Wednesday December 07, 2011 | 02:43 PM

Pre-made wreaths are for the weak. Store-bought treats, an indicator of yuletide inefficacy. And fake Christmas trees? Well, those perfectly shaped pines are the most egregious indicator of holiday apathy.



At least that's how it feels, as someone whose Christmas accoutrements are limited to a three-foot pre-lit plastic tree and a package of elf-shaped sugar cookies with the legs broken off.

For folks like me, Christmas can be a season of inadequacy.

No, I can't whittle my own ornaments from a felled tree in the backyard or build structurally sound miniature homes out of gingerbread rectangles and hand-whipped vanilla icing.

But I can follow directions.

And I can make a real pine and glitter Christmas wreath to be proud of, with a little help from Heather Caron.

Heather, who owns Heather Caron Floral Design, offers wreath-making classes in her Westbrook studio for $15 (which includes supplies, guidance and a glass or two of wine if, you know, you simply appreciate wine's magical creativity-amplifying qualities or, possibly, you're prone to pre-wreath panic attacks that require sedation).

And somehow a pile of balsam and pine gets bunched together and bound to a metal ring.

And along comes more balsam and pine. And more wine.

And some glitter, if you're into it. And who isn't into it?

There's a bow in there too, made from wide ribbon of your choosing.

And eventually, if all goes well and the pine branches don't revolt and the wire doesn't escape down the elevator, you end up with a wreath. A real one, like they used to make before Santa's elves started producing them out of polyester.

If you, too, want to be redeemed by wreath making:
Wreath Making and Holiday Centerpiece Class
6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 at Heather Caron Floral Design, Westbrook

Or maybe your path to holiday mastery is paved with candy cottages?
Cozy Candy Cottages at Wilbur's of Maine
9 and 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10 at Wilbur's of Maine, Freeport

Or maybe true Christmas prowess is found in chocolate and take-home samples:
Making Holiday Treats
4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9 at Stonewall Kitchen, York

Or maybe you owe all your seasonal joy to the four-legged pile of fur at your feet, because he never judged you for buying the plastic poinsettias.
Holiday Treats for Your Furry Best Friend
6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15 at Stonewall Kitchen, York

About the Author

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Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.

Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.

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