Notes from the Field: Joys of the Season

December 3, 2012

By Karin Lidbeck Brent

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is just getting under way. For me, it is the merriest time of year.

The magic of twinkling lights everywhere as the sun sets at night is the first sign of the holiday season, adding much cheer to the now dull wintery landscape.

Photo by Tria Giovan

This weekend, I’ll get out my clippers and cut fresh greenery, holly, winter berries, juniper and what ever else I can from the garden and start to make arrangements inside and out. I like things simple and natural, like this front entrance I styled at a magical log cabin home in the Berkshires.

Photo by Tria Giovan

The variety of winter wreaths on doors that welcome us inside is a wonderful, universal symbol of the festive season.

I’m partial to the look of this wreath I created for Good Housekeeping using a grapevine wreath base with blue juniper, seeded eucalyptus and artificial apples.

Photo by Michael Partenio

The availability of beautiful garlands of greenery at local garden centers can make styling an entry stairwell an easy task. Choosing a thick garland of simple white pine and adding bows of white linen fabric creates a look that it simple, but stunning.

Photo by Michael Partenio

Placing a length of cut garland across a mantle is an equally easy and elegant accent.

Photo by Michael Partenio

I adore Amaryllis, the queen of holiday flowers. You can order cut amaryllis from the florist instead of buying the plant. I came up with the idea of using a pineapple for a vase, the symbol of hospitality! Placed in a bed of cranberries it’s a creative way to make a stunning centerpiece for a holiday gathering with friends

Photo by Michael Partenio

My passion for decorating the Christmas tree never tires, which may have something to do with my family history.

My great great grandfather, Edward Johnson, was Thomas Edison’s assistant and vice president of General Electric. He was the first person ever to have electric lights on his Christmas tree in his home on 5th avenue in NYC in 1882. It is actually written that he is the inventor of electric Christmas lights in a history book

It’s fun to think, that in part, I owe the hundreds of trees I have styled and created to my great, great granddad.

Photo by Michael Partenio

Embracing the chilly air of December, I’m dreaming of a White Christmas, even just a dusting of snow, to make my vision of another holiday season complete. Is there anything prettier than laden boughs of fresh fallen snow?

Photo by Tria Giovan