Holiday wrap up… Given the fact that there really isn’t anything new on under the sun, I turned to the past- the WAY past for this year’s table. Pomanders have been around for centuries, and while you can make them to last for years by covering them in a spice mix that includes orrisroot (a kind of natural fixative…) I decided mine would be ephemeral- a brief bright, festive flourish for the holidays.
To be honest, nothing says Christmas like the bright orange and green of an orange tree. Not your typical holiday color palette, but really fresh and festive (think of a bottle of Veuve Clicquot). The trees in the yard were cooperating and fully fruited, so I took advantage and harvested some lemons and oranges and had a little crafting time early on Christmas Eve day, my most favorite day of the year. A filling of my trusted crackle-glazed Chinese bowl with lemons and oranges studded with whole cloves and topped with a star anise and crown of orange leaves, and the table was finished. Combined with wreaths made by my aunt 50 years ago that have been on this very table every Christmas for as long as I can remember surrounding beeswax pillars on etched silver trivets with the same glass hurricanes, classic Haviland dishes and stemware from my parents, my sterling flatware, woven mats from Williams-Sonoma (indispensable and used for every meal from high to low and all in-between) and the best Christmas napkins ever, this blast from the past looked familiar, welcoming, and totally fresh. Adding some small glass votives with galax leaves set in silver coasters brought it all together. This just might become the new tradition for Christmas!