SCARBOROUGH — As the holiday season begins, decorations enter the forefront of many people’s minds, and wreaths are often seen as a staple.

Although the pandemic has halted many traditions, people who enjoy wreath making can still find an option this year.

Grace Ouellette, an employee at Highland Farm for the last four years, said that her wreath making workshops bring back families and friends every year, and the 2020 holiday season is no different.

A fan of the season, Ouellette enjoys bringing Christmas cheer to participants, she said. Making decorations has always been a part of her own holiday tradition.

“It’s very personal to me,” she said. “I love the Christmas season so much.”

Many who take Ouellette’s class end up turning the workshop into an annual tradition, she said. Highland Farm provides everything from the greenery itself to the decorations.

“I think it takes the intimidation away from those who see these things on Pinterest,” Ouellette said. “We make it user-friendly and give people something where they can say, I made this with my own two hands. Even people who aren’t necessarily creative can follow along and make something to take home.”

Highland Farm offers workshops on its website, and many classes have already sold out but Ouellette said that she also offers workshops for private groups. Wreaths are made from beginning to end at one of the greenhouses onsite, with social distancing measures in place.

“We’ve offered a little bit of everything, Zoom, take-home, but most of the things are hands-on,” Ouellette said.

Sentiment and accommodation are top priorities, she said.

“For sentiment, hitting that note for us is something I stress every time I’m here,” she said. “We work closely with people and businesses to make it work for them. We can work around everyone’s schedule.”

People interested in signing up for a workshop can email [email protected] and put “ATTN: Grace” in the subject line, Ouellette said.

A remote option for those interested in making Advent wreaths is offered this year, too, said a press release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. Typically, churches offer free advent wreath making workshops every year, but due to the pandemic, in-person gatherings are limited.

Kits will be available at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 150 Black Point Road in Scarborough, on Nov. 29 at 11:30 a.m.

People can contact Amanda Meir at (603) 969-4009 or [email protected]  to place an order for a kit. A donation of $10 is recommended, said the release.

Advent wreath kits are available to order and pick up on Nov. 29 at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church in Scarborough. The kits include live greens from Broadway Gardens in South Portland, Advent candles, a wreath ring, wire, and devotional materials. Courtesy photo Dave Guthro

“Advent wreaths traditionally consist of a circle of evergreen branches with four candles, three purple and one pink or rose colored,” the release said. “During Advent, candles are progressively lit week by week, beginning with a single purple candle. During the second week, two purple candles are lit, followed by two purple candles and the pink candle during the third week, and then all four candles. The rose-colored or pink candle coincides with the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday), on which the priest also wears pink or rose. It is a time of celebration, noting that Advent is nearing completion and Christmas is near.”

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: