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Christmas Wreaths

A Home Decorating Tradition Steeped in Rich History

by Helen Houston

Tis the season to open your home to friends and family for holiday celebrations. Put your guests in the Christmas spirit by greeting them with

unforgettable curbside décor. This begins with a beautifully decorated door. A festively adorned door is often times the centerpiece of all outdoor holiday décor. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your Christmas door is eye-catching and merry. With just a few simple tips, in no time at all you can build a fabulously festive Christmas style sure to win any door decorating contest.

Wreaths add color and style to our Christmas décor and have become a tradition in many homes. Evergreen, pine cones, tinsel, grape vines, Styrofoam, wood, or rope – regardless of their design, ‘tis the season to festively adorn your front door. In fact, wreaths have become so popular and so varied that many hang them indoors over fireplaces, on mirrors, and on walls.

History

By learning a little more about the origin of the Christmas wreath, you’ll likely develop a deeper appreciation when you hang one on your door this Christmas.

Wreaths can be traced all the way back to ancient times when royalty of the Persian Empire and its upper class wore fabric versions adorned with jewels. In Ancient Greece, handmade laurel wreaths were used as crowns for athletes, military heroes, and even at weddings as a symbol of victory and pride.

As coniferous trees remained alive during the winter months, Egyptians, Hebrew, and Chinese cultures used evergreen to symbolize eternal life. Later, Catholics and Christians took that same symbolism relating it to Christ. It is believed some Europeans used wreaths on the doors as symbols of their family identity, not unlike a family crest. Items from their individual gardens (like grapevines, flowers, or produce) were added for a touch of individuality. It was family tradition to build these wreaths together. A fun holiday activity, perhaps?

Getting Creative

There are a few door decorating items to remember when selecting which Christmas wreath ideas to incorporate. First, consider shape and scale. It is important to keep in mind the size of your space when selecting accent pieces. Large wreaths will dwarf a small door, while smaller wreaths may look out of place in grand entranceways.

Identify your holiday theme, and translate that style to Christmas door wreaths to achieve a cohesive look. For example, establish a traditional look by selecting a classic berry wreath or those adorned with elegant ribbon and ornaments. On the other hand, if you prefer a more imaginative style, whimsical mesh wreaths are a fabulous option. As always, remember to incorporate custom elements that make the door decorations all your own.

Creating unforgettable Christmas décor for doors does not require you drain the holiday fund. Rather than spending hundreds on those beautiful ornate wreaths found at the Christmas store, purchase bare greenery from any craft store and embellish it yourself. Trim the Christmas door wreath with anything from beautiful ribbons to seasonal floral to whimsical ornaments and holiday baubles.

You can take inspiration from the traditional and add your own flair, or you can jazz things up a bit. Wreath designs can be as simple as a circle of garland with a bow on top, or more elaborately garnished with ribbons, fabrics, lights, and ornaments. Leaves, twigs and berries can also be added to your wreath for a more creative but natural style.

One of the hottest Christmas décor trends for 2016 is incorporating unique, whimsical, customized elements. Here is a list to get your creative juices flowing when designing your personalized Christmas wreath:

twine

wine corks

picture frames

birch bark

pvc pipe

faux fur

thread spools

ugly Christmas sweater

electrical wire

cookie cutters

macaroni shells

men’s ties

feather boa

sheet music

golf balls & tees

family photos

Today, Christmas wreaths encompass the spirit and the fun of this special holiday season, not just by illuminating an entranceway, but by spreading cheer and a festive atmosphere to visitors both old and new.

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