Accomodating Holiday Centerpiece Extraordinare

Spark #4: Teach Me Something

I have a wonderful collection of ornaments and Santa’s by House of Hatten. In fact my husband and father believe my mother and I have waaaaay too many of such things, but Mother and I hold firm that we are NOT letting go one of these treasure until our last breath is exhaled!

While NOT admitting this to husband or father, my mother and I do agree it gets a little harder every year to find enough storage for these collections AND we have been known on some years to ‘skip’ putting out EVERYTHING. It took years to find all the pieces to the Nutcracker series which continues to be my favorite among the treasures but the ornaments are kind of large to hang nicely on a 4′ tree without giving the impression of impending ‘toppling’. 

For years the males in our family have complained the Holiday table centerpieces are too large over which to chat with people across from whom one is sitting and mother and I would poo poo the problem, preferring to point out the esthetic beauty of the centerpiece instead of the utilitarian disadvantages. Then about six years ago I had an inspired thought while admiring a Sur La Table glass ‘Bon Appetite’ Pig ornament I have attached to the bottom of the chandelier over the dining room table. “Why not tie the Nutcracker series to the chandelier and compromise NOTHING!”

If you have a similar situation with compromising the view of guests between one another because of the Holiday centerpiece and there is a chandelier hanging over the dining table,  here’s how to create a magical solution!

  1. Favorite ornaments that are NOT heavy, otherwise you WILL have a major problem
  2. French wire ribbon pre-cut into generouse lengths long enough to attach the ribbon to the ornament but also wrap around the center post of the chandelier and then tie into a full bow with a wee bit of streamer + one additional piece with which to decorage the bottom of the chandelier
  3. Artificial garland at least 4′ long
  4. Imagination
  5. Step stool–DO NOT CLIMB on the table
  6. Shoes
  7. Complimentary colored wire ties
  8. Battery operated lights (optional)

Get all the materials gathered near-by on top of the table you have shoved aside to make room for the step stool. Be sure to wear shoes and NOT socks because you do not want to slip and fall, making a mess of the entire holiday by hurting yourself.

  1. Begin with the garland afixing it to the chandelier closest to the ceiling. My chandelier has chain through which the electrical wire is threaded making it very easy to secure with a couple of wire ties
  2. Wrap the chandelier post with the garland until you reach the bottom of the chandelier and secure the garland with another wire tie or two
  3. If you are going to add battery operated lights, now is the time. The battery compartment is to be attached at the bottom of the chandelier and tucked under the garland for both camoflage as well as easy access to the on/off switch. ( I used a loop of duct tape to secure the battery compartment box to a flat place on the chandelier then pulled a portion of the garden up to hide it. Now begin encircling the chandelier center post with the light cord and every few inches secure the battery light cord with a wire tie until you reach the top of the chandelier. Because of the chain, I am able to secure the tie and cord to it.
  4. Attach French wire ribbon to each ornament using a secure method for attaching.  I make a loop and pull it through the ornament hanger embedded in the ornament then thread the ribbon through the ribbon loop making sure the streamer length is even. I only use 5 ornaments, in keeping with both the number in the Nutcracker series, but also because my mother tells me odd numbers are best when creating a ‘scene’ and any more than 5 would begin to verge on creating too much weight for the chandelier
  5. Decide the spacing for the ornaments keeping in mind the bows are going to take up a fair amount of room and you don’t want to cover up the ornament so much that no one can see it
  6. Fix the first ornament at the top of the chandelier by wrapping each side of the ribbon stream around the center post of the chandelier and then bring both streamers back toward you tying a knot at the top of the ornament before creating the bow. Continue in the same way with each ornament until you have reached the bottom of the chandelier

Because each chandelier might be a little different, some adjustment will probably be required. If you have a knob on the very bottom of the chandelier, you could tie an additional ribbon on it or like me, have the glass ‘Bon Appetite’ Pig dangling from a grosgrain ribbon and bow, which BTW is there all year round!


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