Nov 15, 2011

Christmas Decorating: Day 2: The Gift of Friendship

Continuing on in our 12 Days of Christmas Decorating Themes,
today Mrs Glamour~Claus is pondering what could possibly 
be meant by a gift of 2 Turtle Doves?

Turtle doves have symbolised the bonds of friendship 
at least since the Renaissance,
possibly because they form pairs for life,
although that is not uncommon in the bird world.
{The "turtle" in fact refers not 
to the adorable 4 legged creature of slow gait,
but is from the latin "tutur", 
or a description of the low purring song
made by the doting dove.}

So Mrs Glamour~Claus has interpreted today's theme 
as the gift of friendship
with a little bit of world peace thrown in for good measure.
Which means doves, angels, hearts, love, friendship tea
& the curious Victorian tradition of Flower Language 
to symbolise all of these elements.

Certainly not difficult to find decorations of doves at Christmas time.
We could start by hanging garlands of gypsophila,
{which also symbolises purity}
with little paper doves.
Instructions here.

Available from Not on the High Street,
white cutout turtle doves could be used to grace the dining table,
or to hang in the window on pale blue velvet ribbons.

This beautiful graphic could be used to print cards, tags or serviettes.
It's from Graphicals on Etsy as a download.

A wreath of olive leaves, hung with doves & hearts?
Yep, that suits our theme to a "t".
That covers world peace nicely.

That lovely trilogy of Peace, Joy & Hope appear as delicate stampings
on these letterpress tags by Western Australian Fluid Ink, 6 for $5.

And again as tree ornaments, from Nest UK.

Speaking of hearts, friendship bracelets would make 
wonderful gifts to suit our theme. 
This beautiful one is made by my friend in Brisbane, 
who also writes the hilarious "Here I am Loulou" blog,
in between making jewelery and covered buttons. 
A busy gal.
It is an absolute joy to wear & people keep asking me where I got it.

The traditional Swedish paper hearts, 
which we used to make as children every Christmas
{taught by my Swedish cousins}
are gorgeous hanging on the Christmas tree, suspended on garlands,
or given as gifts filled with little biscuits or chocolates.
Instructions to make these ones here.

DIY Crayon coloured hearts & heart placeholders from Martha Stewart 
can be made in a suitable colour to tie in with our theme.

And if there is no time for home made decorations, 
you can buy this stunning paper angel ornament from Crankbunny {$9.50}.

Or these paper angels from Donna Hay {19.95}.

Cherubs & angels were a popular motif in Victorian times,
which also brings us to Friendship Tea & the Language of Flowers.

In Victorian times, perhaps nothing symbolised friendship more than 
sharing a cup of tea, which would make teacups the perfect thing 
to hang on our Friendship Christmas Tree.
{Print available here.}

This gorgeous little ditty, 
written by the always busy Anon,
was used on tins of Christmas tea in days of yore.
You are welcome to print out this graphic as a little gift tag, 
attached to a tin of delicious tea, or to a pretty vintage teacup,
as a gift of friendship.

In the charming Victorian custom of using flowers as a means of 
communication between lovers, 
honeysuckle represents devoted affection + bonds of love. 
So it would be a glorious addition to our Christmas decorations,
in either yellow and white (shown here from my garden) 
or in pink and white.

Roses represent love. 
Red ones = outright love; 
yellow ones also mean friendship.
So how about making some paper roses
from red, pink & yellow paper, 
to hang on the tree, pop onto presents, and dot about the house.
Instructions here.

A friendship theme means you can choose from several colours
to work into the overall scheme.
White, of course, for peace and purity, as the main colour.
Then pick one or more of these:
Pink & Red for love.
Yellow for friendship.
And pale blue, for world peace.

And for plants...white pear blossom symbolises lasting friendship,
while olive branches mean peace
& roses represent love. 

So we could have an olive tree for our Christmas tree, 
hung with garlands of paper pear blossom & flowers of rose. 

Doesn't that sound pretty?
In case you missed the earlier decorating days, you can catch up here.

Teacup artwork: blue fruit. Turtle Dove print by John James Audubon, 1964.
Honeysuckle & rose image: blue fruit's garden.


  1. Hi Miss Virginia

    I have been overdue in my visit to you and commenting and it looks very forward and precocious of me to drop by the day you mention my bracelet (though, THANK YOU x)

    I'll have the garlands and tea cups thank you  - they are lovely and all about friendship to me.

    but before I go - I will have a suck on those honeysuckles too - I remember them from my parents vine at their house when I was a child and sadly I don't know when it disappeared.

    Have a wonderful day,

    loulou, from hereiamloulou blog


  2. Jane and Lance Hattatt15/11/11 8:42 AM

    Hello Virginia:
    The gift of friendship is a precious gift indeed, such a good idea to take the time to be in touch and let them knowhow much they mean to us, wherever they may be throughout the world at Christmas.

    You show so many absolutely beautiful decorating and gift ideas here, we are spoiled for choice. Lord Berners, an English eccentric, kept doves and dyed them in pastel colours. When they flew into the sky it was a if a packet of sugared almonds had been scattered to the wind!!

  3. I love the angel ornament ideas, I have a few glass angel ornaments which I put on my tree every year and they are gorgeous!

    LR @ Magnificent or Egregious

  4. So much to love here - the letterpress tags, the turtle doves, the beautiful angels, and my favorite the teapot ditty...wonderful!!

  5. What a gorgeous way to look at the song. I have a very close friend living in Brisbane. I love the idea of sending her the tea poem. I can't way for the next instalment by Mrs Glamour- Clause:)

  6. Georgica Pond15/11/11 2:58 PM

    Gorgeous - especially love the image of the artwork at the top, with the turtle doves, wouldn't mind a pair of those for my wall. 

  7. just gorgeous.  love all the fresh white....for the holidays!

  8. Annie Loveridge16/11/11 7:27 AM

    This is so lovely Virginia - such beautiful images and kind words. Your friend is very clever - the friendship bracelet is lovely. Simple and stylish.
    On another note entirely, I made your Coriander and Chilli Pesto on Sunday and it's made it to every meal since! Think it will go well with tonight's roast chicken too and then I'll be making another batch! Thank you so much. Annie x.

  9. A fabulous coincidence Loulou! Ah, now you have brought back memories about the honeysuckle. We used to do that as children too, and I had forgotten all about it. And here they are growing rampantly on the back fence, and I have withheld such a pleasure from my own children. Will put that to rights immediately. V xx

  10. Hello Jane & Lance. What a crazy and fascinating fellow he must have been. I wonder what the doves thought of being coloured??? But I can imagine just how pretty the effect must have been. V xx

  11. Oh you are lucky! I have a cat who likes to climb the tree and play with anything glass so we have a very sad tally of exquisite hand blown German glass ornaments which ended up as glittering shards on the floor, and a cat with a "who me?" expression on his face sitting amongst them. I never learn - each year I buy more - and each year he does the same thing! Vxx

  12. Yes, isn't it the most adorable ditty? I couldn't find any origin for it - but it has been around for over a hundred years. I just love it! V xx

  13. I would be tickled pink if you sent her this poem as a Christmas gift, Julie-Ann. Such a simple reminder of how important friendships truly are. V xx

  14. Hello Mel! Check the link at the bottom of the post because it goes to the Etsy shop which is selling these prints. They have amazing detail, don't they? V xx

  15. Just can't seem to go past white for Christmas, it goes with any other colour and yes, it does have the vibrant freshness. And what I love is that it works as a snow reference in the northern hemisphere but also as a summer colour in our southern hemisphere. So everybody's happy! V xx

  16. Oh Annie I am stoked about the Coriander Pesto success! Yay! Between us we can represent its fabulous versatility across the globe - such an amazing sauce to be able to go with seemingly any cuisine, imparting its healthiness as it goes. V xx

  17. Thank you for posting these, they're very handy :)


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