December is fast approaching, which means the shops are starting to fill up with advent calendars. Nowadays, it's no longer just about getting a chocolate behind a window each day in the run-up to Christmas and the ante has been upped hugely this year, with advent calendars containing everything from gin to beauty products and even cheese hitting the shelves.
Advent technically begins on Sunday December 3rd this year, ending on Sunday December 24th, but, typically, advent calendars begin on December 1st, with 24 or 25 treats to open.
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However, a few have emerged this year with just 12 doors, leading to some confusion about when they should be begun and brands seemingly getting confused between the advent period and the 12 days of Christmas.
All of this means that the traditional meaning of advent has been somewhat forgotten. Advent spans the four Sundays leading up to Christmas day and symbolises waiting for Christ to be born.
In churches, an advent candle is traditionally lit each Sunday to mark another week passing. Many people also light these in their homes each evening, often doing so from December 1st onwards and leaving the candle to burn a little every night before extinguishing it. The progress represents Christmas and Christ's birth drawing nearer.
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Jesus was presented with gold, frankincense and myrrh at his birth by the three wise men, and we think that using elements of these gifts to mark advent in the traditional manner would be a lovely touch and help bring the true meaning of Christmas back to your household.
Our 2017 Celebration Collection features a Frankincense Candle in a Glass and a Myrrh Candle in a Glass, both of which would make an ideal alternative advent candle. You could also opt for our Winter Spice Candle in a Glass, which offers a beautifully festive smell, reminiscent of mulled wine and Christmas cake.
The Frankincense fragrance is warm, smoky, woody and floral, with eastern influences creating a gorgeous scent that's delightful all year round, not just for Christmas.
Meanwhile, our Myrrh fragrance is sweeter and more citrusy, with base notes of amber and musk combining to create a decadent festive aroma.