Four Candle Advent Decoration. 12 Days of Christmas Decorating, Day 1

For me the Christmas season starts with Advent. Tomorrow is the first Advent, so what would be better than starting this 12 Days of Christmas series with my Advent decoration.


white candle Advent Decoration


Somehow my Advent decorations set the tone for all my Christmas decorations, so let’s see what this one is telling me about the direction I am taking…..


12DaysCOUNTER1 klein



First Advent light


The first of Advent, the first light in a dark time with the promise of more light to come……

(this was actually a ‘mistake’ shot when I hadn’t adjusted my camera settings yet. But I love it).


Ok on to some proper photography…..


Advent Decoration with handmade enamel tag numbers


This centerpiece is so rich and abundant with greens, I think I used at least 10 different kinds in there. It all came from some scavenger hunting in my own garden, the woods and a bit of discreet clipping in a local park.


I hadn’t made a Christmas centerpiece like that in years. I used to do it al the time. My mom really had two green thumbs and a truly creative mind, so she used to decorate our whole house with beautiful centerpieces in every shape and form over Christmas.

She started to teach me how to do it when I was about six.  Maybe even earlier but that is where my first memories come from.



four candle Advent Decoration


I distinctly remember that we had a small wooden sleigh to use as a container. Of course that was my favorite. I would spend the entire afternoon filling it up with as many decorations and ornaments as I could cram in it. While my mother was clipping greens and building beautiful centerpieces specifically designed for the buffet, the dinner table, the hallway table, the coffee table etc.


Advent Decoration with enamel tag numbers


After a while I started to follow her example and left putting the ornaments in until last and start building my centerpiece with the greens and the natural elements.


My centerpieces became better and better until that Christmas when I had my proudest moment.


My sister who lived out of town came home for Christmas and she couldn’t tell anymore which centerpiece my mom made and which one was mine…….

I felt so proud…. It truly was a badge of honor.


I think my mom felt relieved, because next year she handed me the clipping shears and told me I could do all the decorations that year. And I did until my parents died.


Advent Decoration with natural greens


So building this centerpiece brought back a lot of lovely memories. Of kitchens filled with all kinds of greens, of the house smelling of pine and candle wax, of my mom and her able hands and of my childhood home filling up with siblings and love during Christmas.


Want to learn how to build a centerpiece like that? It really isn’t difficult. It is all about the preparations.

You can use that green stuff you dunk in water to fill a container and stick the greens in (over here it is called oasis, no idea what it is called in English), but you can use chicken wire too.



I choose chicken wire because I was using a shallow tray that wouldn’t be able to hold the water in, and because I had it on hand. I stapled two pieces of chicken wire to some wood and scrunched it up into two rolls. And I hammered in some big nails to form candle skewers. The wood also helps to lift the candles a bit, so they’ll look longer.


Then it was time to ……   fill her up baby!



Start at the bottom layers, and set the diameter with those. Work with small branches, clip them down if they are too big. Be patients and keep going round and round, sticking in different greens each round. Don’t be afraid to take something out again when it doesn’t work.


Use things like Ivy leaves and moss to fill up the holes and disguise the chicken wire. Stick your embellishments in last. You can of course use ornaments and Christmas balls, but I stuck with the pinecones because I found so many of those lovely tiny pinecones that were still attached to the branches.


So what is it saying about the direction my Christmas decorations are going to take?

I guess natural comes to mind, homemade, rather frugal, definitely sentimental and filled with memories, hopefully beautiful and definitely easy and simple.

Ah well I guess you’ll have to come back the next two weeks and see for yourself (and so will I, because I definitely aren’t finished yet).


Oh and before I forget. I made the faux French enamel tags by using the tutorial from Can’t Stop Making Things that I’ve had in my Inspiration File forever.


All natural Advent Decoration


My Advent decoration. Day 1 of 12 Days of Christmas decorations.


12DaysMAINb 1



Don’t forget to go see what the other participants are up to. I have gathered the links for you here.




12 Days of Christmas Decorations 2012


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  1. Gwen says

    I too used to always gather greenery and make an advent wreath. I totally like how you used a pan so the greenery stays greener longer (yes, we call it oasis here too!!) I’m looking forward to this holy season, preparing my heart for Jesus, to live for Him and love Him more each day. I know now what I will put in the middle of my table. Thank you for your inspiration. I too have several evergreens in my yard ill be cutting and like you, I may be adding to this as well.
    I’m sad your parents have passed away and how I know you miss them…how glad I am that you watched and learned from your Mom so that in a way she is teaching us through you!

    • Marianne Songbird says

      What a lovely thought that my mom is teaching you guys through me the way that she teached me. She would have loved this blogging thing. She wouldn’t have been able to truly understand it but she would have loved to see all the creativity out there in the world of women.
      Thanks for your sweet comment. It made my day.

    • Marianne Songbird says

      Yes, that image turned out quite nice didn’t it. Totally freak happening, I clicked the shutter too soon and this happened. Love accidents like that.

  2. says


    What a classic, simple, yet elegant way to display your advent decoration! Your photography is so pretty!

    Thank you so much for inspiring me today!


    • Marianne Songbird says

      Now that is a big compliment ( I am assuming you have seen a lot of Advent decorations already). Thank you!

  3. says

    It’s beautiful, Marianne. I did the very same thing yesterday – scavenged in my yard for greenery. I don’t have as much variety as you do, but the same pillar candles.


    Thank you for the directions-this reminds me a younger time w/my grandmother and so with her in mind I will try this project. Beautiful!

  5. etta says

    So beautiful, and thank you for the inspiration. My candles split when I push them into skewers, do you have the same problem?

    • Marianne Songbird says

      No, I can’t say that I do. But I do it gently and most candles have a little dent in the bottom that is meant to be pushed on a skewer. Maybe our candles are different. Good luck with you candles. I hope you can make it work.

  6. Chie says

    Absolutely gorgeous… Simply the best, as I always say, and I mean it.

    Hope you had a great time and continue a blessed week.

    Greetings from a freezing & snowy Stockholm,