Today, many people put up wreaths during autumn as part of their annual decorating. But the history of hanging a wreath on your door is a tradition that is thousands of years old. The ancient Greeks introduced the wreath as a reward for those who won military, athletic, poetic, and music competitions. The laurel tree,
native to the Mediterranean, was typically used for these types of wreaths and also became associated with the numerous gods and goddesses that make up the Greek and Roman pantheons.1
As time went on, the idea of wearing a wreath as a type of crown evolved. By the 16th century, the custom of bringing an evergreen tree indoors was taking root in northern and eastern Europe. Trimmed branches were used to make wreaths that would hang on doors, symbolizing the end of an old year and the welcome return of the new one.2
No matter how you choose to decorate your home for autumn and the holiday season, getting creative with a wreath is a fun activity for the whole family. Here are a few ideas of what you can do this year to make your own holiday door decor.
Bring Nature Indoors
One of the easiest ways to spruce up an existing wreath, or to make your own, is to use what you can find in nature. Not only will you connect to the ancient tradition of wreath making, but you’ll have the opportunity to add a personal touch to your own wreath by using what you find around your own home.
Dried flowers, dried twigs, fall leaves, and acorns make easy accoutrements to your fall decor. Pinecones and apples can bring some autumn indoors, and using traditional evergreen branches left over from your own holiday tree will add fragrance. Even dried corn and cornhusks can be added to reflect the bounty of the autumn harvest. If you live in a more moderate or desert climate, add some green to your greenery with succulents for a unique and beautiful take on this time-honored tradition.3
Make a Gratitude Wreath
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays right around the corner, it can be difficult to pause and connect with the spirit of why we celebrate. To help remind yourself and your loved ones of what truly matters, consider making a gratitude wreath.
The concept is simple but elegant. You’ll just need squares of construction paper. For a fun pop of color, get different colored squares to layer together. Fold the construction paper into cones, and attach them to a wreath using a hot glue gun. You can add them to a wreath you already have, or try making your own.
On Thanksgiving Day, pass out pieces of paper to your family and friends to write down what they’re thankful for. Put these slips of paper into the cones on the wreath, and then read them out loud together over dinner.4
A wreath is a creative and fun way to decorate and welcome your visitors into your home. Whether you’re celebrating the holidays, sending out the old year and welcoming the new, or just looking to express your creativity, a holiday wreath is a reminder of the beauty of the season.
1. Getty.edu, May 4, 2017
2. Time.com, December 21, 2018
3. Sunset.com, October 22, 2021
4. WomansDay.com, November 4, 2010
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