A very, merry — and green — Christmas!

The sights and scents and sounds of Christmas are upon us. This definitely is the most wonderful – and busiest – time of the year. We are enjoying a traditional Christmas at the gallery. We love greenery and wreaths. We love the sparkle of crystal, Mercury glass, and ornaments. We love simple, elegant table settings.

At the gallery, we used a garland of evergreen atop an antique Sheraton breakfront bookcase, tucking in a couple of grapevine deer (although not the kind Santa employs). We hung miniature preserved boxwood wreaths from diaphanous gold ribbon and tied one to the back of each chair. The wreath on the antique French mirror adds a festive touch as well.

Metallic trees, silver serving pieces, and mercury glass decanters and candlesticks create a beautiful setting that is reflected in the mirror. Red crystal decanters and wine glasses add a touch of color.

Our table is set with Wedgwood china in a classic pattern, and a beautiful handmade Portuguese tablecloth from our personal linen press. The epergne is filled to overflowing with a base of greenery topped with a massive layer of red tulips. We think it’s simply elegant.

We call this traditional because the use of greenery and wreaths dates to ancient Rome and Greece, when they were used as a symbol of victory and pride. Holly, Ivy, and a variety of evergreen branches were used before the birth of Jesus Christ (which Christians celebrate during this season) as part of the celebrations associated with the winter solstice on Dec. 21. Then, the greenery was used to ward off evil spirits and to represent the hope of new growth in the spring.

We wish you all a very merry Christmas, a wonderful holiday season, and a blessed 2013.

For Christmas 2012, we opted for a traditional look with greenery, mercury glass, adding a mound of red tulips for a pop of holiday color.

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