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Using an Advent wreath is a wonderful tradition to prepare for the Christmas season.
The first Advent wreath was conceived by Johann Hinrich Wichern in 1839. He was the founder of a home for poor children in Hamburg, Germany and during the weeks leading up to Christmas was constantly being asked by the children if it was Christmas yet.
He constructed a wooden circle out of a cart wheel and topped it with nineteen small red candles and four tall white candles. Each day he would light an additional candle, saving the white candles for Sundays.
This original wreath eventually evolved into the four violet and pink candle wreath normally seen today. Some people add a fifth white candle to the center to be lit on Christmas day.