Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On This Feast of St. Ambrose

Today is the Feast of St. Ambrose. We first added his day to our liturgical celebrations last year and I loved it. It really is such a simple feast day to celebrate and ties in so nicely with our Advent plans.

One of things we do is make our Christ candle for the center of the Advent wreath, which is then used again on the following day for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception to create the Mary candle. More on that tomorrow!

Last year the kids used some nativity stickers to decorate a white pillar candle and I glued a gold ribbon around the bottom edge. This year I thought of trying something new. At first I had planned on using a plain candle for the Christ candle and having the kids make Christmas candles like these to be lit during the Christmas season. But, now that I am in more of a budget mode, I decided to look around the house for something to use - and decided on old crayons, a technique I did many, many years ago to make my mom a Rudolph candle. She has a soft spot for that little misfit and still has the candle to put out every year.

Supplies Needed: white/colored candles of choice, an old candle for melting the crayons, a lighter, crayons with the wrappers removed, any inspirational/extra items to decorate, and something to protect the table so you're not scraping all night to clean it!

The kids had their own mini pillars and I had an extra white pillar to do the Christ candle. I thought that a more stylistic picture would be easier but now that I have done it, I think I would rather have a little more detailed picture. I like how my background turned out but am not liking the crib scene so much.

To make the candle, all you do is hold a crayon in the flame for a few seconds to warm up and quickly move to the candle. It's helpful to hold the candle you're working with close to the flame so the wax doesn't dry too fast. Continue on with your pattern. I chose to freehand it but you could certainly sketch in some lines if needed. Large blocks or stripes of color as well as a dotted candle would be simple designs for kids to do. Or, have them look for a picture to try and create on the candle.

Miss Bear really concentrated on this, and the boys liked it, once they understood what to do anyway - it wasn't so apparent to them as to Miss Bear for some reason. Soon, however, they said their hands were tired. At the end, all used some Nativity stickers to place around their candle. If you do not have candles, this would make a neat textured medium to do on paper.

Miss Bear's.

Critter's on the left; Skipper's on the right.

After, Critter opened up our next Advent book (they really love this tradition!). It was The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans, about a selfish young man who learns the value of charity through a simple-looking "Christmas" candle - a very fitting story for today's feast day.

Lord, teach me to see you, and reveal Yourself to me when I seek You. For I cannot seek You unless you first teach me, nor find You unless You first reveal Yourself to me. Let me see You in longing and long for You in seeking. let me find You in love, and love You in finding.


  1. Oh, this is so cool! I love candles and that Christmas candle book looks good. I've read and re-read that author's "The Christmas Box" and always enjoy it.

  2. That is so cool Nicole! Thank you for the explanation!

  3. Noreen, you should do it. It's a great way to use up old crayons (and candles) and it's so easy to do!


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