Every year there is a tipping point when I know in my heart of hearts that Christmas is truly here. Over the years the tipping point has been different each year. I am certain I am not alone in this perception. What is it for you? A Christmas carol sung in church one bright wintry morning? The first snowfall? Finding the perfect tree? Baking cookies? The knowledge that a loved one will be coming home for Christmas? The scent of pine, vanilla, or eucalyptus wafting through your home? A gingerbread-man brought to you by a neighbor? I watch with anticipation, and wait, and it always comes. This year what I’m noticing is that it was not one moment, but an accumulation of moments that I think culminated around one particular thing: the wreathe.
The seeds of the wreathe being my Christmas symbol were actually sown on my birthday last March with a gift certificate from Smith and Hawken, which I knew immediately I would use for a wreathe, and waited until the holidays to utilize. With the simple addition of the perfect bow, that Thanksgiving wreathe morphed this month into the loveliness now greeting guests who come to the front door. Don’t you just love it? I do!
Once this was in place I found myself drawn to the wreathes in my Christmas collections, though still I was not fully connecting the Wreathe Dots. Next I playfully placed a wreathe I have used at the front door in past in Antonia’s room (she’s coming!), to warmly greet her upon her entrance.
Yesterday I unexpectedly found a fresh wreathe at the Saturday farmer’s market which is now hung in the main bathroom, filling the room with the clearing scent of eucalyptus! Lovely!
I have among the older Christmas decorations a red jingle bell wreathe bearing a small gold angel. This found a home simply hung on the door handle of Antonia’s bedroom, a cheery reminder of the season and of past Christmases.
Things were falling into place. Yet I began to labor over a centerpiece for the dining room table when I realized that a lamp I had installed over the center of the table–lending a warm light over Christmas dinner, I thought–also came with the limitation and challenge of needing a rather flat centerpiece! Hmmmm. What to do? I remembered that last Christmas my dearest friend Conny had found a wreathe one would expect to hang on a door that she simply put flat upon her long beautiful dining room table. I was surprised, but it worked! Given that I had already put three layers of tablecloths on the table, I needed a slightly different solution. When I bought the Christmas tree, I purchased a wreathe, determined to come up with a creative solution. Here’s what Stage One of that process looked like from the outside.
Now here is a sneak peek at how I accomplished Stage One: went to Ross where I have this belief system that I Can Find Anything I Need (and invariably do) and immediately found a very large glass plate, with upturned edges. Then, if you look very carefully, you will see teeny snippets of dishtoweling that I cut up and tucked at the very edges of the plate, which is conveniently soaking up the water in the bottom of the plate, keeping my wreathe moist through the holidays! Bravo! (So pleased with myself!)
But, oh, that center was crying out for something! My Flower Mandala Self kicked in and I saw one thing and one thing only. Can you guess? I bet you can. It’s Christmas, afterall. Yes. Red roses. Lucky me, I found some that were not classic, but more rugosa-type and here was the splendid result!
I personally cannot think of a better tribute to Christmastime, my dear readers.
But what was this thing about wreathes, afterall? Even the faux-fur ringed hat I chose to bring out this Christmas has a circle about it. I turned to one of my best resources (more about that in an upcoming post) and found the perfect passage, which I will now share with all of you.
…Everything an Indian does is in a circle,
and that is because the Power of the World
always works in circles,
and everything tries to be round.
…The sky is round,
and…the earth is round like a ball,
and so are all the stars.
The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.
Birds make their nests in circles,
for theirs is the same religion as ours.
The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle.
The moon does the same and both are round.
Even the seasons form a circle
in their changing,
and always come back again to where they were.
The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood,
and so it in everything where power moves.
–Black Elk in Black Elk Speaks
Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. May your Christmas be blessed with dear family and friends, a light heart, a happy spirit and much love.
Posted on December 21st, 2008 by Kathryn
Filed under: People at Life