Scribbler in Seville

Wreathed in smiles: how to green your front door

More of a sprig-fest than a wreath – if you look closely, half-hidden behind the fluffy white beard, you can see the face of…. Father Christmas!

This year in my parents’ village, I’ve noticed more Christmas wreaths than previous years – many people’s front doors are adorned with greenery (ivy, holly, pine branches) decorated with pine cones, fruit (apples, pears, berries), shiny baubles, and a touch of gold or silver, creating jolly, colourful, welcoming numbers which announce your style, saying: “This is my take on festive cheer – I’m traditional/quirky/chic/minimalist”.

The village is medieval, so all the houses (and their front doors) are different anyway – some lean drunkenly to the left, some veer to the right, and some topple forward perilously. So they don’t really need to look individual, since they already are. But the wreaths add to the (very English) idea that our home is our castle.

Apples, ivy, holly, pine cones and silver tinsel with a light dusting of snow.


I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these in Seville – they wouldn’t last five seconds before being half-inched. I remember making one years ago for my house in London, from gypsophilia – frothy and white, simple but pretty – following instructions from the Waitrose magazine (I worked for the publishing company). For someone as cack-handed with handicraft-type stuff as me, it came out OK. A little bald in places, but not too bad. That was my first, and last, attempt.

Here are some examples of the wreaths I’ve seen on one of our many family tire-out-the-kids-strolls around the village this Christmas.

Hydrangea blooms - never seen them in a Christmas wreath before, but they look great with these red berries.

A traditional number, with some festive red balls and a wacking great bow.

This one reminds me of a laurel wreath, as worn by Roman emperors. Very natural, love the warm earth tones accented with gold.

Gold pears and a nude-coloured satin bow - simple and classy.

One of my favourites: gingerbread men and hearts made of candy sticks, plus gingham and gold sparkly ribbon - pretty and original. Someone put a lot of effort into this.

My ultimate favourite: not round, and possibly more at home on Valentine's Day or a war memorial, but I love this heart-shaped wreath made of red flowers - dramatic and glamorous, a real statement.

I love Christmas decorations! Have you got a wreath on your door?  Which one would you choose for your house?

5 thoughts on “Wreathed in smiles: how to green your front door

    1. Fiona Flores Watson

      Will, everything that isn’t tied or screwed down is in danger of being taken – the Spanish are very, very light-fingered. Especially if hanging on a front door without being firmly attached. I may be wrong, but I doubt it, though I guess it’s hard to find out either way, without knowing a wreath-theft-victim personally.

  1. Frank Burns

    I love getting immersed in the cultural differences in the way nations approach something like Christmas. You will be very knowledgeable about the tradition of Belenes (Bethlehems) in Spain, and in Cataluña of the cheeky tradition of hiding naughty little characters called ‘meones’ and ‘cagones’ in the process of relieving themselves in some hidden spot.
    When I was cycling the island of Tenerife last week, I chanced upon an amazing belén in a village hugging the slopes of El Teide. Follow this link:

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