| | Holiday Decor

This year’s Christmas in July celebrations will likely be more joyous as we get back to normal types of gatherings. They also will whet the appetite for making this year’s December holiday family gatherings and entertaining more special.

Have you ever wondered, by the way, how Christmas in July celebrations started? The magazine Southern Living reported in 2017 that “Christmas in July started 84 years ago on July 24th and 25th in 1933 at a girls’ camp called Keystone Camp in Brevard, N.C. The first Christmas in July included carolers, a Christmas Tree, Santa Claus, presents, and fake snow made of cotton. As the tradition evolved, campers would use laundry bags as makeshift stockings, which they placed outside their cabins to be filled with candy overnight. Eventually, elves, reindeer, and Mrs. Claus joined the act.”

One of the most prominent celebrants today is the Hallmark Channel, which has an entire section of its website devoted to its Christmas in July month-long celebration. There’s even a “How To” section to making decorations that go with the theme of the various movies.

Not to be outdone by Hallmark, we’d like to offer some ideas of our own.

Five basics for holiday decorating:

Candles are always a go-to for holiday décor. Nothing softens a room more than the glow of candlelight. Tall and tapered, short votives, star-shaped colors and scents abound. Groupings of varying heights will be your key to a successful candle display. The colors you choose can complement or accent a room’s rhythm.

Sparkle and twinkle are hallmarks of holiday décor. Mirrors, silver and gold ornaments, picture frames, and even candlesticks will help your room shine. Don’t be afraid to mix metals. By all means get out that antique silver, polish it up, and put it center stage. What says “Holidays” more than the twinkle of hundreds of tiny white lights? The smallest of plants to the largest of Ficus trees will come alive when you add a few inexpensive strands of white lights. Consider draping white lights inside silver netting or garland or wrapping your staircase in a fabulous and unique new look.

 

Tabletop décor is fundamental for the holidays. Setting a beautiful table can set the mood for all your holiday entertaining. Try adding bows to the stems of wine glasses. Fold napkins in a special way and tie them together with a gold tassel. Use gold or brass chargers under your special tableware. Pull it all together with a table runner and a wonderful holiday floral or greenery arrangement.

Merry mantles are a staple of the holiday season. Start with a theme such as your prize collection of antique Santas, snowmen, birdhouses, or reindeer. Whatever theme you select, use different shapes and sizes to create visual interest. Unify your display with garland, ivy, magnolia leaves, or anything else that is soft and easily draped.

Put the “green” in your holiday decorating by using nature’s bounty in a decorative way. Adding cloves to oranges, limes or lemons will create a beautiful and fragrant pomander. Simply stacking fresh lemons or limes in a tall glass hurricane can make a truly impressive decorative statement.

Christmas in July: Not too soon to be thinking about making December more special.