Christmas trees are synonymous with Christmas and have been around for thousands of years. One of the first things, one might notice about a home, upon entering is a beautifully adorned and brightly lit Christmas tree. That is, of course, after having walked past the usual lawn, dotted with inflatable Christmas Santas, and then through the front door, marked by a Christmas wreath. While Christmas trees and other similar interior features, like Christmas garlands, look so beautiful, Christmas lights are always an important finishing touch.
There are so many decors that make the holiday come alive with Christmas magic, so it’s tough to say, which is the most important. However, when most people think of Christmas, they usually think of the tree, since it’s one of the most outright signs of the holiday that one can come by. What’s amazing about Christmas trees is that not-only can they be found in the home, yet they can also be found in shopping malls and outside in city centers. In fact, Christmas trees have become so identifiable over the years, that they’ve adapted different forms, beyond the classic evergreen fir tree.
In the US, you can find innovative Christmas trees decking out certain cities. Like in Santa Monica, California, they have a tree made of 86 perfectly balanced shopping carts and in Province Town Massachusetts they have a tree made of over 100 stacked lobster pots. Of course, the ‘trees’ are always remarkably ‘Christmas’, no matter their foundation, simply because of their importance to this popular holiday. So, what is it about the Christmas tree that makes it so special?
Well, it’s one of the few signs of greenery and remaining life that is left during the coldest winter months. In fact, when society was more primitive and people still firmly believed in witches and other supernatural phenomenon, fir trees inside the home, were believed to keep evil spirits out.
There was another age-old belief help by the ancient people in the Northern Hemisphere that during the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, the sun god would soon heal and thus, the days would begin to last longer again. So, fir trees were always used as a reminder of all the plants and crops that would soon grow again. This brought sentiment of hope. Especially since, in more primitive times, picking up food at a local grocery store, that included produce imported from warmer climates, wasn’t an option. So, perhaps evolutionarily, just the sight of fir green trees inside a home, can feel calming.
Of course, Christmas trees transcend the holiday and hold deeper meaning for the cold winter season because they signify life, amidst bareness. On that same note, Christmas wreaths and Christmas garlands fulfil a similar need for people, since they’re made up of evergreen fir trees. People don’t always need the whole tree, to feel great, since snippets of it will have a similar effect! This especially holds true when they are covered in Christmas lights.
Christmas wreaths are special because they touch on the religious aspect of the holiday. In fact, they’re a rather dire Christian symbol, since they represent the thorn crown that was on Jesus’ head, when he died on the cross. Their decorative bright red berries represent Jesus’ blood. So, while the fir evergreen of the wreath signifies life, the shape of a wreath actually symbolizes the sacrifice that Jesus made for his people in the Christian religion. Many may be familiar with the saying, Jesus died to forgive us of our sins, so perhaps, whether religious or not, it can be useful for anyone to be reminded once in a while, to be forgiven, especially at the sight of the wreath.
Another function of the wreath has nothing to do with suffering and sin. There are reports that in early Roman history, wreaths were hung on people’s front doors, whenever a battle had been won. Since wreaths are quite often hung on doors, over the holiday season, it seems like the Roman influence is a plausible theory. Yet there is no mistaking the sight of a wreath hung nearby to a Christmas inflatable like a Santa, which is undeniably festive.
No matter the exact reason for wreaths, they are a common sight during the holiday season. Today, people can spend hundreds of dollars on beautiful wreaths to adorn their homes. Rather than just some simple fir tree bits placed in a circle and speckled with a few red berries, wreaths come decked with peacock feathers, shiny ornaments, tinsel, metallic acorns and about anything beautiful that the mind can think of. Many commercial centers display massive wreaths, sometimes up to fourteen feet in diameter, which require support from sturdy steel frames. Upon sighting one of these enormous wreaths, it’s not hard to feel the holiday cheer however there are more minimalist signs of the Christmas season…
Christmas garlands are visually similar to Christmas wreaths, yet are more subtle in shape, since they’re designed intos a long string of evergreen décor. They can be decked with all the same furnishings as Christmas wreaths, like tinsel and Christmas lights however unlike Christmas wreaths, they can be draped over other things, like fire places and Christmas inflatables. While the garland doesn’t carry a profound meaning, like the Christmas wreath’s religious thorn crown, it is a beautiful decoration that is extremely popular for anyone who is preparing for the holidays. It is also super easy to set up since it can be hung, just about anywhere and it often is, in homes and shopping malls.
Christmas lights are always the last piece of décor to go up, whether on Christmas garlands, Christmas wreaths, Christmas trees, or inside Christmas inflatables, however they are usually the most jaw dropping. Few will argue that the Christmas setup is truly complete, without some shiny lights added into the mix. Perhaps, it is because of the darkness of the winter months, that the lights add such an important finishing touch, that’s really brightens up the holidays.
For anyone who is feeling festive this coming winter’s season, it may be worth it to set up the most symbolic Christmas features, like the tree and the wreath, first. Any remaining budget can go to the garlands. Of course, the lights are always needed to make the décor feel merrier. Everyone may benefit from joy of being surrounded by pretty Christmas décor, especially during the coldest winter months and for that reason alone, all can have a merry Christmas.