I am not sure where 2019 went, but it’s hard to believe that Christmas is here again! Perhaps it was the long summer weather, Thanksgiving’s late date, or just the ever-increasing pace of time, but the most wonderful time of the year is undeniably upon us, with parties for hosting and marshmallows for toasting. We at CMM have been as busy as Santa’s elves on the issue you now have in your hands, which is overflowing with festive ideas for the holiday season.
Do you find yourself marveling at the beautiful bows that adorn the perfectly wrapped gifts slowly assembling beneath the tree, eyeing them with a longing to be able to tie such a creation on your own presents for friends and family? On page 80, Melanie Crawford offers simple, crafty ideas to infuse gift wrapping with creativity and style, whether you plan ahead and order themed, handcrafted wrapping paper, or whether you (like me) find yourself assembling odd bits of ribbon and scraps of favorite wrapping paper recycled from last year. As it turns out, both methods can result in an artistic, fabulous package!
As the party invitations begin to flutter in through the mail slot, Katie McElveen — our local Emily Post — offers insight into how to properly navigate the guest protocol for every social scenario, whether it’s an Evite for a casual ornament swap or an engraved, ecru invitation for a black-tie soiree. Glean tips from her article on page 38.
For entertaining in your own home, consider one of Susan Slack’s mouthwatering recipes for arguably the best flavor of the holiday season — caramel! Her recipes on page 64 will have you reaching for the brown sugar and butter before the day is over. Go with us underground into some of Columbia’s best private wine cellars to learn about these local oenophiles’ amazing collection and find inspiration for filling your wine goblets, on page 108.
Just as important as the food in holiday entertaining are the festive decorations. Spice up your Christmas tree this year with ideas from around the Midlands on page 102. These stunning arboreal masterpieces are guaranteed to produce some ornament envy. Jessica and Jim Rourke’s stylish home, featured on page 92, is also full of inspiration for decor this December.
Lastly, this holiday season take time to slow down and relax, remembering “the reason for the season.” Southern Christmases of ages past are beautifully preserved through the classic literature of Archibald Rutledge, South Carolina’s first poet laureate, and Julia Peterkin, South Carolina’s first Pulitzer Prize winning author. (Apparently, Peterkin also graced the stage at the Town Theatre in 1932, playing the lead in Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler.) On page 44, James Kibler explores these writers’ Christmas offerings, which allow nostalgic readers today to enjoy vicariously the traditional Southern holiday celebrations of yesteryear, breathing a little peace into December’s frenzy.
From all of us at CMM, a very merry Christmas and happy holiday season!