[This 1910 article shows several techniques for holiday decorating. Good luck finding the laurel leaves though! Ed.]
It is not only a delight to every visitor to your home, but it should also be as great a delight to yourself to suggest the Christmas spirit in as many ways as possible; and one of these ways is to decorate the house with Christmas greens. The pictures on this page give some novel ideas for simple decorations which may be easily and inexpensively carried out.
There is scarcely a home in the whole country that does not have its holly wreath at Christmastime. These wreaths are often hung in the windows so that they may be seen from the outside as well as inside, and there are other ways, which are easy to follow, of spreading the good cheer outside as well as inside.
On the right (above) will be seen a suggestion for decorating the exterior of the house: its pillars and front door. How charming our small towns and suburbs would be at Christmastime if each house would put out its holly wreath, or its bunch of leaves, or evergreens!
Ropes of laurel leaves, which may be bought by the yard, may be used most effectively, as shown in the dining room on the right, where the strands of leaves are carried around the top of the paneling. It is an easy matter to make these ropes one's self. The larger branches of the leaves are broken up into small sprays and wired together in one continuous strand which may be hung about the mantels, over the doors and across the windows in a great variety of ways. Ropes of evergreens may also be bought by the yard.
The illustration below (on the left) shows an exceedingly attractive treatment for a bay window, where the wreaths are suspended by red ribbons from the curtain rods, and hang inside the sash curtains.
It will also be noticed in this illustration that the electric wall brackets have been effectively arranged by tying bunches of green laurel leaves to the centers of each. A bunch of laurel leaves costing fifty or seventy-five cents, for instance, can be so tastefully arranged that it will at once suggest the Christmas spirit.
A pleasing and somewhat unusual effect may be obtained in the entrance hall by hanging three holly wreaths outside the stair rail, as is shown in the picture below on the right. Also the hanging chandelier may be decorated with small bunches of the laurel leaves.
On the far left below is shown the working out of an idea for tying back the window curtains with red ribbons and inserting in the ribbon small bunches of laurel leaves. This gives a festive look to the entire room, and even somber draperies seem gay and cheerful.
An effective arrangement for a corner which might otherwise be somber and uninteresting is shown on the left. A large basket of holly, with a great red bow of ribbon tied to the handle, occupies the center of a small round table, brightening the whole room. A clever idea which is also shown in this picture is that of inserting little sprays of laurel leaves behind each picture on the wall. If this is done to all the pictures in the room the result will be most charming.
Note: Though not commonly used for wreaths and garland these days, laurel is a beautiful plant and well deserves a place in the garden. Also called Sweet Bay or Bay Laurel, it's a standard herb used in cooking sauces and soups. It's native to the Mediterranean, prefers hot, dry summers and cool but not frigid winters. In climates where temperatures dip well below freezing, your bay should be overwintered in a pot indoors. Small bay plants are particularly susceptible to freezing. If you live in the south, you can grow trees and make your Northern cousins envious as you decorate your vintage home. ;-)
Wallick, Ekin. "Decorating the Little House for Christmas." Ladies Home Journal, December 1910.
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