Maine wreaths are abundant this time of year, but why go with the same old circle on your barn door when you can have a moose?

Pam and Sterling Douglas’ whimsical moose “wreath” is as non-traditional as an elf in a manger. It has a balsam fir body, a pine beard, a horse chestnut eye, and antlers made from white pine cones. The moose wreath was a natural progression from the horse, made at a customer’s request by Pam’s Wreaths, a family-owned, Harpswell-based business. The horse has a balsam fir body and a mane of ponderosa pine. It has a red-ribbon bridle, small pine cones for eyes and a nose, and is popular with families whose children are taking riding lessons.

The customer posted her horse wreath on Facebook, and then everyone started asking for it, Pam Douglas said. And it opened the floodgates. “I’ve had calls for chickens and owls and donkeys,” she said.

The moose was her son Sterling’s idea. It made its first appearance last year and was so popular the family decided they’d make a new animal each year. But then a grandbaby came along, so the next “themed wreath” (likely a dog or a goat) will have to wait another year.

Pam Douglas learned how to make wreaths from her grandmother, who gave them to neighbors as gifts. Douglas convinced her they could be sold for $10 each. After a long learning curve, and with baby Sterling to support, Douglas began making them herself and started a small business. That was more than 30 years ago. At the time, Douglas was living in a one-room log cabin her grandfather built. She’d put the baby to bed and practice making wreaths by the woodstove – thicker ones than her grandmother had made. She sold 50 her first year, which helped supplement her income from working as a waitress at Cook’s Lobster House. Word spread, and she began getting large orders – from a credit union, nursing homes and restaurants.

“This is what paid our land taxes,” Douglas said. “This is what paid for Christmas.”

Sterling Douglas joined the business after graduating from college nine years ago. He keeps the books, and makes the horse and moose wreaths. Mother and son work 18-hour days most of December to get through the Christmas season.

The moose and horse wreaths cost $90 each in part because shipping, which is included, is so expensive, Douglas said. Locals pay less, $73 plus tax, if they’re willing to pick up their wreath in person, Pam Douglas said. And if you return the ring after the season is over, you’ll get a discount. (The Douglases make their own rings, so they are happy to reuse them.)

For more information, or to see the Douglas’ more traditional wreaths, go to

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