11. Christmas wreaths are another form of Christmas greenery that celebrates the wheel of life.
Made from fir branches, holly, and ribbons, Christmas wreaths are, at first glance, a relatively late addition to the range of natural Christmas decorations. Surprisingly, they seem to have been introduced by Lutheran Protestants in the sixteenth century, who used the wreath’s circular shape to represent the eternal nature of Christ or the promise of life everlasting. Instead of hanging the wreath as a decoration, the Protestants used the wreath as an instructive symbol of Advent by studding it with candles to mark each week leading up to Christmas day.
So it could be said the modern advent calendar is ultimately a Lutheran invention. However, the materials used to make the Christmas or Advent wreath show it was of a pagan origin. This fact aside, wreaths were an ancient way of celebrating victory or protection long before the Christians. Indeed garlands formed part of the Saturnalia decorations that inform so many Christmas customs. Greenery aside, the circular shape of the wreath was an ancient symbol of protection. Today, Christmas wreaths are often found adorning front doors at Christmas, decorating rather than protecting, as they would have done in ancient times.