Christmas Garlands

miniature garland
© F H Powell 2009

At Christmas it is traditional to decorate the house and this can take many forms. We have covered different types of decoration in previous blogs:

· Wreath
· Tree decorations
· Stockings and knitted Christmas stockings
· Christmas crackers
· Christmas cards

This blog will feature the Christmas Garland. The word garland stems from the Italian word ghirlanda which means braid. Essentially, a cord, the garland is found in many other uses apart from a Christmas decoration. Early garlands were made of flowers and can be found for example as the traditional Hawaiian Lei or Indian Hindu festivals.

The garland was not invented as a Christian decoration but adopted by it. The materials used to make a Christmas garland vary, often as a tree decoration sparkly tinsel is used. Tinsel is not a modern invention finding its roots as shredded silver in Germany in the early 1600’s. For longer garlands that would hang over a fireplace mantle or over a stair banister traditional materials would now be cotton or fabric, as the evergreen foliage originally used can be difficult to source in today’s cities. Modern garlands can be bought in various lengths to suit the individual and are generally made from PVC to simulate pine needles.

Once the basic garland is made further decoration with bows, pine cones or baubles can be added. Though the traditional colours of green to represent life and red for the blood of Christ, it is very much up to personal choice what colour scheme is used.

We can offer you two crochet patterns for Christmas garlands one for a human sized house (shown below) and one for a 1:12th scale setting (shown at the top of the page).

Pattern for Christmas garland
© F H Powell 2013