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  • Writer's pictureJan Peterson

How the Christmas Wreath Came To Be

There's nothing like festive wreaths hanging on windows and doors to get you in the holiday mood. Hosting wreath making events and designing the perfect wreath to adorn your front door is a fun way to celebrate the season. We often don't think about the rich history attached to these beautiful Christmas decorations. So here's a lesson:

The word wreath comes from the word “writhen” that was an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist.” The art of hanging Christmas wreaths originated from the Romans who hung wreaths on their doors as a sign of victory and of their status in society. Women usually wore them as headdresses as a symbol of pride, and also donned them during special occasions such as weddings. Additionally, the victors of sporting events in ancient Greece were given laurel wreaths. This tradition is still used to this day during the Olympic games in which the medals are engraved with sprigs of laurel. The circle shape of the wreath is made to represent the circle of life and Christ's eternal love. Evergreens are commonly used in the construction of the wreath due to their hardiness throughout harsh winters. Christmas wreaths in the Catholic tradition had four candles – Three of purple, symbolizing penance, and expectation, and one of pink to represent the coming joy. The four Sundays preceding Christmas day are embodied by the four candles that were lit each Friday of Advent at dinner along with a prayer. In other religions, the four candles represented the elements of Earth, wind, fire, and water.

Whatever your religion or beliefs, the Christmas wreath remains an essential holiday decoration adding beauty and warmth to your home or office.

"Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand."

Dr. Seuss

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