Scripture Wrapped Advent Candles

“At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of advent by loving and serving others with God’s own love and concern.” Mother Teresa

Growing up,  we never had advent calendars filled with chocolates and prizes. The only countdown we had were these darling paper houses from Hallmark where each door and window opened to reveal a meaningful word about the season.

The celebration of Advent in our house was reserved for simple white candles tucked into a tabletop wreath.

DIY scripture advent candles from

Somehow, between the time I was a little girl and now, ‘advent’ in our culture has morphed into something so very different from what I remember.

There was so much wonder, so much mystery in the reading of scripture each Sunday leading up to Christmas. We would gather together around the advent wreath where Heather and I would debate over whose turn it was to light the candle that week.

As my dad read from the Bible, we couldn’t help but feel the significance of the moment, even though we had heard those familiar words so many times before. This was a time for pausing amidst all of the hustle and bustle of the season and truly reflecting on the wonder of a king being born in the dark of night in a filthy barn.

advent candles supplies

There were no trinkets from the dollar store. No specialty candy from Trader Joe’s. No old pallets transformed into hanging advent wall art or little bags strung around the room filled with treasures.

Just a simple circle of greenery with red berries tucked in and those long white candles.

As a mom now myself, I’m trying to keep the traditional celebration of Advent alive. Oh sure, we have several different ‘countdown’ things happening around the house. In fact, those little paper Hallmark houses I had as a child currently reside on a table in our upstairs hallway. And please hear me when I say that I absolutely love the creative ways that people have found to help build the anticipation of Christmas in their homes.

But, as I looked around my house this year and saw that it was practically bursting with Christmas in every nook and cranny, I found myself longing to carve out a little space for something more simple.

advent candle verses

Something as simple as candles wrapped in scripture. Each one telling another part of the story of Christ’s birth. After printing out 5 different portions of scripture, I coated the backs of the paper in mod podge and then set them seam side down to dry. I then applied another layer of mod podge on top of the paper.

advent candles with mod podge

Each week, we will gather around these candles. There will be fidgeting and fighting over whose turn it is to light the candle. There will probably be some eye rolling and some ‘hey why don’t we get chocolate with these?’.

But we will all be there together, pausing in the midst of the craziness of this time of the year to remember why we celebrate.

scripture advent candles from

And we will pray that God’s love will shine through us, far brighter than the lights on all 5 of the Christmas trees in our house. 😉

candles wrapped in scripture for advent

Every year, I wait for that one moment. The one where I find myself overwhelmed by it all. Not overwhelmed by the shopping or the decorating or the baking.

But the one where I’m overwhelmed by the love and grace that came to this earth in the form of a baby.

And that this baby would grow up to teach, to heal, to challenge, to fulfill a promise.

As I ran errands around town yesterday, the song ‘Born in Bethlehem’ by Third Day came on the radio.

And it happened. I was overwhelmed. The tears began to flow as I heard these lines…

Baby Jesus, do You know

You’ll die for all our sins?

Don’t be afraid for in three days

You will rise again, You will rise again!

DIY scripture advent candles from

I was reminded of how deeply loved I am.

There is so much mystery in it. So much that I don’t understand. But I know that if I were the only person on the planet, that baby would have come just for me.

And He would have come just for you!

Hallelujah, the King is here

Given for all men

For today the holy son of God

Is born in Bethlehem

May you have moments of being overwhelmed by His love this season!

Vanessa signature

P.S. The annual Holiday Housewalk is in full swing over at Jennifer Rizzo Design Company so

be sure to stop by for loads of ideas and inspiration!

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  1. Jennifer Ross says

    Vanessa, how wonderful to pause and reflect on the real reason for the season. Thank you for the beautiful reminder!

  2. Sherri houston says

    This is beautiful! Your creation and your message….well done!! Refreshing to see and hear this in these days!! Thank you!

  3. says

    This is another beautiful reminder to me of how precious Christmas can be if we keep things simple. I have been sick since before Thanksgiving, most of the time in the bed, and The Lord has kept me from worrying that shopping is not done and neither is decorating. But reading and reflecting on the Advent season has been precious for me this year. Thank you for adding to that.

    • says

      Nancy I’m so sorry that you’ve been sick! It truly is a horrible time for it but I’m so glad that you’ve been able to use it as an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of this season. Praying you feel better soon! :-)

  4. dee says


    • says

      Oh Dee! I tried to fight back the tears as I read this beautiful comment but they just wouldn’t stay in my eyes! You truly have no idea how much you have encouraged and blessed me today or how badly I needed that reassurance. God used you to minister to me and I’m forever grateful! :-)

      Blessings to you,

  5. Caro Reddin says

    Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing your memories, Vanessa! It brings back memories for me too! Love you, Mom

  6. says

    I saw this post and had to leave a comment. I also grew up with Advent traditions that were faith based and not chocolate and gift based. I see “advent” calendars now counting down the days to Halloween or Valentines’ Day or whatever and it just makes me sad. Advent is the time to prepare for the second coming of Christ. A time to reflect and make a place in our hearts to once again receive Christ at Christmas. I love these sweet candles and will make them for my son’s family. They are both beautiful and a lovely way to prepare for Christmas. Thank you so much for such a wonderful craft idea!

  7. Christi {Jealous Hands} says

    I’ve had this post pinned since last year & just came back to reread it. We grew up with similar traditions & I’m so excited to add these candles to our contemplation and celebration this year! Would you mind sharing which Scripture/readings you used? Thanks so much!

  8. JoAnn says

    Loved this Post (as I love all your Posts)! I am always looking for ways to simplify Christmas so that we focus on the true Joy of the Season. This Post reminded me of the first time my Mom fashioned an Advent wreath when I was young. My sister and I jostled for a turn to light the candle too. I lost my Mom to cancer before I was an adult and missed the opportunity to thank her for those simple traditions. Thank you for bringing back a very warm memory!

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