I am embracing decorating in the Lowcountry

4 mins read


At a recent coffee gathering with several women, the topic of decorating our homes for Christmas came up. That is when two of the women started to talk about the house they were going to decorate for the “Beaufort Homes for the Holidays” event.

Now I did not say anything, but my first thought was “Why, in heaven’s name, would you want to decorate someone else’s house?”

Not that I am a Scrooge, but I have enough problems dragging out my own decorations.

Then they started to explain all the things they were doing. These two women are very creative, and I was intrigued by the details they were going through to make this home a standout at the event.

Of the seven homes on the tour, five of them are historic and the house they were assigned is one of the five.

So, their intention was to decorate the house, keeping in mind its historic significance coupled with Lowcountry ambiance.

First, they described the oyster shell garlands they had made.

My northern brain could not equate oyster shells with Christmas decorations, but again, I was quiet.

They described the washing and bleaching process, and then, after drying, getting a friend to punch holes in the shells.

Next came the twine. They placed the twine through the oyster shell holes and made garlands. Some of the shells they had spray painted a silvery glow to be used as accents.

My brain started to kick into gear as to what they were doing.

Then they talked about the greenery they were collecting for decorating. It included magnolia tree leaves, pine cones, and palm fronds.

They did admit to having some small non-historic electric lights to help illuminate the home also.

It was while we were chatting that a local arborist, who overheard our discussion, suggested that they could use okra to decorate.

“How in the world would you use okra?” I asked.

She said to take a large vase and fill it with Pink Muhly grass then place a large flowering okra plant in the center. The flower resembles a hibiscus.

She said it makes a beautiful Lowcountry centerpiece.

As I sat there listening, I realized that it was time I embrace some of this Lowcountry decorating.

Afterward, I pulled up the website for the Beaufort Homes for the Holidays and saw pictures from previous years. Decorators used items like Peacock feathers, candles, and Poinsettias. There were also pictures of old train sets, wooden reindeer, and lanterns all mixed in with Lowcountry greenery.

Now I must go see those seven houses on the tour.

After all, if I cannot come up with ideas for my house, at least I can use some of theirs.

Lee Scott, a writer and recent retiree, shares her everyday observations about life after career. A former commercial banker responsible for helping her clients to reach their business objectives, Scott now translates those analytical skills to her writings. She lives on St. Helena Island and enjoys boating, traveling and reading.

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