Advent is my favorite season of the church year, and I'm always looking for ways to celebrate it in my home.
There are some adorable DIY Advent calendars  out there, but I decided to do something a little more simple.
I found a plaid Christmas tin at The I.D.E.A. Store in Champaign, and I also bought three white candles and a red one there. (Here's an explanation of Advent candles.  I've heard the explanation for the one different colored candle is that it marks the mid-point of Advent and is burned on the third Sunday.)
I filled the tin with sand and stuck the candles in. I surrounded it by a fake pine wreath I already had, and stuck a delicious-smelling votive in the middle, to light when Christmas arrives.
Growing up, we always had an Advent wreath. This is a less formal variation – it pairs perfectly with Sufjan Stevens' “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel” on iTunes when we burn our candles. But still tradition all the same.
Any of you have holiday traditions you rely on this time of year?
Forgive the dark photo - it's so hard to get photos with natural light now that the days are so short.