The Hidden Symbolism of Christmas Wreaths in Louisiana
As the calendar creeps closer and closer to Christmas Day you're seeing more and more wreathes on display all across Louisiana. Some of the wreaths you'll see displayed at many downtown office buildings are huge. While those we display on our front doors are a little more modest in size.
But just because our home wreath may not be as big as the one downtown on the bank's front door, it can be just as fancy or even more extravagant. It's all a matter of taste. Some people choose a more traditional evergreen approach to a Christmas wreath. You know they have fragrant fronds of evergreen limbs adorned with pine cones, holly, and other splashes of color.
Yet others, go for a more modern look when it comes to their front door adornment. They might choose brightly colored Christmas balls or ornaments to elevate the stature of the wreath they've placed on their door for Christmas.
Why are Christmas Wreaths Traditionally in the Form of a Circle?
From an evangelical point of view, the circular shape of the wreath symbolizes the eternal presence of God. A presence with no beginning and no end. It also symbolizes that the love of God is unending and through Christ the Savior there is hope for eternal life. The circular shape also represents the "circle of life" as it renews each year in an unending fashion.
What Are the Meanings of Certain Material Used in Wreaths?
The reason that evergreen materials are often chosen for the making of wreaths is they represent continuity through difficult times. That's what the ancient Romans and Greeks believed. The holly that you see intertwined among the branches of a wreath is included to symbolize the crown of thorns that Jesus wore at the crucifixion.
The inclusion of pine cones, seeds, and nuts are symbols of rebirth. The cedar that might be used in a wreath symbolizes healing and Laurel included in a wreath symbolizes the conquest over pain and suffering.
What Do the Different Colors of Christmas Wreaths Mean?
Primarily the colors you'll find on a traditional Christmas wreath include a lot of green and a lot of red. The green symbolizes life and growth. The red signifies the blood of Christ that was shed on the cross. Together the two colors are a symbol of the promise of eternal life.
Why Do We Hang a Wreath on the Front Door?
In today's modern times, the wreath is placed on the front door as a decoration. Hopefully, the decorator share some of the sentiments about the traditions we've just highlighted. However, in ancient times a wreath was placed on the door as a symbol of love and devotion, as an offering for hopes of a good harvest, and to keep evil spirits away.
And now you know just a little bit more about a holiday tradition that you've probably been carrying on since you were a kid. It's just that now you know why you're keeping the tradition alive.
Now, let's get something warm to drink.
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Gallery Credit: Tracy Wirtz