Maybe I am just a wee bit biased with both sides of my family being-from-Savannah for generations n' generations but honestly, I have seen a lot of places around the world during the holidays and one of the most enchanting in its romantic, timeless and elegant manifestation certainly is Savannah.
Last year was my first time being back in Savannah for an entire holiday season and I reveled in it!
Being in the historic section of the city in such a pretty petite carriage house rented for a pied a terre' during our moving-transitioning months was a delight with festively decorating its fireplace mantle, having a tabletop tree on a drop leaf table and festooning the black iron staircase's railings both inside and also outside going down,down on into our tiny courtyard garden area.
This year we are settled out here on the water nearby three households of my mother's side of the family and it's been such a joyous holiday season indeed!
In this rambling, large indoors/outdoors kind of house that we have here, I have put up 4 fully-decorated Christmas Trees in various rooms with the largest being over 10 feet tall. Mantles and porch columns n' railings are garlanded with evergreens while wreaths dot the front door, the garage, the river porch's room and an inside hallway as well. Our old nativity creche' has been set up on the library table and the set of porcelain choir boys are singing away in front of an old mirror. Poinsettias are in the silver punch bowl and paper whites are coming up in moss-edged pots on the french baker's rack in the kitchen........yes, this definitely feels like the Christmases I grew up in!
More than any other time this past year of fully being-here, I am feeling most "at home" right now.
The following is a brief listing of the Holiday-ways I feel are Special in Savannah and (but of course) can be found elsewhere as well in other places' variations of festive-translations:
- Using Spanish Moss, magnolia leaves and cones, camellias, roses, ivy and whatever citrus fruits happen to be around in gardens for holiday decorating inside and out.
- Any and all sterling, and silverplate, in the house put-to-use for both entertaining and decorating.
- White orchids or poinsettia plants placed into large silver bowls, especially punch bowls, lined inside with Spanish Moss.
- Saw palmetto fronds top heavily gold-gilded ancestor portrait frames.
- Sterling porringer bowls hold small guest soaps in the guest bathroom while monogrammed baby cups holding single floral blossoms are tucked into small areas around the house such as by the lamp on the front hall's entry way table or on a windowsill at the top of the stairs.
- Cheese straws and candy canes are clustered in silver mint julep cups on sideboards.
- A "Tasting Table" is arranged for setting-out food gifts n' baked goodies to nibble on 24/7.
- Bourbon is baked into cakes, Madeira wine is at hand along with Sherry in an old crystal decanter set out with its tiny coordinating glasses on a tray weighting down a tea cart.
- Sweets and savories include benne wafers, pralines, divinity, lemon squares, cheese straws, spiced and also sugared pecans set out on silver trays and compotes and in crystal dishes.
- Light cut-work white linen tablecloths and heavy white linen monogrammed napkins are put into use in the dining room while plaid tablecloths sport their tartan-reds in the kitchen areas.
- Imported from up-Charleston-way classic sea grass baskets hold everything from clove dotted fruits to clusters of antique ornaments to just received Christmas Cards set out for perusal.
- Oyster shells grace grapevine wreaths out on river dock houses while potted box woods with red bows line brick townhouse steps just steps from historic squares.
- Popcorn-tree white berry buddings intermix with holly berries in tall sterling bud vases.
- A touch of Tartan in red n' green and a touch of brushed Silver is where-it's-at with ribbon bows inside dwellings while the tradition red velvety ribbon predominates outside decor'.
- Old is preferred over new and subtle over shiny unless that shiny is sterling silvered...
Savannah is always enchanting but never more so to me than during the holiday season.....