Holiday Wreath

I love the holidays; the parties, the lights, the decorations, the incredible spirit of giving, and of course – gifts! Years ago, I took a quick quiz to find out what my Love Language was (see the book here.) While the quiz revealed that my primary love language is acts of service, gifts came in at a close second, just one point less than acts of service. What better act of service is there than gift giving?! (Bonus, I get a full love tank!) No matter what or who the gift is for, I take gift-giving seriously; I would rather offend you showing up late to your party than to show up empty-handed (which is what I did recently, and worst of all, I was late due to a quick run to the store for a bag of Bark Thins – it was a tacky “I’m not showing up empty-handed gift” but nobody complained about eating them!)

I’m old enough that I’ve accumulated a lot of things; stuff is a good word for most of what I have. There aren’t many more items to add to my Christmas wish-list, and I find the same for my sons as well. We already have everything we need, and most of what we want; what a blessed life we have the opportunity to live. As I started decorating for the holidays, I knew I’d need to make a fresh wreath for the front door. Last year I was taught by the one and only The Bloom Academy how to make one, so when we were at Home Depot picking up our annual Fraser Fir Tree, I picked up a few spare branches from their “free” pile. This years’ wreath is a bit more rustic looking (it’s nice to have a florist bring all of the supplies to a workshop – you get only the best!) and so I went in a slightly different direction – a simple bow (that probably isn’t big enough) with a special Rwandan woven-basket hanging from the center (I love a good black background!)

Decorate your home for the holidays while supporting Rwanda - this ornament was inspired by traditional Rwandan design, intricately hand-woven using centuries-old techniques. Sale fo this basket enables a weaver to feed and educate her children, gain access to healthcare and assume leadership in her community. This basket was hand-woven by Mukeshimana #Path2peace @macys

This ornament isn’t just a decoration. This ornament represents something much bigger than a wreath hanging on my front door. This ornament represents the support of an incredible cause to help the women of Rwanda. This ornament was hand woven by the Gahaya Links master weavers for Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace and Self-reliance Collection (seen here.) It was inspired by traditional Rwandan design, intricately hand-woven using centuries-old techniques. Sale of this ornament enables a weaver to feed and educate her children, gain access to healthcare and assume leadership in her community. This is an incredible cause for a country who has suffered hardships in the past few decades. In 1994, the tribal hatred between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes spiraled into an ethnic slaughter, killing nearly a million of their neighbors in one of the worst genocides in human history. Many women, left on their own when their husbands, sons and fathers perished that year, found themselves needing to provide for their families. The centuries-old art of weaving was turned into an industry by both tribes and in 2005, when artist Willa Shalit brought the baskets to the attention of the executives at Macy’s, the executives committed to sell the woven baskets and go into business with the weavers in Rwanda (watch a video of the history here.)

Decorate your home for the holidays while supporting Rwanda - this ornament was inspired by traditional Rwandan design, intricately hand-woven using centuries-old techniques. Sale fo this basket enables a weaver to feed and educate her children, gain access to healthcare and assume leadership in her community. This basket was hand-woven by Mukeshimana #Path2peace @macys

Throughout my world travels, I have loved picking up ethnic and cultural pieces that represent the country or city in which I visit. I haven’t been to Rwanda, but while in Marrakesh, I saw many similar woven baskets and fell in love with simple and warm aesthetic these woven pieces of art portrayed. I’ve seen these baskets used in a variety of ways, including a gallery-wall style hanging of multiple bowls on a living-room wall (see more African woven basket ideas on Pinterest!) Now you can support a great cause, give back to the world, and give a unique and great gift this season (without the price or time of traveling the world!) 5 people/situations I think this gift would be appropriate for:

  • Hostess gift
  • Ornament/gift exchange
  • Children (share a piece of world history and the art of supporting a great cause with them!)
  • Yourself (I won’t judge you for buying your own gift, lol)
  • 12 Days of Christmas idea – 5 Gold Rings (this ornament could work!)

Decorate your home for the holidays while supporting Rwanda - this ornament was inspired by traditional Rwandan design, intricately hand-woven using centuries-old techniques. Sale fo this basket enables a weaver to feed and educate her children, gain access to healthcare and assume leadership in her community. This basket was hand-woven by Mukeshimana #Path2peace @macys

I was gifted a product from the Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace and Self-reliance Collection, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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