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Wreaths – The Circle of Life
During the Christmas season, I enjoy looking at the many different wreaths hanging on the doors of homes and businesses. They are colorful, artistic and varied, and are often constructed with evergreens or holly and adorned with pine cones, ribbons, bells, berries, and bows. But where did the tradition of hanging a wreath on a door for Christmas originate? Although there are many theories, it’s believed the wreath came with the Irish when they immigrated to the United States.
The wreath itself can be traced back to ancient Rome when people used decorative wreaths as a sign of victory and celebration. The custom of hanging a Christmas wreath on the front door of the home probably came from this practice. They are also used in ceremonial events in many cultures around the world.
In English-speaking countries, wreaths are now used typically as household ornaments, mainly as an Advent and Christmas decoration. Wreaths have much history and symbolism associated with them. They are usually made from evergreens found in the local area and which symbolize the strength of life overcoming the forces of winter—since evergreens last even throughout the harshest elements. Bay laurel is also be used, and these wreaths are known as laurel wreaths.
I was raised on a dairy farm in northeastern Pennsylvania where crow’s feet ground cover was abundant in the wooded areas of our land. Before the holidays, we would gather a basket of it and tie it onto a wire coat hanger fashioned into a circle. Adorned with a red ribbon and hung on the front door, it was a warm holiday way to greet visitors.
The shape of a wreath is a circle which has no beginning and no ending. It is thought that this may represent the eternal nature of God’s love or the circle of life.
Do you hang a wreath on your door? If not, how do you decorate for the holiday season?
When concert pianist June Westberry inherits her late grandfather’s music shop, she returns to her small hometown in New York to renovate and manage it. But she never expects to clash with the town’s ornery old music teacher, Nettie Jones who demands she find a lost, fifty-year-old holiday musical score.
Single parent and contractor, Leo Ciaffonni, enjoys restoring old buildings, and the A# Sharp Music Shop with its pretty new owner is no exception. When he’s injured, June finds herself caring for Leo and helping his little daughter bake cookies for her class.
As the holidays close in and the shop’s renovations continue, the problems June tries hard to solve only seem to become more chaotic. The music shop is broken into. A harvest recital for her new students requires multifaceted planning. And the perpetrator and the lost musical score have not been found.
Will she be able to find peace and order in her new life this Christmas—and the love she’s always dreamed of?
Multi-Award-Winning Author Judy Ann Davis began her career in writing as a copy and continuity writer for radio and television in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She holds a degree in Journalism and Communications and has written for industry and education throughout her career.
Over a dozen of her short stories have appeared in various literary and small magazines and anthologies, and have received numerous awards. Her contemporary romantic suspense and comedy, “Four White Roses,” was a finalist in the Book Excellence Awards, the Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Awards, and the American Fiction Awards. Her latest novel, “Willie, My Love,” was a finalist in the American Fiction Awards as well.
She writes both contemporary and historical fiction and is best known for “writing romance with a touch of mystery.” When Judy Ann is not behind a computer, you can find her looking for anything humorous to make her laugh or swinging a golf club where the chuckles are few.
She is a member of Pennwriters, Inc. and Romance Writers of America. She divides her time between Central Pennsylvania and New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
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