One of the things I have really enjoyed about creating our home is making our own set of traditions. Sometimes they take the shape of sweet planned things like pancakes on a Saturday morning. Other times they can be a little less whimsical, like folding washing on a Sunday night… we’re not so good at keeping that one though. Either way, these things are markers of our lives and provide a quiet comfort to daily tasks.
Another thing I really love is celebrating, and joining the hands of celebration and tradition seems to pave the path to opportunities for a whole lot of beauty and mindfulness. It seems that Christmas, however, has always been a season marked with confusing aesthetics. I know I’m not alone when I feel deep frustration as it is unashamedly used to approve of greed, and that in so doing it seems to deprive us of the opportunity to truly celebrate. For me, being surrounded by synthetic symbols does nothing to encourage honest joy.
In the past I have tried to fight this frustration by opting out of decorating but this year I have decided that I do want to adorn for Christmas. I want to beautify our home and say, ‘We’re celebrating!’ So far we have hung up a few gentle lights, displayed a hand carved nativity scene, brought out a beloved paper star, and begun to burn frankincense. And this week I got to making a wreath. I love wreaths , they are so simple and because of this seem so honest in their design. In this season, I like to have them up as a symbol of hope for eternity, a sign that says “forever and ever”, the continuity of a promise made thousands of years ago and fulfilled in the miraculous birth of Jesus. What a reason to celebrate! What a joy to behold! What a symbol to display!
It was a lovely thing to make that involved a few attempts along the way. Here’s what I learnt…
Start with some fresh stems of flora of your choice. It helps to have an idea of how they will dry, these leaves keep their shape and colour quite well. You will also need a piece of ribbon and some florist tape.
I began by stripping the leaves of the stem and creating my ring from the bare branch.
Bruising the stem will help you to create an even circular shape (little helpers always welcome!)
I used to florist tape to secure the leaves and worked around the ring until I was happy with the density.
I finished it off with a simple ribbon.
I made a few of different combinations to give as gifts as well.
They also make delightful crowns in your model is willing to wear them!