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Southern Style by Rebecca Masters
Use holiday foods as Christmas dcor
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    Many families have Christmas cooking and baking traditions.  Homemade goodies can be used as décor when decorating for Christmas. Think of unique ways to display cakes, cookies and other edibles. Cake stands with baked goods underneath the dome can become eye catching with Christmas ribbon loosely draped around the base of the stand.  The height of a cake stand creates an added dimension.  A beautiful display can be created when smaller plates in various sizes are placed around the base of the stand.
    Some of us have recipes that have been handwritten by family members. These special recipes can be placed in standing picture frames and set near baked goods or on a kitchen counter with ribbon flowing around.
    Double and triple plate stands can also be used to display homemade goodies. Small glass domes typically made for cheese boards can be used over a plate placed on the top tier of a plate stand. Wrapped edibles or fruit can be placed on the plates without the dome, while items that need to be kept fresh can be placed under the glass. Natural items gathered from the outdoors such as pinecones, sprigs of green, berries, and nuts can be added to food displays for a casual, but natural look.
    Fruits and vegetables that are red or green in color, such as apples, peppers or limes, make a beautiful statement if displayed in an attractive bowl, basket or glass container. Fruit can also be submerged in large glass containers of water for a different look. Remember to change the water every several days to keep the arrangement fresh and sparkling. An arrangement of three or more glass vases filled in this way makes a striking display for a table or mantle. Again, mixing in curled or wired ribbon around the bases of the containers creates a festive touch.
    If there are coffee drinkers in the house, a coffee bar can be set up on a tray with Christmas mugs and decorative sugar and cream containers. Several napkins casually draped over the edge of the tray and a few sprigs of berries or greenery finish this set up. Small packages of coffees can be tied with Christmas ribbons, put in a nearby basket and given to guests that enjoy coffee.
    Homemade goodies to be given as gifts can be wrapped in individual packaging with a Christmas twist. Glass jars show off cookies or nuts inside. Place a ribbon under the bottom of the jar, pull both ends of the ribbon horizontally to the top, and tie a simple bow. The ribbon should be coordinated with your kitchen Christmas décor so that these become a decorative element until given to guests. Sweet treats can also be put in small gift boxes with layers of festive paper inside.  Don’t forget that tins or canisters make wonderful containers for gifts from the kitchen.
    When entertaining this holiday season, show off your food and drinks in clear glass serving pieces. Tie ribbons around the stems of glasses. Seek out food and drink recipes that are festive in color. Garnish with fruits and herbs that add a special touch. Have beverages and finger foods prepared and at hand so that you are ready for guests who drop by during the holidays. Create your own personal style using special holiday recipes, both old and new.     Celebrate with traditions and make memories for family and friends. It’s a Southern thing!
    Rebecca Masters is a teacher who enjoys entertaining, decorating and gardening. She can be reached at
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