Few things speak of Christmas as traditionally as an evergreen wreath. While some department stores and supermarkets charge a fortune for a simple evergreen wreath, much better buys can be found at farmers’ markets and roadside stands where the proceeds often go to charity.
However, for those on a limited Christmas budget, or who enjoy crafting, an evergreen wreath is an easy and satisfying holiday decoration to make if you have the patience and inclination. I made the wreath pictured above by wiring short fir branches to a wire coat hanger which had been bent into a circle; the hook makes a great hanger. The plastic red bow can be purchased for pennies at a Dollar Store. The trick is to make your wreath full and round by using enough branches and tips. The tips I used on this particular wreath were gathered from mature trees that grew in woods close to my parents’ home — the trim doesn’t harm the trees. You may have enough trees on your own property to create a beautiful wreath. Fir and spruce are probably the most common materials used, but cedar is amazing for its feathery branches and strong woodsy scent.
Rose hips, pine and spruce cones, winter berries, etc. can also be attached with wire in their natural state, or spray painted silver or gold for a very festive touch. If you’re VERY lucky, you might even find a bird’s nest to tuck into the greenery!
Christmas wreaths are usually crafted in the form of a circle which symbolizes eternity and are most often hung on the front door of a house. The idea to hang them on the front door lies in the belief that round shaped Christmas wreaths bring contentment and good luck in the approaching year. Wreaths with candles symbolize the sun at winter solstice, and the evergreens, red berries, holly and pine cones signify the harvest, a custom thought to have started in ancient Rome.
There are very good instructions and tips on eHow.com about creating Christmas evergreen wreaths. No matter how they’re made, their forest-green loveliness and heady scent are a wonderful Christmas tradition that many of us couldn’t do without.