Although I woke up to rain, not snow, this morning, I am excited to have the Christmas spirit. I immediately played Frank Sinatra’s Christmas record and ate my second chocolate from the advent calendar, intoxicated with the seasons cheer.
If I were in the Philippines, however, I would be a hopping on the festive train rather late. There, in all 7,107 islands, the Christmas season begins on the first of October. Parols line the highways and light up homes, carols fill shopping malls and other public spaces and the smell of lechon and bibingka pervade kitchens.
Today I wanted to create something that reflects my merriment, so I thought of making my own version of a wreath; welcoming guests as they walk into my home. Do I create something more traditional with red, green and gold? Did I want to incorporate pinecones, holly or red berries?
In search for fronds I walked to the corner of my cobblestone street where a Christmas tree vendor has opened his doors. The generous bearded man, in a very stereotypical red and blue plaid flannel shirt and a pair of heavy duty khaki trousers, indulged my request and gave me a whole basket full of pines for free – florists would have charged an arm and a leg for the discards! I walked home even more excited. Creating a wreath that wouldn’t cost me anything! I thought his generosity is so reflective of the Christmas spirit –that, or that he is definitely from out of town!
I started the wreath by creating a circle out of medium weight florist wire.
I then started cutting off beautiful pieces of the fronds and attached them to the circle using smaller bits of the wire, filing the entire circle with all the fronds.
After I thought it was adequately lush, I hung the wreath to ensure that all sides were even, adding branches where there were empty spaces. Time to decorate!
I had originally thought of creating a wreath adorned with pinecones and a large gold ribbon, but the branches of dried eucalyptus from my friendsgiving dinner caught my eye. What a wonderful arraignment, I thought, to have the smell of both pine and eucalyptus.
The variance in greens and the juxtaposition of the pine needles with the smooth undulatory eucalyptus leaves is absolutely breathtaking.
Did I want to keep the palate all green, or did I want to add more to the arraignment? What color ribbon should I tie? I decided that simple is more elegant, so I kept the wreath with the two aromatic floras and I tied a pale green ribbon to the base, undeviating from my inspiration of green.
The wreath makes my cozy apartment smell of Christmas, and although I crave the aroma of roasted kastanyas, lechon and homemade polvoron, this wreath will certainly do!