Friday, December 2, 2022

The Wonderful World of Wreaths

12 different wreath designs.

Wreaths are arguably the most ubiquitous of all Christmas decorations. They are also the most versatile and are more than just Christmas décor – they can be enjoyed in a seemingly endless number of ways all year long. 

An image from an original Roman mosaic. It shows a person wearing a leaf crown.
Roman mosaic
People have made wreaths a part of their lives for thousands of years. While it is impossible to know who the first person to create a wreath was, they were widely in use in ancient Greece and Rome. They were hung on doors to celebrate a military victory and worn on the head to denote status and occupation. Early Christians appropriated the wreath as a symbol of Christ; the circular shape illustrates the immortality that their religion promises. From this, the Christmas wreath evolved. If you want to know more, here’s a nice little article that tells the history of wreaths.

A tradtitional Christmas with evergreens, pinecones, holly, bells & ribbon.     Traditional Christmas

Small wreath that contains only ribbon, an evergreen sprig and 2 bellsPhoto by Vladimir Vinogradov on Unsplash.

Regardless of their origin, wreaths are now a set symbol for the Christmas holiday. The season would just not be the same without them. Traditional Christmas wreaths are a delight, but so are the many variations of wreaths that the ever-creative human brain can muster. They can be made of virtually any material and can send a specific message or no message at all. 

A yello wreath on a navy blue door in a grey building. There are yellow and navy blue pots around the door and a yellow doormat.A black wreath with an orange ribbon. It's hanging on an orange door in a grey building in Knoxville, TN.Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash.       Permanent Décor

These two examples show how wreaths can become a focal point for the curb appeal of a home. These types of wreaths transcend any holiday and carry no particularly deep symbolism. Instead, they are a carefully considered addition to a home’s design. And they really work.

An Easter egg and bunny wreath. Photo by Roger Bradhsaw on Unsplash.
A wreath made from red, white and blue flowers with white stars attached top left.    Year-Round Holidays

Wreaths are a thing for any holiday. Easter calls for eggs, of course, and the flowers of spring and summer are perfect for displaying in any design. But, why not a red, white and blue wreath for the 4th of July? And there are so many fun ways to do a Halloween wreath or Autumn-themed wreath.    

An evergreen wreath in the shape of the Star of David. It has small fairy lights in it and a blue & white bow.
   HanukkahA Hannukahevergreen wreath. It's decorated with Star of David ornaments, a blue and silver bow, silver pinecones and blue sparkly ornament.

Christmas does not hold a monopoly on religious wreaths. There are also beautiful wreaths to adorn the homes of those who celebrate Hanukkah at this time of year. Like Christmas wraths, these designs are generally driven by traditional colors, religious symbols and personal aesthetics.

A wreath made of magnolia leaves at the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, VA.  Old City Cemetery, Lynchburg, VA - Photo by LuAnn Hunt on Unsplash.
Prickly pear cactus pad wreath. It is decorated with pinecones, silver ornaments and a bow.

Some wreaths send a quiet message that celebrates where they are hung. This beautiful example on the right is made with magnolia leaves and can be found in the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, VA. You can’t get much more old-school Southern than magnolias and Virginia. And nothing says “Southwest” more than a prickly pear cactus wreath.


A wreath made of a variety of squash.
A wreath made of garden tools. It has the word grow at the top.As a gardener, you could use a wreath as a way to display what you’ve grown (flowers, fruit or vegetables). Or you could make a fun wreath full of the tools of the trade. Either would look super-cute on a garden gate or shed door. If you have another hobby, this would work as well. Perhaps a golf ball wreath?

                           Arts & Crafts

An ice wreath with cranberries frozen in it. It is suspended with a red ribbon.
Creating wreaths as a group activity is popular with many people this time of year. Whether that means you and the kids or an adult gathering, it’s fun either way. Just grab some basic elements and gather the group (holiday cocktails recommended for adults). I have recently become intrigued with ice wreaths. They would make an ideal crafting project for children. It would keep them busy and out of the way for a while, although the water part might need supervision. I wish that we had colder weather here in Southern Arizona so that I could create some of these that would last. Here’s how to make them. 

A wreath made from computer parts, It has a red & green plaid ribbon at the top. Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash.
            Unique Elements

It's clear that one can make a wreath from anything. But some people look way out of the box for their source material.  Whether building a wreath from computer components, or antlers, these creators have given us wreaths that are unique and visually alluring. 
A wreath made with deer antlers.

A gif with flashing Christmas lights featuring a cartoon deet inside an ornament wreath. The deer is sucking on a candy cane.If you want to see more wreath designs (some of which are quite unique), Etsy has pages and pages of them, starting here. If you are more interested in creating an unusual wreath yourself, here’s a link to 65 DIY wreath ideas that should fit that bill. If you want to make a wreath but don't want to figure it all out yourself, here’s a link to a company that sells wreath kits. 

Have yourself a wonderful holiday season!

Submitted by Pam

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