We had just trimmed our tree to help it fit into our tiny home, and what we were left with seemed too good to just toss back outside: branches and sprigs of fresh, soft pine with a fragrance incredibly befitting of the season.
My husband snagged a few branches and made some pine needle and rosemary shortbread—paired with a cup of coffee, these are a true delight on a wintry day—but still there were branches left. I decided on a wreath. I only had a ball of twine and a thin roll of wire to affix the branches, but the truth is a handmade wreath does not need to be built on a frame. A little patience and willingness to have sap on your hands is all it takes.
I picked a few odd Scotch pine branches that I had gathered, added a few sprigs of this and that, connected it with wire, and then wrapped it all up in twine. It was perfect. Wonky, simple, delightful, really. Imperfect, indeed. Feeling satisfied—glad, even—with imperfection is a beautiful gift we can give to ourselves this season.
Whether it’s slowing down long enough to create a wreath, or simply taking a walk in the crisp air of December, or lingering with our loved ones a little while longer, here’s to finding ways to be truly present this joyous holiday season.
- To create a wreath, simply gather branches and sprigs off of your favorite trees.
- Be respectful of the tree’s growing cycle by not taking too many branches from one concentrated area.
- Fresh branches, rather than dry, are more malleable and will be infinitely easier to bend into a circle shape.
- Once you have a nice collection, start affixing small branches to each other with wire (or you could use bread bag twist ties if you have a hefty collection!).
- Slowly, the branches will start to take form as you work your way in a circle. It takes time. Be patient with yourself!
- If you want to build just a half-full wreath, like I did, simply wrap twine around the bottom half, which should be only bare branches.
- If you can find a splash of colorful berries to stick in, great! If not, just enjoy the beauty of your own handmade wreath.
Editor’s Note: This article originally posted in December 2016.