For decades, Harbor Island Garden Club members have created wreaths and placed them throughout the town of Wrightsville Beach as holiday decorations for everyone to enjoy.
On Friday, Nov. 9, the women continued the long held tradition, making 46 bows and decorating 30 wreaths to spruce up Wrightsville Beach Town Hall, the United States Post Office, Wrightsville Beach Park, Wrightsville Beach Elementary School and several other staples in town, including the garbage trucks.
“This is something we started doing years ago,” member Shelia McCuiston said. “It’s fun. It’s good because it gets everyone in the Christmas spirit.”
Sandy Overbeck, who has been a member of the club for 30 years, held a brief workshop to give members tips about how to beautify the wreaths.
“The wreath-making, that seems to be my thing,” Overbeck said before the workshop.
She also recalled the days before Hurricane Fran hit in 1996 when the club used all live greenery to create the wreaths.
“We had to go to silk wreaths, because the other ones weren’t lasting long enough,” Overbeck said.
She flipped through a book of old pictures from past wreath-making days, when the wreaths were decorated with anything from tennis and golf balls to pinecones and fruit.
“It was so much fun to do this, to have the community come together and make wreaths and listen to music,” Overbeck said.
During that time, community members from surrounding areas would come and learn how to make bows and wreaths during a class held at Wrightsville Beach School.
The wreaths the club members make are made to withstand the wind, rain and other outside elements.
The goal this year, Overbeck said, is to make the wreaths look as natural as possible. She searched and found pinecones, nuts and magnolia leaves to hot glue onto the wreaths in addition to the large, handmade red bows placed on either the tops or bottoms of the wreaths as the focus.
Club members gathered around tables to fluff and poof the bare wreaths before adding hangers, bows and the natural decorations.
The finishing touch to the wreaths was a spritz of floor finish with future shine before members each took a couple of the finished wreaths to their destinations.
The wreaths will be picked up before New Years Eve and recycled for the following year.
“We want to make the town look beautiful for flotilla and the Day in the Park,” Overbeck said. “… Hopefully we will be able to keep these intact for next year.”
The next event the club will hold is its Christmas luncheon on Dec. 14.