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TideWriters Tales
How to Plan a Shell Christmas
By Florence Jenkins Muse

     For thirty years we had Open House at Christmas and for many of those years we used a different theme each Christmas. One of my favorite and most original was a “Shell Christmas”. Of course I worked on my theme all year because it was to me what the Redskins were to my husband. 

     For attractive shell wreaths, I used the tops of crab baskets for the wreath; the inside of the top was the outside of the wreath, and there is already a fastener on it to hang on your nail. Around the rim, I used green crab rope and tied a bow at the bottom. I placed seven steamed crab shells which I had cleaned well and sprayed with lacquer around the outside of the inside of the rim. In the center of the basket top I glued a piece of foam. On this I put a big oyster shell and tucked holly and other greens around it.

     Of course there were many shell ornaments throughout the house and on the tree. The menu and the dishes in which it was served followed the theme of a “Shell Christmas” and I even found shells made of white chocolate.

     My favorite arrangement was a white bowl in which I had placed blue cedar with its berries and inserted shell roses of pastel colors. For my siblings I had painted small wooden coasters telling the name of their home and I placed these in large scallop shells as a holder.

     Our Christmas card was made of the sand dollar with a writing telling of the sand dollar being The Holy Ghost shell and why. This tied in with the birth of Christ, the reason for the holiday.

     Lots of sand dollars with a tree made of doves from inside of some decorated the mantel, which was laced with blue net and the centerpiece of the mantel was The Nativity.

     There are so many fun things you can do with a Shell Christmas. Use your imagination and have a fun, filled holiday. I’m giving you these ideas early so you won’t be throwing away those steamed crab shells. 

© 2002 Florence Jenkins Muse All Rights Reserved

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