How I Crafted our Holiday Wreath

The first Christmas wreath I made was of grape wines from the backyard of our first home. I wove the vines together and added ribbons and ornaments. Thirty years later with the tree up and decorated, the wreath was missing from the front door. My husband David ‘forgot’ to put it up and though the hook was still on the door waiting, the wreath was missing.

I have noticed a resurgence of interest in wreath making this holiday season. Friends have posted photos of wreath workshops on Facebook and Instagram. Materials used in the process vary from burlap to cedar. Craftier ones are made of fabric, paper or even candy. Many garden organizations and community centres host sold-out wreath making events.

Maybe David was trying to tell me that the old wreath was too plain? Our holiday traditions have changed over the years so maybe it was time for a new one. I searched online and discovered 63 Christmas Wreath Ideas to Add Festive Cheer to Your Front Door on the Good Housekeeping website. Many of those perfectly crafted designs incorporate items from the garden or recycled materials.

garden lights
garden lights

I don’t have any evergreens in my garden (the ones on the right belong to my neighbor who would be upset if I started cutting them) so I took a look around when I took Mo for a walk. All we could find were some dry leaves and pine cones someone had stepped on.

When we got home, I took a quick look around my desk and I was excited to discover a wide range of possible materials that might refresh our wreath:

  • shells from a beach vacation 18 years ago
  • ticket stubs from musicals
  • dog tags from our dog Vicki who was with us from puppyhood in 1990 until her passing in 2005
  • the plastic action figure my nephew Tyler gave me when he was six
  • butterfly wings and a red rose, props from plays I was in
  • an expired museum pass
  • passes to tv show tapings
  • a joker playing card from a magic show in Niagara Falls
  • Just for Laughs comedy tickets from 2013
  • a birthday card from my Dad from 2015
  • a love poem from a card from husband, maybe 10 years old
  • small ornaments from last year’s Christmas crackers
  • branded souvenirs from vacations
  • terrarium kits for cacti that mysteriously appeared on my desk last summer
  • many seed packets (I know I should buy new ones each season but they are probably still good.)
possible wreath decorations

Inspired, I sent my husband downstairs to look for the wreath. This gave me more time to think about decorations and Christmas in general.

the grape vine wreath

I no longer bake 12-15 varieties of cookies and squares every holiday– health issues. Toys and bikes have given way for investment in education, travel and tickets. I still cook a turkey but seldom put out a fancy tablecloth. Forget about china. My mismatched Corelle is fine.

We no longer value things. We cherish time together. I suspect we won’t have too many more years before our children, already in their 20s, have families and holiday traditions of their own.

David finally found the wreath so I asked him to hang it on the door. I like it just the way it is. Those odds and ends are too precious to be upcycled into a wreath. They represent times we have enjoyed together and are the best reminder of what really matters, love and family. They belong near my desk all year round. The basket where I keep them looks like a tree anyway.



  1. The simple things are really the big important things. Like a treasured wreath of long ago and tangible mementos of experiences shared, it’s wonderful to reach a point in life when you can say, “I like it just the way it is.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I admire you and your talents. You are truly gifted. Its heartwarming to hear you say that you cherish your time together with your family—that is what it is all about!


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