IF YOU HAVE A MANTEL IN YOUR HOME, you can have great fun making a festive scene there. I do just that each December for the fireplace in my parlor, arranging the marble ledge with evergreen boughs and lots of colorful fresh fruit. Would you like to see the procedure?
First, gather together great bunches of evergreen boughs. These can be branches of cedar, pine, hemlock, and yew, or long stems of boxwood — use whatever you have on hand. If you don’t have evergreens on hand, your florist definitely will. Be sure to candy-coat the boughs or stems with a “Wilt-Pruf.” Wilt-Pruf, an anti-transpirant, will keep the greens fresh for weeks.
I should probably mention that my florist attached the greens to a metal frame. The frame is cut to the length and width of my mantel.
To give a pineapple extra height, place it atop an upside-down custard cup or a small urn. Arrange the boughs so that your custard cup will be hidden. Or, set the pineapple atop a small black urn, as I did.
And place one at each end of the mantel. Of course, if your silver candlesticks are tarnished like mine, you’ll want to take 5 minutes to polish them first. Tarnished candlesticks do not belong in an elegant mantel setting.
We now have a nice, balanced arrangement.
But the fun is only starting.
And by the way, as much as I hate the color orange, I feel it is essential in a mantel display. The color adds an amazing amount of “pop” to a setting of evergreens.
A pine cone would make a good substitute for a Bosc pear. We’re merely trying to add a touch of brown to the mantel-picture.
As you can see, one of my pears decided to stand upright. This is what I call a “performing pear.” I’m happy to give him a stage.
Frankly, grapes steal the show.
If Margo Channing was a pineapple, Eve Harrington would be a cluster of grapes.
That last sentence refers to this Bette Davis film.
Now, if you don’t have a mantel, you can make a similar display on your dining table. Just lay a cloth runner along the long center of the table. Lay some greenery atop the runner. Then arrange candles and colorful fruit among the boughs. I think you’ll like the decorative effect.
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