Everyone will enjoy a fresh Christmas centerpiece adorning your table and I would like to explain how to make one. Depending on where you live, you can purchase or cut from your yard evergreens such as pine, fir, cypress, cedar, boxwood or northern bayberry (myrtle). Evergreens symbolize the promise of Eternal Life which Jesus gives to all who will accept and follow Him as their Lord and Savior. They provide healing and fragrant aromas and last for weeks indoors if kept watered. When I use these evergreens in arrangements, I am reminded of the handiwork of the Lord and His choice of plant material from this scripture Isaiah 41:18-20:
“I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it. “

Centerpiece procedure:
Select and gather your greens. Soak 1 block of floral foam in water that has floral conditioner in it. If you don’t have this, you may substitute a solution of 2 parts water to parts lemon lime soda (not diet). The soda adds acidity to prevent bacterial growth in the water and the sugar feeds and prolongs the life of the greens and flowers. If you use instant foam it will only take a couple of minutes for it to hydrate. Place the foam, holes down, in the solution and remove when it stops bubbling. If you use ‘standard’ foam, it will take approximately 20 minutes for this to hydrate.
Cut foam to fit bottom of container. Do not use aluminum or metal containers that do not have a water-holding plastic liner as metals corrode and may emit harmful chemicals. Figure out how many and where you want to place candles and then tape the foam w/ waterproof floral tape to the container, avoiding the candle holes. Place the candles directly in foam…about 1 ½” deep. Now begin placing in greens on which you have cut the stems at an angle (for greater water absorption) and removed all leaves or needles on the end of the stem that will be placed in the foam. Stems should be placed in foam 1-2” deep, depending upon length and thickness. Place stems at the baseline of the container forming an oblong shape. Continue to layer the greens, working your way to the top of the foam, alternating plant materials to achieve a balanced look. Be careful not to place the greenery too high in the design or the burning candles may cause a fire. Once you are satisfied with the placement of the greens you may insert long lasting flowers such as carnations or chrysanthemums. For the design pictured, I selected standard and mini red carnations. I used red hypericum berry (St John’s Wort) for another accent and added a few pinecones which were glued onto wooden pics for easy insertion. The design was finished with small cardinals and wired red ribbon. Small Christmas balls work well as accents also. Be creative and see what other ideas you can come up with to make a unique and beautiful centerpiece for your table.
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