Why the winter wreath?

Nov 26, 2023

As the holidays approach and seasons transition, individuals across the world adorn their doors, windows, and mantels with the timeless tradition of wreaths. This practice, rooted in history for centuries, often carries with it the beauty of customs and traditions whose origins may remain elusive. In the time of year where many of us have turned inward to our homes and sanctuaries, now is the perfect moment to unravel the mysteries of why we embellish our living spaces with evergreens during winter and discover ways to make this year's decorations especially warm and unique.

The term "wreath" traces its etymological roots back to the Old English word "writhen," meaning "to twist." Have you ever pondered why wreaths are hung, or why they are crafted from wintergreens? A journey through various cultures will yield diverse answers. For some, the circular wreath signifies the arrival of Christ and his boundless love, while for others, it symbolizes the wheel of the year and the culmination of another cycle. In ancient Roman times, wreaths were hung to represent strength and victories in battle.

For those observing Yule and Winter Solstice, the holiday rituals and traditions revolve around celebrating nature and setting intentions for the upcoming season. This includes using evergreen boughs, seeds, and berries to adorn celebratory altars, doorways, mantel garlands, and yule logs. Evergreens, associated with strength, protection, and prosperity, became a favored choice for commemorating the year's end and the onset of winter. The core concept involved foraging for twigs, greens, and berries in nature, taking the time to craft decorations that pay homage to nature and the season. The tradition of hanging bits of nature indoors in the winter has also been to remind us that even through the darkest months, spring will once again re-emerge and plants and flowers will once again grow and bloom! (See what I did there? :D)

Regardless of your beliefs or crafting skills, the joy of foraging and creating your own winter décor can be immensely gratifying, especially if you have materials available on your property or nearby. When scouting for materials, opt for vines or pliable branches that can be twisted into a circle for your base. Weave or glue in additional evergreen branches to achieve your desired thickness, and embellish with berries, dried fruit, or flowers—elements originally incorporated into wreaths to symbolize the promise of spring. Complete your creation with a beautiful ribbon and proudly hang it.

For those eager to decorate without delving into crafting, a diverse selection of winter and holiday wreaths awaits at local garden centers and flower shops. At Grow & Bloom Co., based in London, Ontario, we meticulously handcraft all our wreaths using locally sourced and foraged materials, ensuring a unique touch for your festive décor.