Ah, the scents of Christmas. For some, the smell of cookies coming out of the oven signals the start of the holidays. Pine trees, balsam fir, Pfeffernüsse, cold air and cardamom. For others, mulled cider and wine, fruitcakes, prime rib, and of course that old classic, spray paint.
Like many families, we had our holiday traditions. Every year, usually the weekend after Thanksgiving, my Uncle Jack would take his Country Squire off Island. We were never exactly sure where he got them, but Uncle Jack would return with the car packed and topped with greens. This was the start of our annual wreath making project. Uncle Jack would sell them, either from the front of my folks house on Pleasant Street, or from his car on Main Street. On Pleasant street, Mom would hang them outside in front of all of the windows and people would tap on the door and pick one out.
Not unlike Santa’s workshop, we all had our job, and we all participated. Sometimes we would set up production in my Aunt Mahala’s basement, which meant we may incur the wrath of Peter the Parrot as we passed through her living room. Peter loved to yell for help when Aunt Mahala was on the phone, prompting more than one visit from the police.
More often though, we would set up on the sun porch of my parent’s home. The sun porch was unheated, lots of light, not much space…perfect for wrangling a gaggle of kids. Every cousin knew how to pick and wire pinecones, make bows and add berries. Long before the days of hot glue, we all had green fingers, pierced time and again by the wooden picks or the tips of the wire. The spray paint came into play when people wanted snow or sparkles. Oh, so very many sparkles in oh so very many colors were kept in big shakers. Of course, I was the kid that always dumped out an entire container…by accident…every year. My childhood nickname, ‘Mary Pain’ was, in fact, well earned.
I truly believe that if I stepped through the doors of our old house, I could still find sparkles in the nooks and crannies of the floors.
While I would give just about anything to step back in time for a moment in that house with my cousins, aunts, uncles and parents, knowing we have simpler options now is pretty appealing.
Our DIY wreath kits are ready to ship or pick up. Available in 12” or 16”, complete with ribbon, scallop shells, berries and wire to hang. They make a great gift, a fun project with friends, or a wonderful way to treat yourself and add your own twist to a classic. All you need is a glue gun, or a bunch of kids with picks and wires.
by Maryjane Mojer, Store Manager of Bartlett’s Farm