Tuesday, December 6, 2011

25 Days of Christmas and Holiday Series: Day 6

Thrifty Holiday Wreath With A Message

I have a close friend who grew up in a rural area of Brazil.  Her family was large and very poor.  They often went without meals, walked two hours to and from school everyday and lived in a home with walls made from tree posts and mud and a roof fashioned out of palm fronds.  She is a US citizen now and has grown far beyond her roots, though travels back to see her beloved family often.  She tells me tails of her days on that farm in Brazil and I share those amazing stories with my kids who have never wanted for anything.  

As a child, she was told by her siblings about this wonderful, magical man, Papai Noel.  She heard that all the good children were paid a visit while sleeping on Christmas Eve. If they placed their shoe in the window, he would fill it with treats.  Well, by now you should realize that this Papai Noel is just like our Santa Claus.  So every year with hopeful spirits and the knowledge that they had been good, her brothers and sisters would place their shoes in the window hoping for special treats to be dropped into them by this magical merry man.   

Every Christmas morning, they would awaken to look and see that for reasons unknown to them, Papai Noel had passed by leaving their shoes empty.  Of course, they all wondered if someone in the group had not been good.  Certainly all of them must have wondered if it was them who caused Papai Noel to pass over their empty shoes.  Instead, they would proceed with their days, happy to be together and hopeful that if they were even better the next year, that Papai Noel would finally come to shower them with his goodies.  

This story always sticks with me this time of year.  When we are all running around trying to create these wonderfully beautiful homes filled with wonder and excitement, so many go without.   We all try to do our best to remember those in need this time of year and I think that matters.  Don't you?

So this past weekend, I was at a flea market and my eyes fell on these little beauties.

I immediately thought of my Brazilian friend when I saw these shiny red shoes.  I am sure she never wore such a fancy pair as a child, but they were shiny red and I could picture them on a little girl at Christmastime prancing around in a beautiful dress with eyes filled with wonder and amazement.  

I bought them, brought them home and got to wondering how to use these little shoes in my Christmas decor.  I decided to make a holiday wreath using thrift store finds.  I wanted to make something that symbolized finding plenty in what one has.  Here are the elements I used.

I found the wreath at Goodwill a few weeks back for $2.  Grapevine wreaths are not cheap, but I find a constant supply at my local thrift stores.  The pears and the rusty star were taken off of another wreath that I found that day too.  You can actually still see the price of $2 on that pear if you look closely.  The little owl ornament was 25 cents. (What a neat find for me.)  I chose the garden troll for two reasons.  My friend loves to garden and finds happiness in her garden, probably from her childhood days on the farm.  Second, because...lucky me, it's green!!  Nice to have a green element to go with the red.  So here is what I came up with...



I put together all the elements and worked in new greenery that I had leftover from another project.  I chose the word "believe" because it symbolizes that no matter what is happening in your life, as long as you have hope and believe in the magic, there can be wonder and amazement!    These shoes are a reminder to me and my family that Papai Noel could come at anytime and shower you with treats. But it isn't about a shoe filled with treats. It's about a shoe placed with faith that maybe, just maybe he might come this year...
So when you are designing your holiday wreaths this year, keep this idea in mind.  Do you have a story to tell?  Would you like to convey a message or a thought about the season?  Sometimes, a wreath is a great pictorial place to display those ideas and thoughts.  Give it a try. 

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for my
Day 7
of
25 Days of Christmas and Holiday Ideas and Gifts Series!!

-The End- 

(The source for the photo of the shoes in the window is http://s6.thisnext.com/media/largest_dimension/51FA01E8.jpg)

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22 comments:

tofubeast said...

And so THAT'S what you did with the little red shoes. I love it, especially after hearing the story that goes behind it. What a sweet little wreath!

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

What a cool wreath. Love it, and love your story.

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

this is such a sweet story and i am so glad you share it with your kids. every kid should hear stories like this and understand how lucky they are and learn to care about and give to those in need.

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

Such a beautiful story, Lesley! And this wreath is absolutely darling. I love the hodgepodge of elements!

Jessie said...

What a beautiful story and wreath. Thanks for sharing them with us. I really love what you did with the wreath, I would never have thought to put all these elements together but they work amazingly well. Can't wait for tomorrows post!

TheCrankyCrow said...

This wreath is truly amazing Lesley - absolutely love it, and the message behind it...Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

What a sweet wreath and wonderful story to go along with it!

KAT said...

very nice !

Love the wreath

- KAT -

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

Love this but love the story too!

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

I love your little red shoes! How wonderful to tell your story in your decorating. I am wanting to do more of that myself--not sure much of it will happen this year, but I will keep that in mind for next!

Marianne@Songbird said...

That is so neat, a beautiful wreath and a great story attached to it. Love your meaningful decoration!
And I seriously covet those red shoes.

marissa said...

this is really cool and it looks beautiful too I'd love you to link this up to my what we wore party over at http://raegunwear.blogspot.com

Grammy Goodwill said...

I'm sure your friend loved the wreath.

Prior said...

LOVE this post, the red slippers reminded me, "there is no place like Home...for the Holidays"
Lezlee

Eclectically Vintage said...

Love decorations with a story and yours certainly has a beautiful one!
Kelly

Honey at 2805 said...

This is lovely, Lesley! Those are the sweetest little red shoes!

Jaime Lyn at Crafty Scrappy Happy said...

I LOVE decor with meaning. and this is just perfect. I love that it makes you think about important things when you see it----and I love that you were able to find everything so inexpensively! Perfect my friend!
Jaime from crafty scrappy happy
and of course thank you SO much for linking up!!!

Mimi said...

What a lovely idea. Would make a great gift for a child's birthday party. You could even add an item each year as a kkepsake.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Just adorable and so creative. Very, very nice. Merry Christmas!

Terry said...

Cute and Inventive story and I love the wreath.

mississippi artist said...

I love the story and the wreath. It is wonderful that you are teaching your children about others less fortunate-truly what Christmas should really be about.

Lisa Montsion said...

I love those red dress shoes.

lisa