With so many religions and cultures celebrating meaningful moments at this very special time of year, December Solstice is a magical time for a family festivity!
In the northern hemisphere this natural annual event represents the day with the least amount of sunlight. For this reason, historically, seasonal celebrations focused on coaxing back the sun. In modern times though we understand the sun will indeed return more and more with each passing day, we may still enjoy huddling with loved ones and using fireplaces, candles, and such to create our own warmth and light as we endure together the darkest day of the year.
On a very personal level, this holiday may be one of renewal. Just as the sun has diminished to its fullest and will now begin its journey of reclamation, we too, may consider a symbolic returning to our youth/inner child to refashion our new year from a place of innocence joy, love and light.
When preparing a table design for a celebration such as this, natural colors of the season always seem appropriate especially evergreens representing the continuity of the cycles of the sun and of life itself even through the ice and snow. In addition any images that conjure the beauty, innocence, and wonder of youth invite guests to revisit the child within and resculpt this year’s life experience maintaining what’s of value and letting go of the rest.
I chose a floral centerpiece bursting with berries, cones, and seasonal colors and integrated hand-painted angels, small teddy bears, and wooden pyramids. These created a colorful, playful, and transformative table complete with firelight and motion. Specifics are listed below. Enjoy!
- Tablecloth: My tablecloths begin with a base cloth: Mahogany Solid-Color 100-Percent Cotton Hemstitch Tablecloth from Amazon topped with a stunning, vintage Quaker Lace over cloth purchased gently used on ebay.
- Runner: I chose to forego a traditional runner though I did cut my own felt mats to protect the lace from water and wax as well as to add an accent of both color and texture. I chose a gorgeous olive wool felt from Prairie Woolens, a wonderful retailer of woolen fabrics with an excellent selection of color, style, texture, and sizing options.
- Napkins: Gorgeous vintage ecru, linen napkins edged with French Alencon lace and purchased gently used and most reasonably priced from ebay provide additional layer of beauty and texture.
- Placemats: One of my favorite aspects of this tablescape, adding a combination of warmth, beauty, elegance, and charm, is this accent: Couleur Nature Sonia Burgundy Placemats featuring a gorgeous French quilted, “boutis” design and purchased online from Wayfair.
- Central Floral Display: A brown pot, a touch of floral foam, cones, berries, greens, pink, red, and cream-colored roses, and a touch of eucalyptus do the trick nicely!
- Teddy Bears: Gently used, vintage miniature Steiff treasures in four different warm beige/brown tones , purchased on ebay
- Angel Statues: These were purchased unpainted from a local Michaels craft store several years ago and became a loving project in our home. We carefully chose the rich and rustic colors we preferred (acrylics) and set to work painting each detail, each angel distinct from the others. These sweet statues have quickly become a treasured tradition, and in this year’s setting six surrounded the floral arrangement. (Click here to view another holiday tablescape featuring these angels.)
- Wooden Pyramids: I chose two gorgeous wooden pyramids manufactured by the Richard Glaesser company in Seiffen, Germany: (automatically translate website to English by using Google Chrome) one featuring teddy bears and one featuring singing angels, both purchased on ebay. These added a stunning kinetic element to this already mesmerizing tablescape. Enjoy the brief movie below for the actual effect:
- Dinner plates: Red Vanilla Classic White dishwasher-safe dinnerware available at Overstock.com.
- Salad plates: Spode Woodland Grove, purchased on ebay
- Flatware: Silver Plated Heirloom Set, pattern uncertain
- Knife Rests: Lovely vintage prancing pony design, imported from France, purchased gently used on ebay
- Water glasses: White bobbin lace tumblers available at Victorian Trading Co
- Wine glasses: Vintage, silver-plated, imported from Portugal, and purchased as a set from ebay
- Place Cards: The cards themselves are simply printed on ivory cardstock, cut using paper-cutter, and embellished withMay Arts crochet-edge light blue velvet ribbon purchased from Amazon. They are leaning against vintage silver-plated egg cups imported from France, purchased on Etsy, and filled with aromatic cloves, allspice and a small pinecone.
- Embellishments: one gorgeous oversized Hammonds Candy Cane draped over each salad plate, purchased locally but available on Amazon.
… And may all you do this coming year be graced with the enthusiasm and open-heartedness of a child alongside the strength and wisdom of experience.