The Christmas wreath is a standard in our home. It hangs on the inside of the door. It is too thick to hang between the wooden door and the storm door without being crushed, so I hang it so the people on the inside of the house can feel its Christmas spirit.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband came down out of the attic on Sunday night with all the tubs full of Christmas decorations and the box with the tree. I was not happy. I recall that I had asked him the weekend prior to do that, but I was just too tired to care about baubles and beads that night. An argument started – the kind were one partner is trying to do his part and the other is just not in the mood. But the tubs were down and the decorating began. In the spirit of the Grinch, I griped that I was only putting up a tree this year and nothing else and stomped around the room disgusted that I had to do any of it. It was a lovely way to start the Christmas season.
The next morning I discovered the Christmas wreath on the door was hung upside down. I know what an upside-down flag means – the country is in distress. Maybe that was what the wreath was trying to say.
I turned it over and the center fell out. That was when I remembered making the wreath many years ago. I bought a green wreath and decorated it myself. At the store, I found an antique-looking parchment with the sheet music for “The First Noel” hanging on a gold thread and it became the focal point of my wreath. My son was in band and played the trumpet. As soon as the wreath was hung he pulled out the horn and read the music as it hung above the fireplace. Those were good days.
Suddenly I realized the wreath must be well over 20 years old. My son is grown and the wreath (only used for a short period each year) was still intact.
I did a little research and discovered the history of Christmas wreaths and found out that they originated in Germany. An Advent wreath was a circle of evergreens that lay on the table, not hung on the door. It had three candles in the middle, two purple, signifying penance, and one rose, signifying joy. Different colors of candles were lit each week, and the final week all the candles were lit at once. The light of the candles signified the light of Christ, Who would come into the world at Christmas.
The wreath brought back memories and made me realize what great life I’ve had. The memories – most of them good – sustain me and the future is still before me. My Christmas is not in distress. The wreath would once again be a light to go by. We were blessed.
I hope you decorate for the Christmas season and Merry Christmas to you and your family, no matter how you choose to celebrate it.