A festive design for the holiday dinner table can be made by taking a low, broad dish of glass or china, or a wicker or straw basket without handles, not over three or four inches deep. You can get paint liquid gilding (gold or silver) to change an ordinary basket into a high priced gilt basket in a few moments. You want some sphagnum moss for filling, a little smilax to cover the moss, two dozen red Bon Silene rose-buds, half a dozen sprays of white Baby's Breath, half a dozen maiden hair ferns, coarse and fine bouquet wire, wooden toothpicks, and you are ready for business.
Try to get baskets with plastic liners, if not line the basket yourself with a piece of a thick plastic bag. Fill in the moss so it will round up a little in the center; fasten wire back and forth to the edges to keep the moss in. Wire the buds by running a piece of coarse wire through the calyx, bend it down and give it a twist around the stem; wire the Stevia in loose, graceful sprays with the fine wire on the toothpicks, the ferns in the same manner, adding a bit of moss around the stem to keep them fresh longer.
Now lay the smilax on the surface of the moss, fasten here and there with wire bent like a hairpin; put in the buds, add the Stevia and ferns, taking care not to have them look stiff and formal. You will have a pretty design at about half the cost of a florist’s ready made one. Of course this idea can be varied, enlarged and improved upon. Red and white carnation pinks make a pretty combination with the ferns, and will not cost as much as the roses.
Some pretty branches of holly draped over the pictures, a large crystal bowl of long stemmed Chrysanthemums for the sideboard, some for the vases on the mantel, holly wreaths for the windows -- and the dining room will be complete. All that remains, is to cover the table with the best holiday recipes.