Limbs were often cut off the Christmas tree in an attempt to make it more uniform in shape or to accommodate the inside of a house. Instead of throwing away the cuttings, frugal Europeans, who didn't waste anything, would weave them into wreaths. Fast forward to the 21st Century. Many of today's wreaths no longer resemble the traditional wreaths of days gone by. Now anything goes. Whatever can be made into or added onto a wreath has potential. Just use your imagination. The possibilities for non-traditional wreaths are endless.

seashore holiday wreath

There's more colors than just red and green

Most of us enjoy the colors of the holidays. However, the idea of adding another red and green decoration or another stocking may have lost its holiday glitter. Non-traditional wreaths are an opportunity to express yourself personally, displaying your unique style and even your heritage. The wreath below is from England, my primary country of ancestry. The wooden wreath is Irish, my secondary ancestral country.

holiday wreath with oranges, cinnamon and eucalyptus

carved, wooden holiday wreath

Make a wreath

If you're crafting a wreath, explore unusual color combinations. It can be anything from your favorite colors to colors found in nature such as bird feathers, pine cones or corks. You can make just about anything work for a wreath. If you don't feel especially creative or are feeling the time constraints of the season, try modifying the standard green and red Christmas look by choosing an acid yellow-green and a deep, inky red. With just a tweak, the look of your holiday wreath will move to a modern level.

Create a festive, non-traditional atmosphere in your home beginning at your front door. Carry the theme inside ... or don't. It's up to you. But an unusual wreath selection on the door can lead to a number of creative possibilities for your living spaces.

clothespin wreath in red, white and blue

wreath with wooden thread spools

Millennials have their own decorating styles

There's nothing wrong with Santas, elves, snowmen and lots of red and green, but many younger people as well as some older folks are looking for a new approach to the holidays. A lot of wreaths are ubiquitous. That doesn't mean they're boring or shouldn't be used. It just means there's room for something new. Forget the traditional holiday decorating and find or create a wreath that is different and expresses your own personality.

holiday wreath with wine corks

Choose an unusual shape or color scheme

Holiday decor doesn't have to be red and green anymore. Try something new. Wreaths made of all natural components or that have unique color combinations that may not scream holidays can create a festive or fun look anywhere in your home.

wreath using moss

lighted wreath in the shape of a christmas tree

evergreen wreath shaped like a horse's head

colorful wreath with elves and candy

wreath in the shape of a cat

Go organic

Using natural elements like greenery, pine cones and berries provides festive charm without feeling cheap or cheesy. Take children on a hike and encourage them to find things they'd like to put on a wreath. It's a great family activity any time of the year.

natural wreath with air plants

natural wreath

wreath with cotton bolls and pine cones

cotton boll wreath

snowman wreath made from pine cones

cinnamon stick wreath

Think outside the (crayon) box

Look at materials differently. Find everyday items that, when used in a different way, can make a great holiday wreath. Trims from a local fabric store can make clever additions to a wreath, either on their own or paired with greenery. Experiment with using fabrics and patterns that wouldn’t normally be seen as Christmas. While plaid is a traditional Christmas pattern, pairing it with unusual ornaments or items you have in your home can make a striking statement at your front door or anywhere in your home.

Forget the traditional holiday decorating rules. Find objects and color combinations for your wreath that are new, unusual, and one of a kind. Not only will you end up with a wreath that's uniquely you and very special, but it will be a little bit of your personality greeting people at your front door. A new holiday tradition is born.

crayon wreath

wreath from old tire

Whether you're hanging a non-traditional wreath or traditional boughs of greenery this year, have fun with it. Happy Holidays from my home to yours!

blue and gold traditional wreath