I think it is impossible to be truly "fancy" in San Bernardino, CA - especially in the days when the town was just a sun-burned, suburban stop long Route 66. However, as a member in good standing of the Order of the Eastern Star, my great-grandma had plenty of opportunities to wear formals (of her own design and making, of course). Based on her photographs from the middle part of the 20th Century, it seems that every Eastern Star occasion warranted a fancy formal and one simply could not wear a formal without a corsage - particularly at Christmas.
|Even in her waning years, she still donned a full head|
of hair, her own(ed) teeth, and a Christmas corsage. Between the
specs and the corsage, I'm, digging the pink and gold color story!
A Christmas corsage is exactly what it sounds like; overtly festive and overly large, it is like a prom corsage that has been kissed by 1,000 spastic elves. Traditional features include metallic leaves, miniature ornaments, flocked pine cones, bells, berries, holiday figurines, miles of looped ribbon, and sometimes, just sometimes, flowers. If you ever wanted to know what it feels like to be your grandma's Christmas tree, just slap on a Christmas corsage and you're halfway there.
|"Christmas Corsage: Ideal for table decorations,|
boutonnieres, gift wrap trims"
It is hard to say exactly why the Christmas corsage has fallen out of favor as the compulsory holiday accessory for women, except for the fact that on the whole they are cheap, gaudy, and usually quite massive. Oddly enough, these are the exact qualities we seek when selecting our holiday apparel.
|These examples of holiday corsages prove that while granny dear|
was unique in many things - corsages were not one of them.
(Source 1, 2, 3, 4)
It is difficult to think of Christmas corsages as having an entirely-bad reputation; they have become so déclassé that they really have no reputation at all. I don't think most folks would know a Christmas corsage from a tacky assemblage of fake florals and holiday trimmings...oh, right... I suppose it is entirely possible that they are still a part of every festive woman's holiday ensemble in some areas of the world, but this year, I'm making it my mission to pin a little more wacky tacky onto the bosom of American womanhood.
|The inspiration for my crazy crafting came from both the|
photos of my great-grandmother and this lone, vintage
corsage that I had among all of my holiday hoardings.
Because I made all of the women in my life promise to wear a corsage this year, I decided that I had to make a few that were traditional and slightly more subdued in nature.
|Somehow, they still turned out giant, glittery, and weird.|
Figuring that any further attempt at making an understated Christmas corsage would be futile, I started deconstructing and reconstructing every bit and bob in my stash.
|This one started out as a few different tree |
ornaments found at a local thrift store.
|Elements of this corsage began life as a|
holiday spray at the 99 Cents Only Store.
Like a wacky tacky take on the traditional primary colors,
I think aqua, red, gold, and silver might be my favorite
new holiday color combo.
|Cake toppers, tutti-frutti shoe clips, and a repurposed|
flower bunch were the founding members of the
corsage I call, "California Christmas."
One never knows when miniature citrus fruit, roses, and
plastic, beach-party figurines will come in handy.
How do you feel about Christmas corsages - or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa corsages for that matter? Are you breaking out the glitter and the glue gun for some crazy holiday crafting this year? Let us know what you're making.