Christmas Tips & Fun

Learn interesting, unusual, unique and useful facts and tips about Christmas and the winter holiday season, in America and around the world.

Decorating for Christmas

How to Make a Fresh Bittersweet Wreath for Christmas


f you’re fortunate enough to know where bittersweet is growing – perhaps in a secluded woodsy area – then you’re ahead of the game, holiday decoration-wise.

If you have to go to a local farmers’ market or similar source then you know how much it can cost retail, so finding it in the wild beats even a wholesale price.

Those little orange berries – whether whole or opened – add a bit of color to a seasonal collection of greens that can decorate your tree, mantle or table.

You want to be sure to wear gloves when harvesting the vine and it’s easiest to remove the leaves while they’re still fresh and green since they will just dry up and turn brown while the berries are at their colorful peak.

If you’re going to make a wreath or similar shaped display then the best time to do that is right after you’ve removed the leaves and the vine is still pliable. You can use a wire wreath form or just create a freehand circle with the vines and tie them together with a twist-tie.

You can add evergreen cuttings or holly sprigs or whatever you want to create an attractive seasonal decoration – just don’t eat the berries because they’re poisonous to humans. They’re a treat for birds, though, so put your bittersweet on a branch for them after the holidays.

Written by Dianne Weller
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