Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas Wreaths - A Quick History


There's nothing like a fresh evergreen Christmas wreath hanging on the door to give guests a warm welcome into your home during the holidays!  Who wouldn't love to display the beautiful colors of the holiday season on their door during this festive time?  Have you ever wondered where and how the Christmas wreath got it's beginnings?
The tradition of the Christmas wreath has been around for a long time.  They were initially created from fresh evergreens and since evergreens are green year round, they were the obvious choice to be used during the winter months. The word "wreath" comes from an English word meaning "to twist", like in a circle. Some believe that wreaths were hung on doors as early as ancient Roman times to represent victory.


In early Christianity, the Christmas wreath was hung to symbolize Christ.  The circular shape, with no beginning and no end, represented eternity or life never ending. Typically wreaths were decorated with four candles - 3 on the exterior and 1 in the middle.  The middle candle was lit on Christmas Eve to symbolize the birth of Jesus. In the early 19th century a tradition began to lay evergreen branches shaped into wreaths onto graves to honor the dead.  The familys' would then bring them home to use as part of their Christmas decorations during the holiday period


When it comes to deciding between a fresh evergreen wreath and an artificial one, more people than ever are "going green" and choosing the fresh natural biodegradable evergreen wreaths. Since artificial wreaths are made of plastic and petroleum based products that are not "renewable" resources, they are not biodegradable.. Evergreen wreaths can be "recycled" into useful products, like potpourri wreaths, table centerpieces, or even ground up and turned into mulch for plants!


Christmas wreaths are also a great gift idea for those you care about!  You can purchase them ready made at many stores, or be a "do it yourselfer" and create your own wreath using fresh evergreen branches, battery operated Christmas lights, festive Christmas decorations and Christmas craft products from your local craft store.  Of course, if you're going to make your own creation, you can let your imagination run wild and use a variety of non-traditional items to create just the look your're trying to achieve!


Whatever the reason for the wreath, it's a tradition that goes back many years and has sustained itself as a popular idea today!