If you’re in charge of Christmas Dinner this year, you know presentation is as important as the meal itself – almost.Decorating the table for special occasions is a tradition that goes back further than written history. The ancient Greeks placed decorative bowls filled with plants and branches on their tables. In Medieval times, most of the ornaments were edible – not surprising in an era not known for its table manners. The ancestors of today’s centerpieces trace back to Victorian times when they contained evergreen sprigs to represent eternal life in the birth of Christ.Photo by Sam Loyd on UnsplashToday, your centerpiece can be as simple as a poinsettia or vase of cut flowers – or as ornate as – well, as whatever your imagination can conceive. When creating a floral centerpiece, here are some things to keep in mind:Be Aware of ProportionsYou don’t want your arrangement so small it’s dwarfed by surrounding bowls, plates, and platters. You also don’t want it to dominate the table with evergreen sprigs dipping into the gravy bowl. Keep it low enough that guests can see each other without peering through a forest.SourceGo with ColorsGreen, red, and white are traditional favorites, but don’t limit yourself to those classics. Florists offer a wide array of cut flowers to match your holiday theme and your room décor. Roses are the perennial favorite for any occasion, including the Christmas holidays. Hydrangeas, dahlias, and lilies can fit right in, too. Garnish with the greenery of pine, cedar, and fir. Remember to put fresh flowers and greens in a container that has water for the stems.right in your yard that are perfect for your centerpiece. Jasmine, pansies, primroses, and violas are winter bloomers and just a few of the blossoms that will add sparkle to your arrangement. Keep the holidays in mind when you’re choosing flowers to plant next season. Nuts and fruits can give the base a great seasonal touch, and you can’t miss with pine cones. Poke some native grasses in among the greenery.Light it UpCandles are almost a must for holiday centerpieces. You can use a couple of slender ones or one large one at the center of your floral arrangement. Don’t get carried away, though, you don’t want it to look like a birthday cake. If you’re worried about an open flame singeing wrists reaching for the turkey platter, buy flameless, battery-powered candles. Some even change colors, and you can operate them with a remote! A battery-powered pre-lit wreath could make a dazzling surround for your floral pièce de résistance.Baubles, Bangles, and BeadsThere’s no hard, fast rule about decorating your centerpiece. Let your imagination be your guide. Ornamental balls are a favorite placed among flowers, as are ribbons garlands, bows, and candy canes.ShopSourceYour craft store will have the essentials you need for a DIY centerpiece – floral foam and tape, glue guns, wire, etc. You’ll find do-dads that might get your creative juices flowing – miniatures, glitter, decals. Your florist will be happy to arrange these in a decorative piece. Have a small family heirloom you want to include in your centerpiece? Ask the floral designer for suggestions. They might amaze you with a creation beyond your wildest dreams. Your masterpiece doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You might even find a must-have piece in a dollar store or thrift shop.
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