Decorate a Cultural Holiday Event


As December approaches and we plan Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas celebrations, the question arises how we can best dress a celebration space to reflect both the spirit of the holiday as well as a message of hospitality.

For many planners, one of the answers is the judicious use of decorating fabrics in preparing for holiday events. On a large scale – as in covering ceilings and walls – you can use these fabrics in one or two of your holiday colors to soften room lines and to drop ceilings for a more intimate feel in cavernous spaces. You can also wind strips of these fabrics around beams and railings, fashion rope lines, and wrap favors in them.

A proven delightful decorating fabric is gossamer, a nonwoven material that is available in many colors including holiday favorites. Gossamer is quite gauzy and transparent by itself, but gains opacity and depth with layering so it is good for two-tone effects and backlighting. It has a superior drape but can also hold a bow. Cover tables in one of your holiday colors and make table runners from another – perhaps in a metallic gossamer version – that you can also use for tying around chair backs.

Solid color tableware can echo one or both of your table cover and runner colors or introduce a third color, perhaps silver or gold. Add a touch of glitter powder and special occasion centerpieces and you’re ready for a holiday event you’ll be proud of.

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