Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pinecone Wreath for Christmas

I was out to visit my dad on the weekend and he was in a very sweet and gentle frame of mind.  With his Alzheimer's, you can never be sure of how your visit will go.  After a very shaky episode last weekend, this was a happy relief.  
Dad's knees are getting weaker and weaker, so now it's all he can manage to navigate the hallways in his residence and he tries to walk from the front door and around the building to the backdoor whenever he goes down for his meals in the dining room.  He's still balking at using a walker ("They're for old people!"), but with a couple of canes, he's at least got a bit of steadiness. 
On Saturday he asked me if I'd like to walk along the corridors to see the lovely wreaths that were on the other residents' doors.  How could I refuse!  He took me along his favourite 3rd floor, and we admired all the wreaths.  Really, these were spectacular, and it quite lifted my spirits to see the enthusiasm the residents have put into decorating their "front" doors :)  I find the home a bit depressing most days, but I know it's partially due to my dad being lonely for his family all around him (he's not a great one to mingle with the others either, which doesn't help his plight). 

When we got back to Dad's room I decided to take his own wreath and update it for Christmas (again).  I made him a wreath last year from pinecones, and blogged about it here

Dad's Christmas Pinecone Wreath
When it came time to take the Christmas decorations down last year, Dad wouldn't let me take the wreath down ... "No!!  I like it!! Leave it there!!"  But I didn't want him to look silly with a Christmas wreath on his door in the springtime, so I brought back some springtime flowers and replaced the berries & bow with the flowers. 
The Springtime Wreath
It's stood up fairly well, but after a year, it's starting to look a little shabby.  I brought the whole thing home on Saturday with a promise that I'll return it to him freshened up for Christmas.  I had a little chuckle when he came outside with me when I was leaving and showed me how he had planted some of the extra (silk) flowers in the garden outside his window.  He doesn't understand that they're fake, and he's convinced they're doing incredibly well now that they're outside ... I didn't have the heart to pull them out of the ground because he's most likely going to check on them every day when he goes 'round for his walk ;)
This morning I gathered a few more pinecones along my walk and brought them home to fill the empty spaces of the wreath.  I baked them in the oven to kill any bugs (210F for 25 minutes), and it just smells like a deep piney woods in my house right now.  I should collect some pinecones just to throw in the oven whenever it's warming up, because it really does smell wonderful!  I won't be able to put the Christmas greenery etc. on until I slip down to the store this evening for some supplies.  I'll show it all in the next day or two.
If you haven't done so already, take a look at my Giveaway Post ... I'd hate for you to miss out on a chance to win ;)   
The Giveaway Table Runner
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. What a nice thing to do for your dad. I have always thought it was nice to have holiday and seasonal decor for people living in nursing homes and care facilities. It must help them feel more in touch with the outside world and the time of year. I really like the idea of putting spring flowers on it for him, that looks really cute.

  2. The wreath is so beautiful Wendy, it all of it's different guises, and how nice that your Dad likes having his door decorated and that he wants to "visit" the other doors with you! Your wreath making is amazing, how do you add your pinecones - wire or glue - or fairy dust!! So lovely, this has quite cheered me. Thank you. xx

    1. I published the comment, then remembered the link above, so I went and looked and I see that you wired and glued! Sad there was no fairy dust... xx

  3. Hi Wendy,
    Marianne from Ladybird Diaries sent me your way for the Christmas Decoration Swap. Very exciting!
    We have been paired up and so I was wondering how you would like to swap details?

  4. So beautiful! I love this wreath!!

  5. Hello Wendy, your wreath is beautiful, thank you for sharing your story with us.

  6. Those are really pretty Wendy! great job!! I loved hearing your story about your dad, that was so sweet!
    Hugs, Shari

  7. I did not know you could bake pine cones. I am so happy this wreath brings your father much deserved happiness. It is a lovely wreath! And if the flowers in the ground make him happy, I'd let them be too ~ it is really sweet of him that he likes them so well. I hope you have a great week!

  8. I'm betting that your Dad will be showing off the wreath his daughter made!
    Jane x

  9. That's so sweet about your dad not wanting to take the wreath down! And I love the spring touches you gave it.

  10. What a sad but heartwarming post Wendy - I so feel for you experiencing the changes in your Dad since dementia appeared, but love how you are so understanding and go that extra mile to make things nice for him! I'm looking forward to seeing your Dad's 'freshened up' wreath, and I wish you both the very best of beautiful moments together.Warm hugs, Joy xo

  11. What a sweet sweet post! I remember all of the wreaths that hung from the doors where my grandmother used to live. They took such pride in them...it just goes to show that those bits of home are so important for the soul. You are an amazing daughter! How sweet are you for making him these gorgeous wreaths! And how cute is your dad planting silk flowers! I can not wait to see what you have done to the wreath! The ones above are beautiful! A very happy day to you tomorrow!! Nicole xoxo

  12. Walking is very good for health. You have done a very good job for your father to take him outside for a walk. The wrench which you made for your father with you love and affection looks very beautiful.

  13. Hi Wendy,
    Me again. Is it possible to get your email address and we can swap addresses that way for Christmas swap. I better get on and make you something scrumptious!


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