Pineapple Christmas trees
Nothing says Southern hospitality like pineapples. Last month, Southern Kitchen contributor Beth McKibben explored how the pineapple became a symbol of Southern hospitality. And the latest holiday decorating trend incorporates this Southern symbol into the holiday season.
Most of us have begun decorating our Christmas trees and hanging twinkling strands of lights on our houses. Incorporating pineapples into your holiday decorations is an easy way to add a Southern touch to the holidays.
Pineapples have been a part of Southern holiday traditions for centuries. Beginning as a symbol of wealth and power, it has transformed into a symbol of friendship and hospitality. “Christmas in America during the 19th century would complete the pineapple’s transformation to that of a jovial spirit of generosity at the center of the celebratory table,” McKibben explained. “Guests were greeted by a towering display of apples, pine cones and holly and fir leaves with the pineapple crowning the centerpiece at the top.
The pineapple was no longer a frivolous exhibit of wealth possessed by a small minority but an accessible gesture of neighborliness and unconditional hospitality. And it still is today.”
The latest trend this season takes the pineapple centerpiece decoration a step further. This holiday season people are ditching their Christmas trees and making the pineapple into a Christmas tree. Adorning the pineapple with lights and ornaments is the fastest way to create this new decoration. If you really want to get, fancy you can spray paint the pineapple in festive colors like gold or bright red before stringing it with lights.
If you want to stick to the traditional pineapple centerpiece, McKibben has perfected the processs of creating one. Handed down from her father, the DIY craft below will be the center of attention at your next holiday party.
Holiday Apple and Pineapple Centerpiece
Hot glue gun
1 (6- to 10-inch wide) styrofoam floral vase insert
1 (10-inch wide) styrofoam disc, 1 inch thick
15 to 20 medium apples
3 inch finishing nails
1 (12-inch) metal dowel rod, 1/4 inch thick
Herbs, holly, magnolia leaves, fir leaves, and other seasonal leaves and herbs, for garnish
Using the hot glue gun, glue the square end of the floral vase insert to the styrofoam disc.
Drill a 1/4-inch-wide hole vertically down the center of the vase insert. Drill a similar hole through the bottom of the pineapple and set aside.
Hot glue the largest apples, stems up, around the styrofoam disc. For all subsequent rows, take a finishing nail and insert the nail head into the base of the apple. Stick the apple in place on the foam vase insert. Repeat with all of the remaining apples until reaching the top edge of the vase insert.
Insert the dowel rod into the pre-drilled hole so that 4 to 6 inches are exposed. Place the pineapple on the rod, making sure it is flush to the top of the vase insert.
Garnish the tower with the herbs, holly, magnolia and fir leaves and place on the table. Spritz with water daily to keep fresh. The centerpiece should keep for about a week.
Photo credit for hero image: Pineapples, Palms, Etc. Facebook
Pineapple Centerpiece: Beth McKibben