Christmas Wreaths: Here, There, and Everywhere
The Christmas wreath is a decorating staple that appears in homes across the country and around the world. The practice of hanging Christmas wreaths originated in the 16th century in Europe. At the time, fresh trees were the norm, and, in many cases, decorators had to cut limbs off the tree and shape it in order to get it into the house. Instead of throwing those shorn limbs away, many people chose to weave those cast-off branches into wreaths, which they then used to decorate other areas in the home.
Those Europeans lived in a time and place where they made the most of every material they had. They wouldn't waste anything, and, in fact, would try to use every piece of the supplies they had on hand.
In modern times, of course, people are much less likely to weave their own wreaths from freshly-cut branches that come directly off the Christmas tree they've just cut down themselves and moved into the home. However, the tradition of decorating with gorgeous wreaths throughout the house continues.
The Evolution of the Wreath
The Christmas wreath contains a number of important elements that symbolize the reason for the season, making it an important part of the holiday tradition in many homes.
For example, the circular shape can represent the hope of life renewing itself and the cycle of the seasons: from spring to winter, then back to spring again. The wood and materials used in wreaths can represent several important things, as well.
- Cedar often represents healing.
- Laurel can be used to represent an end to pain and suffering, or conquest
- Greenery used in the wreath may symbolize strength, since evergreens remain green and bright through even the coldest, longest winters
The wreaths of today have become a pervasive part of our home’s holiday decor and are much less about symbolism and more about adding Christmas cheer.
When selecting a wreath, there are different types of branches and greenery you can consider from pine and foxtail to spruce and fir. Additions like pine cones, seeds, holly, and nuts or fruit might also be used in a wreath to create a unique decor piece.
Fun Facts About Wreaths
Whether you're hanging wreaths with the kids or you just want to wow your friends, consider these fun facts.
- Wreaths were given as prized gifts during ancient times
- In colonial days, American colonists used evergreens to fashion wreaths and decorated them with harvest crops.
- Christmas wreaths were not traditionally hung on doors until the 1900s. Before that, they were usually tabletop decorations.
- Modern wreaths can be made with almost anything, including flowers, leaves, fruits, and twigs. They are no longer used just during the holidays--and in fact, there are fun wreaths that can help add a pop of color and decor to homes throughout the year.
Decorating with Wreaths: Everything You Need to Know
Many modern decorators are eager to hang their Christmas wreaths on doors throughout the home. While that's certainly a great way to add contrast and interest--and can help visitors get in the holiday spirit from the moment they enter your home--that's certainly not the only place you can put a wreath in your home. Try some of these suggestions to make the most of this traditional Christmas decoration.
Place wreaths on tabletops or use them as the centerpiece at the kitchen table.
Tabletop wreaths are, in fact, more traditional than those that hang on the doors. Consider adding some candles to create just the right ambiance for dinner.
Hang wreaths in your most prominent windows—or in every window throughout the house, if you like!
Wreaths hanging in windows can help catch the light coming in from outside or brighten up a room. As an added bonus, wreaths hung in windows can often be seen from the outside of the house, so you can use them as part of your outdoor holiday decor.
Add wreaths to the walls.
Wreaths are a great way to add a little greenery and a pop of Christmas spirit to any room in the house. Consider hanging a wreath on the wall in your entryway or hanging it on the wall in the kitchen. You may want to add a little extra decor to your wreaths on the walls: small shutters, tobacco baskets, or wood planks and covers are a great way to help wreaths really stand out. And adding outdoor Christmas wreaths to walls, windows, and doors is a festive go-to for brightening your home and upping your curb appeal.
Hang wreaths over your mirrors.
While you certainly do not want to obscure your mirrors completely, using wreaths as mirror decor has an advantage: it leaves an open space in the middle. Use small wreaths high on your mirrors, or hang larger ones that you and your guests can look straight through.
When it comes to hanging wreaths throughout your home, the only limit is your imagination! There are plenty of great ways to incorporate wreaths into your holiday decor, whether you want to spread a little extra greenery or you want to add a few extra elements that tie in the themes you're already using in those rooms. Contact us today to learn more about our wreaths and how they can help your holiday decorating progress better than ever.