Christmas Wreaths and Garlands: What’s the difference?

Alt Image: Wreath and Garland

Image Description: Wreath and Garland

Nothing says it is time to get in the holiday spirit than seeing a Christman wreath hanging off your neighbor’s front door. That’s when you realize that you, too, must get ready to spread Christmas cheer. But wait, are you sure the beautiful object you cannot take eyes off of is indeed a wreath? Are you positive that it is not a garland? After all, one cannot get into the festive spirit without furnishing their house with stockings, nutcrackers, ornaments, and, yes, wreaths and garlands. If you, like most other people, do not know the difference between a wreath and a garland and have never found a reason to learn about it, then fret not. You have come to the right place. This blog is specifically tailored to teach you how to distinguish the two so you do not embarrass yourself the next time you go out to buy Christmas wreaths!

How do they differ in appearance?

First and foremost, the main difference between a wreath and a garland is in their shape. A wreath is an assortment of leaves, flowers, twigs, stems, and other kinds of foliage that have been secured together in the shape of a ring. In comparison, garlands are primarily made out of pine and holly branches, flowers, pinecones, and other greens. Unlike Christmas wreaths which are attached to doors or walls using magnets, suction cups, and the most readily available option, nails, garlands are usually hung around fireplaces or from ceilings using a nylon string, fishing line, or any other thread. 

What do they symbolize?

It is said that the spherical shape of a wreath is an ode to God, who has no beginning and no end, just like a circle that has no sides! Profound, isn’t it? For others, though, the tradition of hanging wreaths on doors originated in Ancient Rome, where they were hung to symbolize victory in a battle. Yet again, Christians believe that the thorns of a Christmas wreath represent the nails used to crucify Jesus, and the berries symbolize his blood. Last but not least, they believe that the evergreens used to manufacture a wreath supposedly signal eternal life, from Jesus’s crucifixion to his return. Although Garlands are flexible and can be hung in various shapes and sizes, they, too, symbolize one of the focal beliefs of Christianity: the everlasting and omnipresent love of Jesus.

How to use them?

Christmas wreaths primarily serve as a welcome sign to one’s doors, but if you are looking to kiss someone, walk with them underneath a mistletoe wreath. According to an ancient Norse myth, misfortune follows the person who rejects a kiss under the mistletoe. Now, you have a secret hack to get your partner to kiss you! 

Garlands, in contrast, are flexible strands that can be draped anywhere, ranging from your porch and railings to the inside of your bedroom. If you feel especially festive, you can always use a garland as a headwrap or a crown and feel like royalty!

Objectively, it is difficult to say which one is the better Christmas decoration as the two go hand in hand in adding an extra cheer to the season’s festivities.

Thanks for reading! Make sure you check out my YouTube channel for wreath-making instructions and business tips!

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