By Debra Goldie Jones~
I marvel at the distinctive door decorations seen everywhere this time of year. There seems to be no limit to what can be found in the way of seasonal wreaths. Whoever invented that giant mesh ribbon you just scrunch up is a genius!
Recently, I drove past a house and had to stop for a second look. There, attached to a large round of willow branches, was a whole stuffed pheasant. It certainly evoked the feeling of fall.
I must admit the smell of pine and balsam evergreen branches at Christmastime are a delicious experience for me; it still evokes the dignity and solemnity of midnight mass. Even so, I seldom spring for fresh greenery, a costly and temporary indulgence. If I do, I’ll forgo the front door and hang the fragile wreath of firs above the mantle where I can admire it most (and sweep up the needles as soon as they fall.)
The word “wreath” has its origins in Latin, meaning “to writhe.” Quite literally, each circular creation is the result of twisting or contorting branches, vines, flowers, twigs, ribbon and almost anything you can attach with a florist’s wire — even the occasional pheasant!
Aside from household decoration, wreaths have been used throughout the ages in ceremonies from church holidays, weddings, harvests, sporting events and funerals. Universally, wreaths have always been thought to symbolize the circle of eternal life. Ancient academics were the first to honor exceptional scholars with wreaths of laurel, thus the phrases poet laureate and baccalaureate.
Here in the Dallas area, and I suspect nationwide, the rush to wreath madness usually starts soon after the kids are back in school. It’s as if Michaels puts some pheromone in the air that permeates the senses with the message, “Everything Orange 50% Off.”
Nowadays, every retailer selling home décor has its round-up of fall wreath designs starting with Halloween.
Pottery Barn has a scary skull and bones beauty, and Wal-Mart puts out a perky purple and black witch’s wreath complete with dangling legs.
But for some, the best wreaths are made at home. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart. All you need is a little knowledge of arts and crafts: if you’ve ever traced hand turkeys on construction paper, you’re already set.
I’ve picked four DIY projects I found online and given you a link to make each one of these wreaths.
So have fun and find a marvelous wreath to help you feel festooned this season. Just don’t rest on your laurels. The holidays will be back around next year before you know it and maybe then we’ll even be able to have guests in the house.