Before the stockings are placed at the fireplace mantel, before the Christmas turkey is cooked and well before any presents are opened, holiday wreaths are ceremoniously hung on front doors all over town.
Suspended on a length of twine or ribbon that has been tacked to the top of the door or set on a nail that remains left in place from one year to the next, Christmas wreaths are a tradition of the season.
The wreath's presence extends a holiday welcome to all visitors to our homes at this wondrous time of year. Somehow a Christmas wreath makes a house seem warmer and more inviting.
In ancient Rome people used wreaths as a victory sign. Some believed the wreath to be a symbol of the strength of life even as the depths of winter approach. Today's wreaths, however, are used as a decorative greeting for the holiday.
Traditionally, wreaths are made from the boughs of evergreens. They can also be fashioned from pine cones, vines and other plant material. Wreaths are decorated with holly berries, dried flowers, bells, ribbons, ornaments, candy canes, fruit, snowmen, lights. Actually, I guess wreaths can be adorned by just about anything within the limits of a person's imagination.
Here are some examples to be found throughout Lawrence.
-- Carol Boncella is education coordinator at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.