Heather’s Helpful Hints for Your Home: Holiday decorating traditions of years past that you may want to consider in the future.
1. Evergreen Trimmings: At Christmastime, English homes are decorated with great care and detail. An economical way to decorate with style is to ask a local Christmas tree farm if you can glean the clippings from their cut trees. They typically just discard them, but these “scraps” make great centerpieces and windowsill embellishments when intertwined with artificial flowers or bows and can add fullness and life to synthetic arrangements.
2. Authentic Lighting: We often take for granted modern efficiencies like electricity, but what if Christmas were only lit by candlelight? Candles were a staple in Victorian homes, so take a cue from this era and turn the lights low. Candles can be used on tabletops, mantels, windowsills, bathrooms or stairways. Line a driveway, hang them from trees, place on top of mirrors or mix them in with fruit. The possibilities are endless!
3. Handmade Heritage: Young ladies in Victorian society spent many hours making decorations and gifts by sewing, embroidering, painting and gluing.
Little horns of plenty from colored paper filled with sweets and intricate pouches made of silk and feathers filled with candied fruits and nuts would hang from branches. Rather than purchasing pre-made decorations and gifts, take a stab this season at making some of your own.
4. Glass Pickles: Prince Albert made the decorated Victorian Christmas tree popular. In line with a custom of his German homeland, consider adding a new ornament to your tree this year. In Germany on Christmas Eve, a glass pickle ornament is hidden within the Christmas tree’s limbs. Christmas morning, the first child to find the pickle receives an extra gift.
5. Legend of the Christmas Spider: Do you use tinsel on your tree? It’s a tradition adapted from a Ukrainian legend where finding a spider or spider’s web on a Christmas tree is considered good fortune. Artificial spider webs became an embellishment explaining the origin of tinsel on a tree.
Long narrow strips not attached to thread that mirror icicles are called “lametta.” Perhaps it’s an often overlooked decoration worth reigniting!
Heather Cravens is a Lynchburg native with over 10 years of experience in the interior design industry, including owning Becoming Designs. Heather is passionate about creating environments that inspire and build families through the hospitality of their home. She mirrors that passion with her own family by spending time with her husband, their two-year old son and their newborn baby girl.
By Heather Cravens