The Story Behind Our Merry Marie Collection
Trim your tree with our Merry Marie collection of handmade ornaments. Created in 2015 by Christmas buyer, Linda Vespa Yugovich, Merry Marie is one of many exclusive brands at English Gardens.
Linda wanted a way to honor her late mother, English Gardens co-founder Marie Vespa. “The name was inspired by her first name Marie, and her nickname, Mary,” Linda says. She had the idea for years, but didn’t know how to make it happen. She traveled to Europe to find the highest quality artisan to bring her vision to life.
“Each and every ornament in our collection is created by European artisans, who take great pride in their work. They all share our vision of quality, value and beauty,” Linda says.
The collection features hand-blown and hand-painted glass ornaments embellished with beads, crystals and glitter. The dazzling colors inspire the holiday spirit.
New ornaments are added each year. “Each year when I unpack my ornaments and decorate my tree at home, I always find a new favorite,” Linda says of her personal collection. “But the real fun for me each Christmas is finding new ornaments for my grandchildren and helping them decorate their own tree. Hopefully they will cherish these beautiful heirlooms for many years to come.”
Ornaments often times evoke a particular memory for yourself and your family. It’s fun to explore the ancient meanings behind such things during the Christmas season.
Here are some of the pieces you will find in this collection.
Pine Cone: Pine Cones are sacred symbols of motherhood and warmth. Because of their abundance, pine cones were widely used as natural decorations on Christmas trees. Eventually, molds were made by European glassblowers to create glass ornaments.
Musical: Musical instruments symbolize song, joy and people joining together during the Christmas season.
House: A home signifies shelter, heritage and culture.
Angel: Love, eternal life, purity, and peace. An angel placed as a tree topper symbolizes the significance of the angels who appeared high above Bethlehem to joyfully announce Jesus’ birth on the first Christmas.
Star: Guidance and faith. The star also represents the bright star that appeared in the sky to guide people to Jesus’ birthplace.
Bird: Happiness, contentment and hope. Cardinal: Symbol of the beauty and warmth of the holiday season. As nature’s reminder for us to focus on our faith, the Cardinal’s scarlet plumage represents the blood of Christ shed for the redemption of mankind.
Mushroom: Associated with nature and the beauty of the forest. In some cultures, mushroom ornaments are displayed on Christmas trees in reverence for nature and in hope of good luck in the New Year.
Christmas Tree: Christ’s gift of everlasting life.
Frog: Many cultures rely on the frog as their weather forecaster. Frogs stay near water during rainy periods and will come out to wait for sunshine if the weather is going to improve. Finding a frog brings good luck, and a wish made upon seeing the first frog in spring is said to come true.
Santa Claus: Melting pot of cultures, beliefs and traditions.
Dove: A universal symbol of peace and love. Noah sent a dove from the ark, and it returned with an olive branch, indicating the end of the Flood and the beginning of God’s covenant with man. The dove also signifies marriage and lifelong love. The pristine whiteness of the dove represents purity, hope for peace and the forgiveness we obtain from God and each other.
Shop a selection of our Merry Marie Collection online, or see our full collection at any English Gardens location.