In the Christmastime series, the home arts were always made of materials that Lillian, her sister Annette, and Kate and her daughters had close at hand. Sometimes this meant stepping outside to collect greenery, pine cones, and red berries.
A stroll around the orchard, farm, nearby woods — or for Lillian, Central Park — provided a way for them to bring nature indoors and decorate their homes for the holidays with winter bouquets, garlands, and wreaths.
A way to add a splash of color or a bit of charm throughout the house,
or to bring woodland beauty to the mantelpiece.
Orange slices were dried and combined with spices to decorate the Christmas tree and windows.
And of course, the holiday table was made more festive and colorful with holly, cranberries, and pine added to traditional desserts.
The home arts were a simple, old-fashioned way to make the home cozy and welcoming. Then and now, bringing the outside indoors is always a good idea.
In the Christmastime series, baking, preparing meals, setting the table, and having meals together play a prominent role. Cookies and sweets are made days or weeks in advance, and embroidered table runners, bunches of holly, and candles decorate the table.
Below are images of beautiful and festive Christmas tables (all from Pinterest). Whether traditional, elaborate, or simple, a table set with love and a creative touch forms part of the heart of the holiday season.
Small details at each plate and splashes of red and green enliven the table and add interest.
Colorful fruits such as apples, pomegranates, and oranges add freshness and color.
Along with fruit, a few sprigs of greenery and pine cones bring the outdoor world inside and connect the holiday to an older way of celebrating the season.
And, always, candlelight adds a soft inviting glow and contrasts the cold snowy world outside to the warmth and comforts of home.