The Christmas season is about celebrating life and all the joy it brings with your friends and family. What better way is there to celebrate the season than with a traditional Christmas dinner? Every year families gather around the table to partake in delicious morsels while enjoying each others company.
While a lot of the focus is on the delectable turkey or grandma’s famous pecan pie, there is another tradition that stands out in one’s mind – the Christmas centerpiece as the central focus of the table.
The reason why a Christmas centerpiece stands out in everybody’s mind is because it is the anchor of the table; it is a beautiful reminder of the Christmas spirit and everything the season represents. The traditional Christmas centerpiece was most similar to today’s advent wreath, which is often decorated with holly, poinsettias, pine cones and candles.
Many will also add other familiar Christmas decorations, such as bows or Christmas tree ornaments. The Christmas table centerpiece is as old of a tradition as Christmas dinner itself, and people often wonder what exactly the components of the Christmas centerpiece represents.
A pine or balsam bough or any evergreen branch is wrapped into a circular wreath, which in itself represents many things. The green color symbolizes hope and new life, while the circular shape alludes to everlasting joy. Traditional Christmas wreath centerpieces were decorated with four candles, which marked the beginning and end of the Christmas season, otherwise known as the four weeks of Advent.
The first candle would be lit on the Sunday closest to November 30th, and another one would be lit every Sunday until the last candle was lit on Christmas Eve. The candles not only represented weeks, however, but also hope, joy, love and peace.
Christians adopted decorating with holly from the Druids, who believed that the prickly green plant and its little red berries stood for fertility and eternal life. While the Druids believed that cutting down a holly tree was bad luck, Christians believed that decorating with holly brought good luck to the home.
Nowadays people often refer to the red berries as symbols of Christ’s blood and the pointed leaves represent the crown of the thorns that was placed on Jesus’ head. The pine cones used to decorate wreaths are meant to symbolize the seeds of faith sown by Christ, and poinsettias represent genuine love.
No matter what you believe, decorating the table with a Christmas centerpiece is always a fun tradition to take part in. A beautiful centerpiece is bound to be the focal point of any table, and is something you can enjoy year after year. A Christmas centerpiece is a reminder to love, to be joyous and not to fight over the dinner rolls!
Karen Jebbia is the owner of Acadia Wreath Company. Acadia Wreath Company, based in Bar Harbor, Maine, handcrafts a fresh Maine balsam fir Christmas wreath, Christmas Centerpieces and Kissing Balls which are shipped directly to customers and corporate clients throughout the United States.
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