Holiday wreaths are one of the oldest traditions brought out during Christmastime, as they date back to ancient civilizations. Over the centuries, they have been used to symbolize many things and have a primal connection with early man. Even in the context of Christmas, they still symbolize several elements of the season, but what’s clear is that a home adorned with one is a home that is celebrating. And with so many to choose from, including hardy artificial varieties, a family can find the perfect decoration for their home.
What is the symbolism behind decorative Christmas wreaths?
Holiday wreaths have their roots in Greek and Roman laurels. Worn on the head, such laurels were used to display status, rank and achievements. Of course, this is a long way from modern decorations, which are available to all and are more about bringing people together than setting them apart. Throughout human history, this sacred decoration has meant a lot of things, but particularly the notion that all things are cyclical and everlasting, which is why they are made in the shape of a circle. Made from evergreens, they could represent hope of the coming spring, or the need to be strong through the harshest season of the year.
Modern versions are likely directly descended from the harvest rings that ancient European peoples used extensively. Though their exact meaning differed between different peoples, they were typically made from harvest crops, such as wheat or fruit, and were used to protect against a lean harvest the following year. Such rings were often delivered at festivals dedicated to gods of harvest, such as Dionysus.
Advent holiday wreaths are what most people associated with Christmastime, as they represent the Advent season, or coming of Christ. Leading up to Christmas, red and white candles are placed in the decoration to mark the days.
What kinds of holiday wreaths are available for Christmas?
While some people still opt for natural decorations for their home. An increasing number of families are choosing artificial versions because they are allergen free, retain their color and shape, can last for many years, and come in a huge variety of designs. They are designed to mimic the natural look of pine, so they feature branch ends that are tipped with several shades of green and hints of yellow. They are also made in the shape of natural pine, so it’s often difficult to tell if they are real or artificial.
Some artificial decorations come with bows, berries, pine cones, bells, balls, or other small additions. Many come pre-lit, which can be a major time saver for a family that likes their decorating done without fuss. Pre-lit wreaths provide a charming drop of color and light at night, creating the inviting atmosphere that they have been associated with for hundreds of years.