Christmas Wreaths on your front door, what do they say about you and your home?
Wreaths have been used as a decorative sign of Christmas for hundreds and hundreds of years. Christmas wreaths can adorn any part of your home, inside or out. In many homes, this symbol of growth and everlasting life can be found both inside and out. It is common to find a number of wreaths on doors, over the mantle, or hung in windows.
The wreath is made of evergreens, most often pine branches or holly. They can be real or artificial. But, an artificial one just doesn’t smell the same as a real wreath. It is decorated wit a variety of items including pine cones, holly berries, fruits, and just about anything you can imagine.
The wreath has significant meaning for the season. It’s circular shape represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end. From a christian religious perspective, it represents an unending circle of life. The evergreen, most frequently used in making wreathes, symbolizes growth and everlasting life. Holly branches have thorns. When used in a wreath it represents the thorn on Jesus’ crown when he was crucified. Bright red holly berries symbolize Jesus’ blood that was shed for us.
Today, it is sometimes hard to remember the real meaning of Christmas. We get all caught up in the hype of Santa and his arrival. The wreath over the hearth brings a warmth to our hearts as we stop to reflect upon the true meaning of this very special day.
The word wreath comes from the word “writhen” that was an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist.” The art of hanging Christmas wreaths originated from the Romans who hung wreaths on their doors as a sign of victory and of their status in society. Women usually wore them as headdresses as a symbol of pride, and also donned them during special occasions such as weddings. Additionally, the victors of sporting events in ancient Greece were given laurel wreaths; This tradition still being used to this day during the Olympic games in which the medals are engraved with sprigs of laurel.
Christmas wreaths are made by twisting or bending evergreen branches into a large circle which are then decorated with pinecones and a red bow. The circle shape of the wreath is made to represent Christ’s eternal love, his strength, and the creation of new life. Evergreens are commonly used in the construction of the wreath due to their heartiness throughout harsh winters and that they denote strength as well as immortality. Christmas wreaths in the Catholic tradition had four candles – Three of purple, symbolizing penance, and expectation, and one of pink to represent the coming joy. The four Sundays preceding Christmas day are embodied by the four candles that were lit each Friday of Advent at dinner along with a prayer. Similarly to Catholic customs, traditional Pagan wreaths were also evergreen circles consisting of four candles. These candles represented the elements of Earth, wind, fire, and water. Their wreaths were typically used in rituals that would ensure the continuance of the circle of life.
So what does your wreath say about you?