Vintage-Inspired Christmas Decorating
Southern Icon: Keepsake Ornaments
We Southerners treasure tradition, and the holidays are a great time to pull out passed-down heirlooms for display. Trimming the tree becomes a family event when ornaments remind you of special people and past Christmases shared together.
Southern Icon: Magnolia Leaves
Take clippings from your own trees, or purchase a few from a nursery to layer throughout garlands, centerpieces, wreaths, and more. Magnolia leaves add a Southern touch and give holiday greenery a full, fresh look.
Test Kitchen Favorite: Check out our Slice-and-Bake Shortbread Cookies for a delicious treat to fill your cookie jar. Four easy variations give you plenty of options. Store-bought cookies look great on display, but we can’t pass up the aroma of freshly baked goodies.
Style Secret: Add a pop of color and heighten the anticipation of Christmas morning by stacking a few wrapped presents in unconventional spaces, away from the tree.
Style Secret: Unify your holiday theme by using the same type of ribbon as that used on wreaths when wrapping presents. Your combination will look effortless, and you’ll save time on purchasing materials for presents.
Southern Source We Love: The Garland Farm
Indoors or out, we love the smell of fresh, fragrant evergreens. The Garland Farm supplies just about any type of fresh garland, from simple strings to mixed combinations; thegarlandfarm.com or 877-327-9010.
Care Tip: Submerging mercury glass in water may cause unwanted peeling. Wipe pieces with a damp rag to keep the sparkle without stripping off the mercury.
Mercury glass looks great year-round, but its shimmer and sheen make it perfect for the holidays. Follow Genia’s tips to ensure you’re getting the best products in your price range.
- Start with reproductions. They tend to cost much less than older mercury glass and allow you to quickly accumulate several pieces for your collection. Mix in unique vintage finds as you can afford them.
- Find an honest antiques dealer. Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions before you buy. See if the dealer is selling reproductions of other items, and skip mercury glass that contains decals, logos, or trademarks. Instead of buying online, go somewhere that allows you to get a feel for the product and environment before making your purchase.
- Consider the wear, tear, and tarnish. If it’s an authentic piece at a good price, embrace its worn patina―true evidence that no two pieces are alike. Some reproductions are also made to appear worn, so don’t assume all tarnished pieces are authentic antiques.
- Weigh your options. Mercury glass reproductions can weigh up to four times more than the real thing. Although this method isn’t foolproof―some reproductions feel hollow throughout―it will often help you differentiate between the two.
- Buy in the off-season. Genia displays her mercury glass year-round and loves mixing it with other holiday decorations, especially at Easter. Also known as “poor man’s silver,” mercury glass takes on many roles and maintains elegance throughout the year.