posts. It was my favorite junkin’ find of the year! As I was looking at the lamp, I realized that with a few items from my Christmas crafts stash, I could easily transform the mid-century models into Christmas angels upholding an advent wreath!
This idea also lead to creating the sacred Christmas vintage vignettes with the theme of angels proclaiming the birth of Jesus!
The salvaged antique tile, vintage mirrors and lamp on top of the vintage chest are all items I already had in the dining room prior to Christmas. With a little creativity and some additional vintage Christmas touches, I easily transitioned my favorite corner of the dining room for Christmas without having to drag a bunch of totes up from the basement.
I started creating the “angels” with some Dollar Tree gold glittered angel wing ornaments that I bought for .50 each on after Christmas clearance last year. I used ivory bottle brush wreaths for the halos. Thin gold jewelry wire was attached to the halos and the excess was wrapped around the necks for support. Barely visible, the wire creates the illusion of the halos hovering over their heads. I covered their bare shoulders with fuzzy ivory yarn and feathery gold and ivory thread that billows around the angels’ feet.
The wings just so happened to be the perfect size for the figures! I dry brushed some gray-ish blue acrylic paint on the wings to make them look more vintage and to match the gowns. Just before finishing up with pictures I tied on a harp ornament swiped from our main Christmas tree.
The advent wreath is simply a grapevine wreath pressed down over the basket of flowers with a few of my favorite faux juniper picks stuck down in the grapevine to form a wreath. A piece of sheet moss fills the center of the wreath and hides the top of the lamp.
Tall, slender gold birthday candles were the perfect size for my mini-wreath. They have all been lit to represent the four completed Sundays of advent and represent hope, faith, joy and peace. On Christmas, I will add a fifth candle in the center to represent the light of the world…JESUS!
Mismatched vintage chalkware nativity pieces, antique sacred Christmas postcards, pillar candles wrapped in vintage sheet music, greenery, green mercury glass votive holder, bottlebrush trees, a small cloche display, a few vintage ornaments, vintage style tinsel and an old Christmas carol book make up the heavenly tableau. A single candle in a mossy peat pot lends a Nordic Christmas feel. A few antique books, rustic antler, chippy candle holder and pretty lantern are additional everyday items that add interest.
What appears to be an authentic Victorian-looking angel “die cut” in the lantern is just an angel I cut out from the Christmas card my mom sent me last year. It was actually an early vintage 1990’s card featuring the reproduction die cut angel image.
Recently I thrifted a bag of orphaned chalkware nativity pieces, none of which matched in a set. I used this angel and a tiny lamb along with a bit of moss and a couple of vintage ornaments to create a mini-cloche display.
I removed the cloche for a few pictures for a clearer look at the items under the glass.
Just behind the cloche is a vintage Christmas carol book opened to the old carol, “Angels from the Realms of Glory.”
Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight over all the earth! Ye who sang creation’s story, now proclaim Messiah’s birth!
Come and Worship! Come and Worship!
Worship Christ the newborn king!
My favorite part of the vignette is a chalkware baby Jesus in a wooden cradle, displayed on a shabby candle holder filled with moss and craft straw. Small fairy lights illuminate the little scene perfectly! Sweet little lambs and rams are reminders of this familiar Bible passage:
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
I interrupt this blog post with additional unexpected passages of scripture…totally unplanned…
As I was working on this post I was listening to a sermon (non-Christmas related) and this verse jumped right out at me:
Hebrews 2: 9 When he came into the world, He was for a little while made lower than the angels in order to suffer death, then be crowned with glory.
The sermon continued with these verses, so fitting for this post and the times we are living in:
Hebrews 1:1-God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high
4Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
I found these verses so appropriate as I was admiring the beauty of all the angels in the vignette. Where or to whom should I be fully focusing my attention during advent?
6And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, “And let all the angels of God worship him.” 7And of the angels he saith, “Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire”.
8But unto the Son he saith, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”
I love how as I was working on this post with the majority of the focus on the beautiful angels and vintate trinkets in the vignette, God interjected and reminded me through scripture that all of creation and even the angels are in subjection to Jesus, and that he alone is worthy of our praise, honor and adoration! The tiny babe who came into this world a little lower than the angels, was made much better and higher than they by his own sacrifice for US. Nothing that is going on in the world can overshadow this good news, and the true meaning of Christmas! Let us JOYFULLY celebrate advent together with this truth in our hearts!
I hope you have enjoyed seeing the sacred vignettes I have shared for advent season, as well as the Bible verses and Christmas carol I have included for reflection during this blessed time! Now it’s time to continue celebrating advent over at A Stroll Thru Life! I know you will love Marty’s beautiful nativities as much as I do. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the beautiful posts on today’s hop via the links below.
Thank you so much for visiting today! Merry Christmas!