Friday, December 19, 2008

Decorating the Christmas Table

A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, But softly gives itself away; While quite unselfish, it grows small. ~Eva K. Logue

Today I have some easy and pretty ideas for the Christmas table and kitchen.

Cranberry Centerpiece

You'll need:
Two tray--one larger than the other by 3 inches or so
Fresh greens
Fresh cranberries
4 holiday colored/scented tea candles
Small colored glass ornaments

Place smaller tray on top of the larger tray. Spread the fresh cranberries (you can freeze them first if you wish for a shiny look) on the smaller tray. Place a tea light in each corner-nestled in the cranberries. In the middle you can place a grouping of ornaments, or a holiday figurine of some sort-even a pillar candle. On the larger tray, using the part that is around the first tray-arrange fresh greens, and a few more cranberries. This is best done right before using, and keep the greens misted and make sure they aren't touching or near the tea lights.

Inexpensive Floral Centerpiece

You'll need:
Wicker basket
Fresh greenery from your yard--boxwood, holly, pine etc.
one inexpensive holiday bouquet
doily or lace cloth of some type

Lay the doily or piece of cloth in the basket so that a nice bit of it hangs over the front of the basket. On the bottom of the basket place a piece of plastic or paper to protect the cloth from sap, etc. Cover this with the greens you collected. Take your bouquet and cut the flowers down under running water and stick in with the greens making a nice arrangement. Notes: I get these bouquets for as little as $3.99 from floral departments fresh, but you can also use silk flowers. This doesn't last long, so make it before your dinner and mist it. You can soak some floral foam and place the greens and flowers on top of that to give it some moisture.

More Simple Ideas:
Buy a bag of natural raffia and use it to tie up the napkins inserting a sprig of rosemary, lavender, sage or a fresh bay leaf. Do the same on several large pillar candles. Make place cards out of simple card stock, writing the guests name on with a gold gel pen. If you have decorative edged scissors you can cut the paper with those. Think simply...but when you are done it will look elegant.

Using raffia again, you can combine it with gold for a very elegant look. Gold apple ornaments, floral picks with gold accents, gold ball ornaments...Target has a great selection of gold accents and ornaments, and most are only $2 or so.

Decorate wreaths, candles, fill baskets with greens and gold,use gold bows on the back of chairs....use your imagination!

You can use fresh fruit to decorate platters,tables and mantles. Here are some suggestions:

-Pomegranates and kale or other leafy vegetables surrounding your main meat platter.

-Use a gold pen to write your guests names on pomegranates or dark green leaves such as magnolia greens.

-For a whimsical look try using red and green chili peppers,along with corn husks and greens in baskets, on wreaths or swags.

Try this easy simmering potpourri to scent your house during a dinner or open house:

Simmering Potpourri

Mix together:
2 broken Cinnamon sticks
4 tbsp. whole cardamom seeds
2 tbsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger

Place two tablespoons of potpourri in two or more cups of water, allow to simmer or steep slowly.Be sure the water doesn't evaporate while heating. Add more if necessary.

On OFL we have tips for using fresh greens to decorate this season:


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