Merry Christmas with Dried Flowers and Leaves

DSCF6579 - Copy.JPGI’m adding a more personal post during the Christmas season to share a little about how our family celebrates. We put our tree up a little before Christmas and will keep it up through the twelve days of Christmas (December 25 through January 5). This year we used dried flowers and leaves for decorating. Here is a description of our tree, which was fun to put together.

Angel. Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would give birth to the holy child, Jesus, our Savior (Luke 1:26-38). An angel announced to Joseph that Mary’s firstborn son was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20). Angels also announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds (Luke 2:8-21). We love to place our angel figure atop the tree to remember these truths of Christmas.

White Flowers. Our daughter, Gretchen, clipped white snakeroot blossoms in late fall, bound them together, and hung them to dry in our garage. The blossoms turn a soft gray when they are completely dry. They are delicate so we had to handle them gently or else the petals would separate from the flower heads and drift about.

Purple Flowers. In November Gretchen clipped two types of purple mums (one variety is a bit darker than the other). She hung these also to dry in the garage. Mums are very sturdy dried flowers and retain their color well.

tumblr_nzrujjSEnV1uuuqe7o6_1280Yellow Flowers. We feel that the yellow mums really make the tree beautiful since they show up so well against the evergreen foliage and their color is a compliment to the purple mums. You can see them looking fairly fresh in Gretchen’s photo above. The dark purple mums are drier in the photo.

Leaves. We used two types of dried leaves. The yellow leaves are from a gingko tree. Most leaves look bright when they first fall but fade to dull browns and grays when they are fully dry. I noticed this year, however, that gingko leaves retain their color. So we collected them and strung them together in short chains connected with hot glue.

The other leaves are from a tree in our wood lot. I don’t know the species but it produces large, lobe-shaped leaves. They were also bright yellow when they first fell and I gathered them up with enthusiasm. However, as they fully dried, they lost that bright yellow color. They turned a nice butterscotch brown so I decided that we might still find a place for them in the decorating. I found that by tying six leaves together, you can create a nice, large flower-shape (you can see one just behind Susan’s head in the photo above).

Lights. Susan loves a tree with lights! So we included a few strands of simple white lights. They really help brighten the tree and look great when we turn down the other lights in the room.

In this Christmas season, we pray that the Lord would bless your household with the light of Christ our Savior!

 

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11 Facts You Might Not Know about Christmas Trees

From contentious early history to new scientific experiments, these facts will help you see this holiday fixture anew.

CHR Comment: The use of trees in Christmas celebrations first appeared in the medieval period in northern Europe, not during the era of the “Early Church” as the article states (the examples are from the Age of Orthodoxy after the Reformation). Christmas trees likely came from the customs of burning trees/logs during the darkest days of winter since the winter solstice falls near the time of Christmas (December 25). Although some church leaders opposed the use of the trees, others saw no harm in it. The second link, from the History Channel, provides further information.

Source: 11 Facts You Might Not Know About Christmas Trees | Mental Floss

http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas-trees