Christmas time has always been precious to me. Especially with the kids growing up. And especially since I live in London. In this city all doors are nicely decorated and the wreaths are all out for the festivities in the capital …
So this year, for the first time, I wanted to feel like a true Londoner and made my own wreath! And I am very excited to reveal to you what I have learnt from this experience …
The origin of wreaths
Christmas wreaths are a well-known tradition, which has been around for a while. Wreaths are used in all houses, inside and out, as a decorative sign of Christmas. But where do their name and meaning come from?
On this website I learnt that “the word ‘wreath’ could be derived from an English word meaning to twist, such as in a circle”.
From a christian religious perspective, the Christmas wreath symbolizes the Christ. The circular shape, with no beginning or end, represents eternity or the unending circle of life while the evergreens symbolizes growth and everlasting life.
The wreaths were typically decorated with four candles, three on the exterior and one in the middle. The middle candle was lit on Christmas Eve to symbolize the arrival of Jesus Christ. A tradition began in the early 19th century to lay evergreens shaped into wreaths or crosses on graves to honor the dead. Family members would bring them home to use as part of their Christmas decorations during the holiday season.
How to make your own wreath?
Wherever you look in London, all facades and doors are adorned with wreaths. Some are quite simple and delicate, some others more sophisticated. Whatever their aspect, the wreaths are always a good addition to your home!
This year, I wanted to know more about wreaths and booked in for a wreath-making workshop, that was organized at my kids’ school with a professional. A few mums including me had never decorated a wreath before (unsurprisingly mostly foreigners) but some others obviously knew their stuff, having brought their own utensils and decorative led tinsels !
To begin with, wreaths are made of evergreens. You can choose artificial branches of course, but then you would miss the particular smell of the evergreens…
Wreaths can be decorated with a wide variety of Christmassy items such as pine cones, holly berries, dried fruits or anything that suits you !
The best advice I’ve had while decorating my own wreath were:
1. Always work in a clockwise direction, following the wreath’s branches.
2. Keep it as natural as possible. Tinsels may be appealing but I rather fancy a natural effect on my wreath.
3. Make bunches of items, don’t use them individually. The professional there advised us to group 3 items together, which I did for the dried oranges, cinnamons and berries, to give more of an “organized feel to the wreath design”.
4. Be proud of your result! All wreaths are nice to look at anyway!
You surely associate Christmas with decorations and celebrations. Christmas also gives the opportunity to gather family and friends around a good meal …and wreaths can be an good inspiration for meals !
Try this salad, which combines nice ingredients with a good looking impact: salad leaves, pears, walnuts, blue cheese and pomegranate (one of my favorite fruit to decorate salads…!).
Here is a caprese Christmas wreath that is absolutely my style: the perfect healthy appetizer !
And I would personally go for this BBC Good Food recipe to try a tasty dessert: a “spiced fruit & pistachio bread wreath” (pistachios are always a good treat, aren’t they?).
But there are still many other choices! Especially there is no shortage of ideas on Pinterest on how to make edible wreaths to decorate the house and finally eat everything up at Christmas! Enjoy!