Making the Christmas and Advent wreaths was a spiritual endeavour for all group members. They prayed as they made them and saw the symbolism in each piece placed within the wreaths. Photo: Valerie Siew
Christmas Wreaths of Love
This year, a group of self-professed flower-crazy ladies decided to embark on a simple project to spread the love and joy of Christ through their Advent and Christmas creations. Valerie Siew shares why she and her friends from the Church of St Francis Xavier and the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary decided to do this as a gift to the Church.
It started a year ago when we gathered to do our Christmas wreaths. It was the second year that the group practised its floral arrangement skills and tried to produce good wreaths. At the end of the project, someone said jokingly that our wreaths were good enough to sell.
As we moved through 2021, what started out as a joke slowly became a serious prospect. We began discussing the project and how it should not be for profit, and as Catholics, we wanted a beneficiary that was able to use the funds for the good of the Church.
We then chose to channel all proceeds to the Giving in Faith and Thankfulness (GIFT) programme as it supports a wide range of Church activities in the Archdiocese.
From a small group of five, the team grew quickly when we roped in our friends to help with delivery, administration and other necessary duties, all while still complying with Safe Management Measures.
Every piece we undertook was a gift of love as we prayed and gave thanks for the wreaths while we made them. Each item placed onto the wreath symbolised a meaning that we hoped would spur recipients to look beyond the wreath’s immediate beauty to see God our Creator at work.
For example, we placed some items in threes to hint that the Holy Trinity was at work in their lives. Cinnamon sticks were also used to remind people of the cross that Jesus was crucified on. Orange slices were included to represent the goodness of God. We also used real fir and preserved flowers to ensure that the flowers did not fade with time. In total, 76 wreaths were created in three days, raising over $7,500 for GIFT!
We were very encouraged when one of our buyers, Joan Wong, shared what she thought about our project and its cause. She said, “I recognise the importance of the GIFT programme in realising the Archdiocese’s mission to build a more vibrant, evangelising and missionary Church, not just for the present generation, but for the future too. I decided to support this fundraising project because it’s a meaningful way to raise funds and a chance to share with family and friends that Christ is the Light that came into the world, a reminder to prepare spiritually for Christmas.”
A small amount of fir was also taken from each wreath that we sold and used to create a large Advent wreath for the Archbishop to put in his chapel. It was a gift from all of us, and from every contributor, and you might have spotted it in his daily Mass broadcasts this festive season.
Inspiring More Giving
As a whole, my friends and I found the experience a very meaningful one, albeit hectic, and by the end of the session, we found ourselves talking about how we could improve things the next time around.
We pray that those who bought our wreaths and supported this initiative loved our creations as much as we loved making them. We hope that others will also step forward in their own way to do something beautiful for our Church!