Spring has sprung, fall has fell…well, fall is coming, and I’ve been dragging up my fall decor from the basement. One thing I really love are my fall wreaths. I have fall-in-general wreaths, Halloween wreaths, Thanksgiving wreaths, and of course, Christmas wreaths – oh wait, that would be a winter wreath, not a fall wreath!
What is a Wreath?
That may seem like a silly question, but wreaths actually have a history, and a meaning. According to wikipedia.com: “A wreath is an assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs, or various materials that are constructed to resemble a ring.” A wreath, like a wedding ring, is seen as a symbol of the eternal – the never ending, the circle of life. A wreath made of evergreen symbolizes strength, as the evergreen lives year round.
The ancient Etruscan civilization of southern Europe made extensive use of wreaths as jewelry, as bands around their heads, and embossed onto medallions. Recently, wreaths worn around the head have become popular with brides, replacing the usual wedding veil.
In ancient Greece and Rome, a person’s occupation, rank, social status, and their achievements could be shown by the wreaths they wore.
Harvest wreaths (like our fall modern-day fall wreaths) were hung on the door by farmers in ancient Greece and Rome, thinking that they would protect against crop failure and plagues.
Today, we use wreaths mainly as decorations. There are so many ways to use wreaths, other than the usual wreath hanging on the front door. Here are some ideas for decorating with wreaths.
Wreaths for Outdoors
Wreaths hung on the front door or the front gate are common places for wreaths. But I’ve also seen them hung on lamp posts, on fence posts, on the front of a truck, over the garage, on outside windows, on the doors of a shed (a fixed-up-cute shed), and even one on a doghouse.
Wreaths for Inside
You can hang wreaths on your walls, or hanging them on an object, like on the backs of these chairs. I’ve also seen wreaths hung on windows, on mirrors, on Christmas trees (usually smallish ones), on the kitchen cabinets, hung around a picture frame, and on or over a bedroom headboard. The possibilities are endless!
Wreaths as Centerpieces
There are so many things you can add to a wreath used as a centerpiece – candles of all shapes and sizes, a candelabra, stuffed animals (I have a cute turkey I use at Thanksgiving), Christmas decorations, small lanterns, string lights. Set a bowl of dip or the rolls or candy in a wreath centerpiece. A favorite of mine is a tall, 3 inch candle with un-hulled nuts surrounding it in the center of a wreath made of greenery. So many ideas!
Yeah, kind of depressing, but wreaths are commonly used to decorate grave sites and in funeral processions. Here again, they represent the circle of life, which in this case, also includes death as part of that circle. Flowers are historically used in the wreaths to represent life and resurrection.
Wreaths for the Holidays
And not just Christmas wreaths! Although that is probably the most commonly used, there are wreaths for Halloween, Easter, Valentines Day, Thanksgiving, and more.
Wreaths for the Seasons
There are fall wreaths, spring wreaths, summer wreaths, and winter wreaths. Whether you make them yourself, or buy them ready-made, simple or elaborate, wreaths can be used to decorate in many ways, and help make your house a home.