Our church has "table hostesses," who sign up to decorate a table, provide dessert and invite their church friends (and special guests from their lives) to sit with them at their Advent by Candlelight table. When there are open spots at the tables of 8, the Advent by Candlelight coordinator fills the spots with church members interested in attending.
Guests usually arrive around 6 pm, check in and receive a name tag and then congregate over punch and light refreshments as the hundreds of women arrive at the church and connect. At 6:30, members and their guests are given a candle and program as they file into the sanctuary and take a seat.
A short service typically consists of a choral piece, inspirational readings, biblical text and the singing of hymns. The candles are lit and the attendees file out in silence and reflection.
The next 30 minutes or so are spent admiring the tables, all lit by candlelight. The creative table decorations are a fun outlet for the hostesses to inspire and delight. Visual and edible decorations make everyone get into the holiday spirit.
Every year, mom and I sit at a mother/daughter table with our friends from church. This year we were the guests and were free to relax and enjoy the decorations of our hosts. We sat at a darling Scandinavian-theme table of red and white. There were birch coasters for the delicate metal candle stars; red striped ribbon tied on the napkins and paper stars scattered on the table.
There were tables with family heirlooms on display - look at this beautiful, what I believe to be German Pyramid, powered by candles.
The Wise Men and Shepherds are on a wooden circle that is powered by the heat of the candles. The fan on top turns and allows the procession to file past the nativity. It is a work of art.
I love this next picture, framed so that you can see the candlelight from two tables. This is the perfect occasion to use a candelabra.
There is an inherent calm in a room filled with candlelight. Everyone felt special and appreciated. The hostesses did a wonderful job designing pretty tables.
A dreamy Winter Wonderland table hosted by a mother-daughter team, Micke and Linda. I love their collection of churches.
Look at the roses in this elegant red and white table - this feels like a party!
I love the ring of Santas around this majestic gold bottle brush tree. It looks glorious.
Would you like to see some of the tables that my mom and I have decorated?
I hope these images inspire you to host your own Advent by Candlelight table next year.
This is our "Town with a Marshmallow Snowstorm" table.
This is our "Vintage Green & Red" table.
This is our "Gold Pineapple with Red Plaid" table.
And last year's "Vintage Ornament" table. Such fun! I can't wait until next year!