Tudor Christmas decorations centred on the use of greenery, often with the addition of colourful berries. A popular Christmas decoration during this period was the Advent Wreath, which had been in use in England since the Middle Ages. To the Tudors, the Advent Wreath served a double purpose – as a decoration and as a tool for spiritual preparation for the holy season. The wreath was made of various evergreens, including holly, ivy, mistletoe, yew, box, and laurel, shaped into a circle.
The evergreens symbolised continuous life, while the circle shape represented the continuity of God, with no beginning or end. Four candles were also placed into the wreath to represent the 4,000 years between Adam and Eve and the birth of Christ. Three of the candles were purple, and the fourth was rose-coloured. Each of the four candles had a specific symbolism and would be lit on different nights. The three purple candles symbolised prayer, penance, and good works, while the rose candle represented the midpoint of the Advent season.
These days, there are many other types of wreaths you can make, using all kinds of Christmassy materials. Why not try this fun star anise wreath activity and bring a little Christmas scent to your home this Advent.