Wednesday December 3, 2014
It is widely known that the Christmas Tree tradition began in Germany- but did you know that the using evergreen sprigs to decorate the home dates back to ancient times?
Historians believe that it all began when the Norsemen, who inhabited the unforgiving forests of Northern Germany, noticed that holly and trees such as the silver fir and blue spruce, stayed green throughout the year. Seeing this, they came to believe that these trees embodied magical powers. During the autumn months, as the temperatures dropped towards winter's long, dark and unforgiving nights, the Pagan people (those who practice a nature-based faith) would collect and hang these "evergreen" bushels over their doors and windows. By surrounding themselves with the supernatural powers of these plants, they sought to form a protective barrier and ward off the evil spirits of winter.
Using Evergreens Around the Home: Nowadays, we incorporate evergreens into our Christmas décor. Both natural and artificial pine garland is seen gracing front doors and mantles- while festive wreaths with ribbons welcome friends and family.
Fresh Pine Garland: Found where Christmas trees are sold, white pine is most often used in real pine garland. With its long soft needles, this garland drapes beautifully and looks great swagged along a wooden fence.
Advent: Other evergreen Christmas décor traditions include The Advent Crown. Like an advent calendar,
the Advent Crown (or wreath) is used to count down the days before Christmas. This table top decoration is created using fir branches and 4 or 5 candles (depending on your faith). It is typically adorned with nature inspired décor; such as, pine cones and berries. The candles are lit one by one, on the Sunday's leading up to Christmas.
Centerpiece Idea: This holiday design uses delicate evergreen sprigs, clear Christmas balls and gold painted pine cones. Presented under a glass garden cloche, this simple yet elegant centerpiece is great for the contemporary home. This can easily be modified to complement any color scheme by using colored Christmas balls or a different metallic finish on the pine cones.
The Norfolk Pine, popular in Hawaiian households at Christmastime, comesin sizes ranging from tiny tabletop to ceiling height. This sturdy plant with tight, short needles spaced wide apart is an idea way to display large or heavy ornaments. Note: these are not cold tolerant, so be sure to keep them out of drafts and provide at least some bright light on a daily basis.
Wreath Topiary: Miniature topiaries are a great way to bring someevergreen into unexpected corners. All that is needed to get this look is: a pot, florists foam for the base, a wooden dowel, a faux boxwood ball, and some moss to cover the base. Decorate with mini lights and other holiday decorations to bring some holiday cheer into the kitchen.
It's not too late to get your greenery ready for the December 21st Winter Solstice. So let us know if you have a unique idea on how to use evergreens around the house.