Wreaths are popular during the Christmas season. Wreaths hang on doors, windows, and over the fireplace. Most of them are evergreens and come decorated with pinecones, holly berries, bows, and balls. When placed on the mantel or a table, they may even have candles.
The wreath is another symbol of Christmas. The fresh fragrant greenery scents the house, so it smells like Christmas. The bow is the bond of love. Real love never stops. It does not have requirements or conditions. It is a reminder of good will toward men and as most bows are red, it stands for the Blood of Jesus. The wreath is all the good, wonderful, special things of the Christmas season. The wreath is a circle without beginning or end, representing eternity. The evergreen which, makes up most wreaths, symbolize growth and everlasting life. The holly that is often a part of the wreath symbolizes the crucification of Jesus. The crown of thorns on Christ's head, according to legend, was a wreath of holly. At that time, it had white berries, but the blood of Jesus turned them red.
People place candles within the wreath and this is the Advent candle. The Prophet's candle is the first candle lit. This one signifies the hope of Jesus' arrival. The Bethlehem candle is next. This one reminds people that Jesus was not born in a luxury hotel or nice warm house. He was born in a stable. The Shepherd's candle is the third one lit. They left their sheep to see the newborn King. They did not worry about anything; they just left to see Jesus. The forth candle lit is the Angel's candle. This candle represents peace and joy not just for Christmas, but also for every day that we are on this earth. The last candle, usually a white candle, is the last one lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas day. This one is in celebration of the birth of Jesus.
The evergreen branches that make up the wreath are green in color, their needles reaching towards the heavens. What better reminder than to see something green and growing in the middle of winter. It is not asleep like the other trees, it is alive.
Another symbol of Christmas is Mistletoe. When a couple walks beneath this plant, they are supposed to kiss. The mistletoe produces fruits. These fruits, in ancient times, were the seeds of life. Mistletoe is a parasite plant that grows at the top of a tree. It has no roots of its own. It attaches itself to a tree and lives off that. Mistletoe, in ancient Scandinavia, signifies peace.
The Meaning of Mistletoe
Herbe de la Croix and Lignum Sanctae Crucis or "the Wood of the Sacred Cross" are some of the names for mistletoe. The reason for this is because they believed it to have been the tree that made Jesusí cross. Because of this, mistletoe was condemned to life the life of a parasitic vine. On the other hand, mistletoe bestows good fortune and blessings to all who walk underneath it.