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Your Comprehensive Buyers Guide To Christmas Garlands And Wreaths.

Christmas wreaths and garlands are traditionally one of the most popular seasonal decorations for any home with a range of designs and styles available to really give that festive feel, but with so much choice out there how do you know which ones to get, or what to do with them? This expert buyers guide to Christmas wreaths and garlands will give you all the information you need when buying your own.

With an ever expanding choice of LED lights, trees and inflatable snowmen to decorate your home with every festive season, the humble Christmas wreath has managed to remain a staple of Christmas decorations everywhere, to the point that no Christmas scene is truly complete without one. But how do you know which ones you should be buying for your home? Hopefully this comprehensive buyer's guide will answer all of your questions.

Why are wreaths so important? 

Wreaths actually hold a lot of symbolic, historical and religious importance that goes far beyond Christmas itself. This humble assortment of leaves, twigs and berries has its roots in ancient Greece and Rome, where they were status symbols of rank and achievement, even being used as the original gold medal at the very first Olympics! The wreath then became a symbol of Christianity, where the circle shape represents eternal life, a belief that was at the time also widely held in many Celtic religions and began life as we know it today in the 16th Century, where evergreens were used as another symbol for renewed life, and the red berries and twigs represented the blood of Christ and the crown of thorns. Candles were later added to the tradition to represent hope, glory and joy. 

Today of course wreaths are predominantly a Christmas decoration that denotes nothing more than a festive glow and a nostalgic feeling as we all grew up seeing them as fundamental parts of our favourite time of year, but whatever the meaning or significance of these decorations is to you, there is no doubting their place in every family home at Christmas.

What is the difference between a wreath and a garland?

The only real difference between a wreath and a garland is the shape. A wreath is always a circular hoop, whilst a garland is essentially a long, wiry string that can be hung or wrapped around a lot more things and is far more versatile.  In terms of materials and symbolism there is no real difference at all, they are both traditionally made of evergreens, berries, pine cones and other materials that share the same symbolic and religious meaning.

How and where to use Christmas wreaths and garlands.

Traditionally Christmas wreaths were hung on the front door to welcome people into your home. In the Christian tradition it also symbolized welcoming God or Christ into your home, which is where a large part of that tradition comes from today.

In truth though it doesn’t really matter where you hang one now. Most people still do put them on their front doors, but many others hang them on the inside of windows, above internal doors, fireplaces or even use them as table decorations.

Garlands again are traditionally hung above the fireplace, but are versatile enough to be hung anywhere, on a table, on a windowsill, even wrapped around the stairway banister. You can honestly put them anywhere you like and even fill your house with both of them to create an explosion of festive greenery!

Types of Christmas wreaths and garlands. 

Christmas wreaths and garlands come in many different shapes, sizes, forms and materials, and which one you pick is almost entirely down to your tastes and preferences.

Real foliage.

Traditional wreaths and garlands are made from a base of wire and thick moss, with a combination of holly, ivy, spruce or pine leaves with stems of willow, birch or hazel, or occasionally just wild twigs, and are often decorated with pine cones, flowers, berries and other natural decor, and sometimes even dried fruits. A lot of people love this type for the traditional scent you always get from them, and many even enjoy making one themselves as part of a Christmas tradition. 


Artificial wreaths and garlands are obviously made from wire and plastic and are often made to resemble their natural counterparts so you can find ones that look more like pine needles, some that come with natural looking holly and ivy and more. The higher the quality artificial wreath and garland you have the harder it is to distinguish it from the real thing, and the best thing is you can reuse them again and again, year after year.

Pre lit wreaths and garlands.

These are obviously garlands that are pre made and come with either LED or occasionally fiber optic lights pre attached. You can get them in a range of colours, white, warm white or even multicoloured, and these are a very easy way of adding that extra festive glow. Are battery powered now with a small pack that can easily be hidden in the wreath or behind the garland, and because LEDs in particular don’t use up too much power tend to last a long time. Others prefer a more traditional look and like the idea of unlit ones better, again, there is no right or wrong preference here. If you choose to make your own you can buy small, mini string lights that you can insert into the base and foliage. 

Coloured wreaths and garlands. 

Green is obviously the traditional colour of wreaths and garlands made of natural foliage, with a few spots of brown, red and maybe a few other colours if berries or flowers are used, but much like Christmas trees, artificial wreaths and garlands now come in a wide variety of colours to match your decor, so if you want to get an all white tree, you can get wreaths and garlands to match!

Flocked wreaths and garlands.

A flocked wreath or garland, just like a flocked tree, is simply an artificial decoration where the green tips have been coloured with a dusting of white to give the appearance of natural snow covered branches. 

The name actually comes from the process of attaching the tiny white fibres to the tips and branches, known as flocking. These types of wreath or garland are perfect for someone who really wants a more authentic, outdoors appearance.

Christmas swags.

Christmas swags are a half way house between a garland and a wreath. They are traditionally made of large amounts of fir, spruce, or their artificial counterparts, have a large body and tapered ends that tie together, and can be hung vertically or laid on a surface.

Garland arches.

If after decorating your front door, hearth and table with a bunch of wreaths or garlands you still want more, then why not try a garland arch that will fit around an entire internal doorway? 

Modern wreaths.

This is more of an umbrella term for all those types of wreath that don’t conform to the traditional foliage type, real or artificial. There are so many styles and designs out there that it would be impossible to list them all, but you can easily find minimalist wreath with a steel or chrome base and a single candle, wreaths made of tinsel, of old Christmas cards, in fact anything you can imagine. 

Which wreath you choose will depend on what is right for you.

How to decorate a Christmas wreath.

Whether you get a natural wreath or an artificial one with or without lights, there are many ways that you can still decorate it and make it your own.


Who doesn’t love a bit of tinsel at Christmas? This is perhaps one of the easiest and simplest of ways to style a Christmas wreath, all you need is a little leftover tinsel from your tree. 

Ribbon bows.

There are so many ways to decorate with ribbon bows and they make the perfect wreath decor too. Choose a few different ribbon lengths and colours and simply tie a number of strips into different sized bows and then use either some hot glue or a plastic tie to attach them to the wreath. 

LED String lights.

 If you don’t want a pre lit wreath and want something a little more bespoke to you, you can easily buy a string of lights and wrap it around any other type of design you can come up with. No matter what you do the soft festive glow will look fantastic.

Pinecones, leaves and berries.

Sometimes wreaths and garlands can come with these already on, but if they don’t and you have a simple green foliage one, then there is nothing stopping you adding even more.


Flowers are a popular option for decorating Christmas wreaths, and you have the option of using faux flowers, dried autumn leaves and flowers or even fresh ones. 

Tree Decorations. 

Why should your Christmas tree have all the fun? Use any small baubles, candy canes or other decorations you would normally hang from your tree and hot glue them to a wreath base to create an extension of your tree.


If you want a more personal touch to your wreath then wrap some festive wrapping paper around a wreath base and then pick out some favourite snapshots of your family and loved ones. Simply arrange them in a rough circle around the base and glue them on. 

How to hang your Christmas wreaths. 

Garlands are relatively easy to deal with as they are often at least partially sat or wrapped around a surface, and where they are not it is just a matter of hooking each end to a surface. Wreaths however are slightly different. 

There are a whole range of ways to hang your wreath from your front door, or anywhere else for that matter, and a lot will depend on what type of door you have, what material it is made from and if there is any door furniture available that you can take advantage of.

Top tip: Use double sided tape to stick small pieces of foam or cut up sponge to any metal hangers or the back of a heavy wreath to act as a barrier to your door and avoid any potential damage.

Use a ribbon.

Ribbons are probably the most common method of hanging Christmas wreaths, to the point that many wreaths even come with one attached. They are popular because they are one of the most aesthetically pleasing options and are often the easiest.

The problem with this method is that you will need something to hang it off, which means combining it with one of the other methods. Even if you take a longer length of ribbon, feed it over the top of your door and tie it to something, the question remains what exactly do you tie it to? Obviously a huge nail in your front door isn’t ideal, so what else do you use?

Door furniture.

The obvious answer of course is door furniture. Basically this means any handle, knocker or anything else that would naturally be found on your door. Simply hook the ribbon around that.

Use a metal door hanger.

Another popular option is a metal over door hanger. These popular hooks simply fit over the top of your door, are slim enough to still allow you to shut it without hindrance and provide a hook thick enough to either fit around the wreath itself or hang a ribbon off. 

These work particularly well for especially heavy wreaths, holding the wreath sturdily and using a cantilever method to keep it in place, and come in a variety of decorative colours to match your wreath. 

As long as you get a hangar that fits your door width and double check that you can still open and close the door without any damage being done, this method is one of the quickest and easiest ways to hang your wreath as you can simply put it on and take it off at will.

Use a suction cup or command strip.

A final option if you don’t want to use a metal hook or a ribbon is to use the more modern methods of a suction hook or sticky command strip. These are fantastic ways to hang your Christmas wreath as they are cheap, very easy to apply and will not damage your door in any way. These options work really well on front doors that have a large glass centre or are made from UPVC, as the seal will form a strong bond on these surfaces. The one major drawback to these methods is the simple fact that they aren’t very strong. Most should be able to support a small or light wreath until the new year, but if you have a large or heavily decorated wreath this probably isn’t the best option.

Magnetic Hangers.

If a suction cup just won’t do for your heavily decorated wreath, or you have a large glass area in the centre of your door, then the premium option is buying a magnetic wreath hook or hanger. These are simple instruments that come in two separate pieces with magnets on the back of each and a hook on one or both pieces. Simply hold the hook to the glass on the side of the door you want to hang your wreath, place the other magnet directly over the first on the other side and you are done! It really is that simple. Just be careful you are gentle when placing them to avoid any cracked glass. This option is great if you want to hang your wreath in a window too.

We hope you found this buyers guide useful and informative. If you have decided that a wreath is a must have in your home this festive season you can always shop our full section of wreaths and garlands here, and no matter which style you choose they are sure to add a lot of festive cheer to your home this Christmas!