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Top 10 Traditional Holiday Decor Items (and Where they Came From)

9

Wreaths

A beautiful wreath on the door welcomes guests to holiday celebrations.
A beautiful wreath on the door welcomes guests to holiday celebrations.
Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Some holiday decorators might argue that there's no better-smelling tradition than a holiday wreath made from pine boughs, and the wreath has a long and storied history that predates the holidays with which it's associated. For example, wreaths made from laurel or olive branches have been a symbol of victory since Greek times. And pagan Germanic and Scandinavian cultures used candlelit wreaths to symbolize hope for the future as they awaited the return of the sun after the winter solstice.

In Christian tradition, a four-candle Advent wreath is used to mark the weeks leading up to Christmas. But for holiday revelers of all faiths, the simplicity of creating a wreath from evergreen, holly or even unique materials such as flowers or holiday candy means these d├ęcor items are a seasonal mainstay in homes throughout the world.

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