MIKE SPRINGER/Staff photo
Kierstin Hazzard, portraying the "Advent Spirit," places a lighted electric candle in an Advent Spiral on Wednesday at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester. The Advent Spiral, which originated in the Waldorf schools, is made of decorated evergreen branches. Participants walked to the center of the spiral to light their candle and then placed it somewhere along the path. Wednesday was the Winter Solstace, the shortest day of the year and the official beginning of winter.