Origin of Christmas Wreaths

Merry Christmas wreath from Christmas Forest Fundraising
Merry Christmas wreath from Christmas Forest Fundraising

In our series about Christmas Wreath fundraising, Christmas Forest has been fantastic. They provided us with an overview of their program, tips for choosing the right Christmas wreath (your customers will need these tips), their history, and also about how their method actually helps sustain and improve the growth of the trees that they use.  We thought it only fitting that we share the origin of Christmas Wreaths as provided by Christmas Forest.

Origin of Christmas Wreaths

The Christmas gifts sit under the tree all aglow – tucked in neatly with ribbons and bows. There are Christmas decorations placed about, and Christmas wreaths adorn the door. It’s that wonderful time of year again when mysteries are unveiled. So, why do we give Christmas gifts during this holiday season? Have you ever stopped to wonder about the history of gift giving? When did Christmas gifts become the highlight of the season and why? The idea of giving gifts most likely originated when the Three Kings brought offerings to baby Jesus upon his birth. Throughout history, there is documentation of gifts being exchanged during Three Kings’ Day as well as on Christmas Eve.

However, gift-giving as we know it today began in the early 19th century when some of the first few ads were posted in newspapers by store owners. By the late 19th century, giving gifts at Christmastime was in full swing as large retailers such as Macy’s began leaving their doors open late on Christmas Eve. Today, Christmas Day wouldn’t be the same without gifts under the tree. Another item you won’t want to leave off of your list when it comes to Christmas is one that’s as popular as gift giving itself – a fresh evergreen Christmas wreath.

The Christmas wreath is another tradition that has been around for a long time and was initially created from fresh evergreens. Since evergreens are green year-round, they were the obvious choice during the winter months. The word ‘wreath’ is derived from an English word meaning to twist, such as in a circle. Some believe that initially wreaths were hung on doors in Ancient Rome to represent victory.

In Christianity, the Christmas wreath was used to symbolize Christ. The circular shape, with no beginning or end, represents eternity or life never ending. 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 the Light of the World – 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.

At Christmastime, it only makes sense to combine two of the most symbolic icons together, giving wreaths as gifts. Who wouldn’t love to display the beautiful colors of the holiday season upon their door during this festive time? Christmas wreaths come in many styles and designs. There are traditional wreaths with velvet red bows adorning noble fir branches speckled with berries to the more regal choice such as gold satin bows atop pine boughs embellished with juniper berries.

So why doesn’t everyone have a Christmas wreath hanging on the door as part of their Christmas decorations? Many people simply don’t realize how much a Christmas wreath can illuminate an entranceway and provide festivity and cheer to visitors both old and new. As well, it can be hard to find the time to do the extra things that make the holiday season so special. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to share such a rich holiday tradition with your friends and relatives when selecting their Christmas gifts this year? And while you’re deciding which Christmas Forest wreath to send their way, shorten your holiday to-do list by purchasing one for your door too.

Share this story with your supporters when you do your wreath fundraiser this holiday season.

Christmas Forest has a great fundraising program that works for both large and small groups (or even motivated individuals). Click here to read our review of their program.  If you think you might want to even consider doing a wreath fundraiser, please get the information now.  Don’t wait. Your fundraiser needs to be set up in early fall and it’s already October! And after you do your fundraiser, let us know what you think of Christmas Forest.