baby to sleep, and, seeing the look, she wondered what was on her husband’s mind.

“What is it, my love?” she asked.

Berinhard was staring at the evergreen tree he had just brought into the house to serve as their Christmas tree in the year of our Lord 1559, in the German town of Rothenburg, a lovely village set on a plateau above the Tauber River.

“Well, the shape of this tree is not so good as it seemed when I cut it down,”Berinhard replied. “It’s too wide, and it doesn’t fit so well in this small room. And the branches are sticking out everywhere!”

“Yes, I see,”Brigitta replied.

“Not only that,” Berinhard said, “but I just remembered something Father Audrick said recently.”

“What’s that?”

“He said, ‘trim your Christmas tree to a triangular shape. In this way, you will have a symbol of the Holy Trinity in your home.’”

“That’s a wonderful idea,” said Brigitta. “Oh, Berinhard, we should be like Saint Boniface, too, shouldn’t we? Did not he teach our ancestors about the Holy Trinity by means of the three points of an evergreen tree?”

“So the histories say,” replied her husband, “and Father Audrick, too. Very good, then. We shall trim our Christmas tree, and give it a new and holy shape.”

“But Berinhard,” said Brigitta, “What shall we do with the cut limbs? We must not be wasteful, but find a good use for everything.”

“My wise Brigitta,” said Berinhard, smiling. “You are right, of course. But what can we do with cut branches of a tree?”

It is perhaps not surprising that it took them so little time to think of an idea, nor that they both thought of it at the same moment, turning their eyes on each other with a light of inspiration. And so they got busily to work, weaving their Christmas tree’s excess greenery into the world’s first Christmas wreath.

Though the tradition of Christmas wreaths appears to have originated among the Germans (who also are credited with the idea of the Christmas tree), we do not know the precise date, nor place, nor the names of the first folk who came up with the notion of using the extra Christmas tree greenery to form a wreath.

So the story above is a fictionalized account of how it might have happened.

What we do know is that Christmas wreaths are tremendously popular today; and have been for a long time.

The perfectly circular shape symbolizes the perfection of the nature of God, and the never-ending aspect of the form speaks beautifully of eternity, and thus of eternal life.

Formed from the evergreen tree, one of the few living things that can survive the harshness of winter, Christmas wreaths were admired as symbols of strength, of endurance, and of hope.

This Christmas, hang up an evergreen wreath, and think of the great Boniface, patron saint of Germany; and especially of Christ, who offers us the gift of eternal life—a gift that, by its very nature, brings us hope that cannot be destroyed.

Looking for a way to enhance your Christmas decorating this year? Try this Tip: buy or make a

Christmas wreath, as you prefer. If yours is not already spruced up with color and festivity, decorate it

with leaves, vines, flowers, ribbons, Christmas ornaments, or whatever you like. Wrap your wreath in floral wire to keep your flowers and vines securely in place.Then, add five ounces of water to a glass spray bottle, along with 15 to 20 drops of Essential Oils (see below), and spritz the mixture over the whole wreath.

Try this combination: 10 drops DOUGLAS FIR Essential Oil, 5 drops CYPRESS Essential Oil, and 5 drops CEDARWOOD Essential Oil.

This will give you a wreath with a beautiful, holiday scent that will help keep your home in the holiday spirit.