December 22nd, 2022
Windows & Doors – Important Means of Expression
Well, it is hard to believe that Christmas 2022 is almost here already. As the year winds down, it also appears that the insane demand for fenestration products is also normalizing. This will give us time to catch our breath, spend time with family, reflect upon our accomplishments, and prepare for what I believe will be a much more normal market heading into the New Year. I am proud to be associated with the door and window industry. I believe that the products that we bring to market truly do make people’s lives better and contribute toward their health and wellbeing. Christmas is always a special reminder of the importance of windows and doors in our customers’ lives. One of our favorite things to do this time of year is to walk our two dogs around the neighborhood to see all the Christmas decorations adorning the houses in our neck of the woods.
What really stands out is how people use their doors and windows to display their faith and religious beliefs. We see Christmas trees on display usually in front of the largest picture window of the house. We see candles on display in each window. Apparently, the tradition of placing candles in our windows was brought to us by the Irish. Check out The History of Holiday Candles in Windows on Window Nation’s website. Apparently, the tradition started back in Britain as a way of letting Catholic priests know that they were welcome in your home. From the mid-17th through the late 18th centuries, the British government created oppressive laws designed to prohibit the practice of Catholicism in Ireland. During this time there were no churches allowed. Catholic priests were forced to hide out in the wilderness, usually in caves. So, windows played a vital role as a portal to display a special welcome to Catholic priests. That tradition has now become a part of today’s Christmas celebration as the candle in the window is also a sign of welcoming the newborn Savior.
During the religious holiday of Chanukah, the Jewish also use their windows to display their beliefs. For eight days, beginning December 19, the Jewish people celebrating Hanukkah place a 9-branch candelabra, also known as a menorah, in their windows.
“Hanukkah is the perfect holiday for a multicultural world. It’s a statement that I want to preserve my values and trumpet my beliefs—not that other people have to adopt them, but that other people accept them. And I think each home has to be the center of those values, so that instead of the light coming from the outside world, which is what television is, ultimately dissolving everybody into their own rooms, the light comes from inside the family and illuminates the neighborhood,” says Bruce Feiler in Why We Put the Hanukkah Menorah in Our Windows.
As we walk the dogs this time of year, we also love to check out the various wreaths on display on everyone’s doors and it is quite evident that our doors not only represent a gateway to our homes but also a gateway to our beliefs and values that we hold dear. When you hang a wreath on your door, you’re participating in a tradition which is over 2,800 years old. Ancient civilizations including Greeks and Romans used wreaths in celebrations and to adorn their rulers’ heads. The origin of hanging a wreath on the front door comes from various influences from around the world. The tradition of Advent originates from the concept of preparation. The word for Advent comes from a Latin word meaning “coming,” so it’s meant to show anticipation of the impending birth of Jesus at Christmas. The four-week celebration helps Christians to prepare their minds and hearts to welcome Jesus into their lives. Advent wreaths are also characterized by candles. Three candles are purple, the color of prayer and penance, while one is pink, a symbol of joy. On weeks one, two and four, the purple candles are lit, and in the third week, the pink candle is lit to represent the halfway point to celebrating Christmas. For many, wreaths don’t hold any special religious significance. They have now become a popular decoration just to brighten up your door around the holidays or even all year long. Wreaths are growing in popularity outside of the holiday seasons. Nowadays, wreaths can be found at home decoration stores and craft fairs all year long. Premium Hardware has an excellent article on their website about the Origins of Wreaths on Front Doors.
One thing is apparent: doors and windows play a huge role in the lives of our customers, not only from a functional standpoint but also from a cultural perspective and as a means of expression and celebration. We not only use windows to view the outside world but also to project to others a picture of our beliefs and feelings. Likewise, our doors are not only a gateway to the outside world but are also a sort of canvass to display symbols representing who we are and what we stand for to our neighbors and visitors. So as part of the fenestration industry, be extremely proud of the role you play as a central part of our customers’ lives.
Merry Christmas everyone. Have a joyous and safe holiday season!
This blog is from Door and Window Market [DWM] magazine's free e-newsletter that covers the latest door and window industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to [DWM] magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.