If you have been following my blog for awhile you know that I am somewhat of a planner. I also do a project called December Daily. This is my fifth year. For those of you who are unfamiliar, December Daily is the idea that you document a story, or activity from December 1-December 25. For some of us, we take the title more seriously and actually do document every day which means we end on December 31st. Others actually start Thanksgiving day and continue through New Year’s Day. There are really no rules. I tend to be a copier, so I follow most of what Ali Edwards (the creator of December Daily) does in her blog, using her materials. However, she stops on December 25 so I am forced to be creative on my own. I will say, I’ve learned a lot about many different artsy techniques and my last album looked significantly better than my first one.
Why do I do this? I love stories. I want to leave a record of photos and recorded words that my family might look at and treasure long after I’m gone. It’s a creative outlet, but it is far more than that.
Anyway, I digress.
I didn’t decorate my house this year because I was going to be away for part of December. Decorating is usually one of the stories I tell. About the time I was searching for a story to tell in the place of one of Ali’s–we received a gift of a beautiful Christmas wreath. We hung it on the front door and I started to wonder how I was ever going to make a full spread out of one picture. Then, I started to wonder why people hang them in the first place…so I googled it and wow! I was fascinated.
Did you ever wonder why we hang Christmas Wreaths on our front door?
- They are beautiful and have so many styles.
- It is a tradition.
- Everyone does it.
The word wreath is said to come from the old English word “writhen” meaning to twist, as in a circle or wheel. Wreaths have been around since the 16th Century and the Romans displayed them as a symbol of victory. It’s circular shape represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end.
At this point, I was thinking, okay nothing really new here….
We all know that wreaths are mainly made out of evergreens. They last longer, but more than that, evergreen represents life and nature. It reminds us that spring will come soon. (THANKFULLY) It is also said to represent “the wheel of the year.” Cold will pass away.
Now here comes the facts I should have known, but didn’t.
Wreaths were adopted by the Christian faith and are used to observe Advent. Since a wreath has no beginning or end, it symbolizes God’s eternity and mercy, particularly during the Christmas season. How is it that I NEVER thought about a wreath like that before? Also it is said that when made of evergreen it symbolizes everlasting life and God’s everlasting love.
Roberta Hershenson wrote in The New York TImes that for some Christians the wreath represents the thorns worn by Christ on the cross, the berries being His blood. When Christians hang a wreath on their house, it is an invitation for Christ to come into their home. In short, it is a declaration that the home owner believes in Christ.
I think the rest of the world would have to know what the wreath meant for it to be a declaration to everyone, but I love the symbolism. In a holiday that has a tendency to become secular and commercial it is nice to focus on what it truely means.
For me, if I can only have one decoration this year, I’m glad it was a wreath.
What does a wreath mean to you?
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Until next time–