Today’s post is the second in the Twelve Days of Christmas series. If you missed my first post, you can read it here.
I’m feeling a bit conflicted this year about the holiday season. On the one hand, I love Christmas. I love decorating. I love giving and receiving gifts and I love having a break between Christmas and New Year’s Day to recharge my batteries, reflect and set goals for the year ahead.
BUT…the recent shooting and bombings have caused me to take pause and think about the real meaning of Christmas and the traditions we embrace during this time of year. This morning as I was rinsing my coffee cup, I looked up at the wreath that hangs in my kitchen window and thought, “Why do we decorate with wreaths at Christmas?
After some research, I discovered that historically wreaths have symbolic meaning that dates back to Pre-Christian cultures and the festivals during the winter solstice, which represented a time of death and rebirth. It was a celebration of the end of shorter days and the promise of longer days ahead. During the winter solstice, evergreens were collected and formed into wreaths. Candles were often added to symbolize the approaching spring light. I thought about adding lights to my kitchen wreath but opted to keep it simple and add only one ornament.
Today, wreaths have come to symbolize many of the traditions we value during the holiday season. The circle shape of the wreath symbolizes eternal rebirth, and the wreath itself has become a welcome sign that adorns our entryways and signals a warm greeting to guests as they come to gather in our homes and share in the spirit of giving.
I kept my kitchen window wreath simple this year. The white feather wreath sits inside the natural wood form with a sole decoration. It seemed to work well with my neutral theme for the kitchen. As I was decorating my tree and unpacking ornaments, I came across the Peace on Earth sign and added it to the wreath as an afterthought.
Just three, simple, monosyllabic words conveying an idea that lately, is becoming deeply complicated. Peace. On. Earth. This is what the world really needs this Christmas season. More Peace on Earth so that our children, and their children, and generations to come can continue to celebrate this season of rebirth, continue to give and continue to gather with loved ones.