It’s December and our Christmas decorations are going up! In my home it wouldn’t be Christmas without a wreath. But why do we have wreaths at Christmas?
We use wreaths for many occasions. Not just Christmas. Think about wreaths for memorial events for wars and funerals. The wreaths brides wear for weddings stem from pagan rituals and celebrations. Not forgetting wreaths worn in ancient Greece and Rome to symbolise a person’s rank.
Why do we have wreaths at Christmas?
A Christmas wreath is based in Christian symbolism. Wreaths have been used as a decorative sign of Christmas for hundreds and hundreds of years.
The advent wreath features candles. These are lit in preparation for Christmastide and Epiphanytide. You can Advent wreaths on stands or placed on tables. We hang our Christmas wreaths on doors or walls. This is the type of wreath I love the most!
A door or wall wreath is made of evergreens, often pine branches or holly. The evergreens means eternal life – and strength, as they last the harshest winters. The circular shape is a symbol of eternal life. Plus, the use of holly symbolises the thorns worn by Christ on the cross – the lush red berries represent Christ’s blood. Christians believe the wreath is also an invitation for Christ to come into their home.
What do we decorate wreaths with?
We decorate our wreaths with a vast array of decorative materials. Whilst you can’t beat a simple pine wreath; it’s common to see pine cones, dried fruit, cinnamon sticks and twirly ribbons to add those special touches. (You can read about my love of ribbons!!!). Other countries use their own unique deocrations. In New Mexico, they use dried chillies; or yummy biscuits in Denmark. (I definitely like that idea!).
I find it amazing that as florists we create floral displays for so many wonderful and special occasions. At every time of the year, and throughout our lives, flowers and plants can send our best wishes and thoughts to friends and loved ones. Isn’t the power of flowers amazing?
So now’s the time to get the wreath on your door or on a wall in your home. And if you were wondering why do we have wreaths at Christmas, now you know!