Christmas decorating circa 1840 in the Deep South

DSC_0087 DSC_0131 DSC_0124 DSC_0129 DSC_0121 DSC_0125 DSC_0107

only in the South would they decorate with dried okra & Magnolia leaves. But i love the dried oranges, lemons, apples & cinnamon W/ gingerbread men cookies. I would guess that people smelled pretty nasty living in Birmingham, Alabama. summers are humid & hot down South. hanging dried fruit & cookies would have been a big help, we still use these things in other forms to make our own homes smell better. they decorated using fruit…i suppose only the wealthy could afford to do this, everyone else would have canned any fruit or veggies they were able to find…to feed themselves.

The Arlington House. Birmingham, Alabama.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Love how organic everything feels and looks! Very smart and inventing ways to decorate and disguise something “stinky”, genial!

    Like

  2. So simple but so very pretty ..

    Like

  3. ima_soulman says:

    Spicy… Great work…thanks

    Like

    1. Amy Saab says:

      Thanks! Happy Holidays! ~amy

      Like

  4. The Winter bounty of Pears, Nuts, and cheese looked sumptuous! I grew up receiving an Orange in the toe of my stocking, and I’ve carried on the tradition with my children. I was told as a girl Oranges and fruit were very expensive in Winter, and rare to have it.

    We’re very lucky to have Winter Oranges where I live.

    The Okra Wreath looked lovely as did the whole house.

    I run citrus peels through my garbage disposal to help the kitchen smell good. Unfortunately the aroma doesn’t last long enough.

    Great history and trivia in today’s post Amy!

    Like

    1. Amy Saab says:

      OH, Great idea for your garbage disposal. A great way to make your home smell great from oranges or lemons, is to put them into a big pot of water ,bring to a boil & simmer all day. The moisture helps with the dry heat of heating our homes AND the humidity with make it feel warmer at the same time. I have cloves & cinnamon sticks in a pot simmering right now. I LOVED seeing that house. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Glad you liked it. ~amy

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post because I adore natural Christmas arrangements. Wish I had more greenery where I live so I could do so also. Have you visited Williamsburg to see their Colonial decorations? I learned that a team goes around the village each morning replacing any fruit or greenery that looks droopy or withered. Wish I had that team, also!!! Thanks for posting. Merry Christmas.

    Like

    1. Amy Saab says:

      I love natural Christmas decorations as well. I love the history of Christmas…German’s bringing evergreens into their homes during the winter for the smell & the feeling of life. Thank you for liking the post & your comment! Merry Christmas to you as well. ~amy

      Like

  6. kanzensakura says:

    Everybody smelled nasty back in those days! The using of fruit goes back to Colonial times, both in the north and south. Just up north they were a little more parsimonious about using fruit. A wonderful potpourri you can make to sit around, hang from your tree, doorway, wreath….is take an orange and visually divide into fourths. Use an ice pick to make regularly spaced holes along the lines and insert whole cloves into the holes. These actually were carried in special holders and worn by folk in Elizabeth an times, because they truly did smell beyond nasty. Because you have such a good eye for color, you might look up images for orange potpourri balls or pompan.der balls. I think you would like them. I use magnolia leaves in my decorations because they are more plentiful, evergreen, and last long. The Williamsburg style Christmas decorations are lovely examples of Colonial style. My husband and I were married in the summer. I made my own bouquet from fliers in my yard and….used okra blooms as well…large pretty yellow blooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amy Saab says:

      I have done that before, cloves stuck into fruit. I used a lemon & it dried beautifully & three years later, still smells wonderful. Yes, I do know that everyone stunk, but i suppose everyone really didn’t pay much attention to it. To make my home smell yummy & to add humidity to the dry winter air, i keep a big pot of water filled with cloves & cinnamon. I bring it to a boil every morning & simmer it all day long. My house feels warmer & smells wonderful. Happy holidays to you! Thank you for your comment! ~amy

      Like

      1. kanzensakura says:

        The lemon sounds lovely! Blessings to you and your family during Christmas and in the new year.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s