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Although we’re now well past the official beginning of Spring, in many minds, the true marker of the spring season is Easter. As well it should be—Easter is a holiday of resurrection. And what better way to time a beach trip than the season of rebirth.  When nature wakes from her slumber, and the beaches come alive with wildlife and the bounty of the sea. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself for Easter on St. George Island, keep in mind that treasures from the Gulf.  With their natural, subtle, and sometimes rugged beauty, they lend themselves for use in Easter décor and new traditions. Here are our tips for a beach-approved holiday!

Easter on St. George IslandSand Dollar Theme:

One of the best decorations from the sea are sand dollars, which bear uniquely Christian symbolism. On the top of a sand dollar is a clearly visible star, which represents the Star of Bethlehem, while the opposite side shows the outline of an Easter lily. At the edges of the star are four holes, representing the wounds Jesus suffered while being nailed to the cross, and in the center is another hole, which represents the sword wound to his side. Lastly, when a sand dollar is broken open, five “doves” emerge – the doves of the peace. All of this imagery makes them the perfect addition to your Easter décor! Try scattering them down the center of your dinner table, especially on top of a pastel table runner.

Sky Blue Colors:

To continue the oceanic theme in your tablescape, incorporate the colors of the season and of the beach. Hints of sea and sky blue bring the outdoors in, as do lime green Easter grass or air ferns, and woven, natural-colored grass placemats that resemble sea grass subtly continue the theme. An easy centerpiece can be made by placing a pillar candle in a clear bowl and filling the rest with sand and treasures from seashell hunting. Or, line an Easter basket with raffia or neutral Easter grass and fill with beautiful natural seashells or sand dollars.

RVP Easter Table

Easter Shell Hunt:

A fun way to “beach up” your Easter is to ditch the eggs and have an Easter shell hunt instead. Hide shells for children to search, with a large sand dollar as the prize-winning find. Instead of baskets, use sand buckets lined with Easter grass. And, if you can’t bear to part with eggs completely, paint a fish scale design or your favorite ocean creatures, like seahorses, starfish, or crabs, on traditionally dyed eggs.

The Forgotten Coast is the ideal place to create unforgettable memories this holiday season. While you may find you’re less apt to have to bundle up on gorgeous St. George during the winter months, sugar sand makes a lovely winter white backdrop your bare feet will love even in December. Borrow from the natural wonder of the beach around you to set the beach holiday scene even further in your beautiful beach home with these DIY decorating tips:

1)      Create a shell wreath to welcome beach holiday guests to your seaside abode

Collect cockle shells or jagged pieces of sand dollars and affix to a circular foam wreath with a hot glue gun. You can fashion raffia in to a bow to create a cool, rustic accent or go more traditional with bold red and green ribbon cascading off of your newest holiday décor addition.

2)      Compose a mantel with waterfront focus

You can create a special homage to your favorite elements of the Forgotten Coast by scavenging the shore for fascinating finds like tulip shells, angel wings, caditas, boat shells, and starfish. Carefully clean your beach loot off and strategically place on your mantel, weaving greenery between the pieces. Consider gluing the favorite sea shells of each family member to their respective beach holiday Christmas stockings to add a unique, wistful touch reminiscent of the ocean.

3)      Elevate beach holiday ambiance with a little help from the coast

 Mix merry-and-bright with the beach by adding shell accents to your family’s flickering holiday candles. You can place simple, classic votive candles in cleaned oyster shells to build a place setting that puts you right at the beach even when you’re inside. For larger, pillar candles, use a hot glue gun to fasten cockle shells or delicate baby’s ears around the base of the candle. Then, place the candle on a shiny silver plate or create a row of various sized shell-encircled candles on a white wooden tray. This can serve as a special seaside centerpiece for your holiday meal or be placed on end tables to create a lovely glow during your family’s gathering.

4)      Nod to the nautical with knots

Seafaring culture heavily features thick ropes fashioned into knots for various purposes. You can bring a light, littoral touch to your gift wrap by featuring a nautical knot in lieu of ribbon. After your holiday gifts are wrapped and secured with tape, draw rope around the long and shorter sides of the package, creating a T in the center. Then, create a sailor’s knot of your choosing in the center to bring a bit of high seas-style season’s greetings to your loved ones.

 

5)      Build a tablescape of tiny “trees” using beach treasures

Scan the seaside for cone-shaped shells to use as miniature Christmas trees. Build a tree garden of diminutive proportions as a sweet holiday detail. You can even find small dried starfish to punctuate each “tree” as a tiny topper.