Why Do We Hang Wreaths at Christmas? The History Behind the Custom

A Christmas wreath hanging on the front door of a house

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A Peep Into The History of Christmas Wreaths

According to credible sources, the custom of putting evergreen trees in one’s home during the Christmas season originated in 16th-century Germany. Thanks to these first- they paved the way for wreaths to become embedded in Christmas celebrations. 

Ace Collins, a renowned writer of several bestsellers, shed light upon this. In 2003, he wrote a book “Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas” mentioning how in older times, excess limbs from trees were cut off to craft unique shapes that could be used to adorn a room. He further explicated in interviews that the cultural mindset of people back then was to make efficient use of resources, wreaths were made out of extra branches on the trees. 

Wreaths have traditionally had great religious connotations as well. According to the New York Times, the excess foliage was twisted into circles, to particularly signify the idea of perfection and togetherness, as well as the force of the sun. The circular shape reflects God, with no beginning or end. 

Over time, wreaths have become so deeply ingrained into the Christmas festivities that it is hard to think about celebrating this occasion without them. Christians viewed them as a way of paying tribute to Jesus and commemorate his death. 

The New York Times has put forth another very interesting fact. They reported that the placement of a wreath on a door or window is of great significance to Christians, who saw it as a kind of invitation for the holy spirit to enter their houses. The evergreens that were utilized in the formation of wreaths, denote eternal life as a powerful entity, capable of surviving even in the worst winter conditions. During Advent, candles are frequently placed on wreaths, serving as a reminder of the light that Christians believe Jesus provided.

Needless to say, wreaths are only a front-door décor item for some people who want to spread some Christmas merriment. In contemporary times, wreaths are fashioned from a variety of materials and are available in a number of colors, designs, and sizes, right at your disposal. However, it would be wrong to overlook the popularity of evergreens even today (I mean they’re name evergreen for a reason, they’re likely to never go out of style).

You may choose to hang a wreath for religious reasons, cultural ones, or simply because you want your front door to look pretty and welcoming to onlookers. Regardless, we’re sure that knowing the context and some history behind the custom have added to their appeal. Plus, you’ve got a wonderful conversation starter for your next Christmas gathering now!

Do you hang a wreath at Christmas? We would love to see your holiday decor please find us online and tag us in your holiday decor using @hardworkingmom

Christmas Wreath by Hard Working Mom! Learn how to make this & more inside the design group!

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