This time of year as we near the holidays, we begin to think about hanging our wreaths. Perhaps you will buy a real one as the festivities quickly approach, but you may also have a faux or permanent wreath that you choose to use each year. If you prefer the ease and pine needle-free cleanup this type of wreath offers, then look no further. At Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, we have a wonderful assortment of permanent wreaths that will look lovely in your home for all seasons. While most of our wreaths contain faux greenery, many of them include naturally dried flowers or fruit and/or have a natural twig base.
Pictured here to the left, is our Frosted Wreath, new for the Holiday 2011 Catalog. Our Frosted Wreath contains faux berries, twigs, various greens and pinecones atop a natural twig base. Even if you live where it doesn’t snow you will appreciate the faux snowflakes glistening throughout the wreath’s surface. Other great holiday wreaths include our Mini Wreath and our Frosted Pine & Berry Wreath (shown below). Both offer similarities to the Christmas Wreath, while featuring their own unique details.
The symbolism of wreaths stems from a couple of different sources. Though most notably, the wreath is associated with the Advent season or the “coming of Christ” in the Christian religion. Dating back hundreds of years, we see the first signs of what is now thought to be a traditional evergreen wreath; Evergreens were and are used today because Evergreen trees can withstand the harshest of winters, making it an additional symbol of strength. What is known as the Advent Wreath, signifies the four weeks of Advent. It is decorated with either four or five candles that are lit individually each week, leading up to the Sunday before Christmas day. This is where the circle shape of the wreath became synonymous with the eternal cycle of the seasons. The Advent Wreath tradition has over time, become a part of many Christian cultures around the world; such as: Lutherans in Germany, Protestants and Roman Catholics in Europe and in North America.
In many parts of the world, an Advent wreath or an evergreen wreath has been used during notable ceremonies, both religious and cultural, as a headdress. The wreath atop ones head could represent status, rank, occupation or various achievements. In Greek Mythology, the small wreath that the Gods and Goddesses wore is referred to as a Laural Wreath. The story goes that Apollo, God of Light, fell in love with Daphne. Daphne who didn’t want the pursuit of Apollo, asked for the help of Peneus, the River God. Peneus turned her into a Laural tree and as a motion for victory, Apollo wore a wreath of Laural on his head for all to see. The symbol of Apollo’s victory worked its way into the ancient Olympic Games, to be worn after a great achievement or win. We can still see a nod to Greek history on the medals of the Olympic winners today, as they stand on the 1st, 2nd and third place podiums; each medal has a sprig of Laurel engraved into the design. Julius Cesar later proclaimed that the Laural Wreath is, “to be a symbol of the supreme ruler.” Hence why the modern day understanding of a royal crown is shaped as such.
Interestingly, the name wreath actually is derived from a middle English word, wrethe, meaning a twisted band or ring of leaves or flowers in a garland. All that is placed in wreaths to decorate, once had specific meaning too. Holly berries were believed to have magical powers because they were a shiny berry that kept its red color and bright green leaves throughout the winter. Dried fruit or flowers were originally placed in a wreath to symbolize the promise of spring. Today, we use many of the same decor pieces to spruce up a plain Evergreen or Pine base. Pinecones, ribbon and faux gifts and ornaments have also been added to further the festive look. Although most popular at Christmas, wreaths have become a wall decor item that can be used year round. For these wreaths, different seasonal themes are presented. For example right now for the harvest season, our Pumpkin Wreath, features faux miniature pumpkins, vines, berries, leaves and real pinecones.
Whenever you hang your wreath and wherever you choose to hang it, know that there is a deep history behind that circle of green. The wreath has become a piece of holiday decor, that we treasure having on our doors or as the focal point on any wall in our home. Greet your family and guests this holiday season with a gorgeous wreath from Sturbridge Yankee Workshop and enjoy it for years to come.
~For a complete look at all of our Christmas Wreaths and holiday greenery, click here today!