Christmas In July

Christmas In July

As celebrations with family resume, here’s a fun Christmas-in-July-themed tablescape to liven up a midsummer party.

Floral design, photos and text by TJ McGrath @TGMcGrathDesigns

Fresh botanicals courtesy of  The Floral Source and Ferris Brothers Wholesale Florist Confections courtesy of  The Peasant Baker

I grew up in a large family with eight siblings, and on Christmas morning, our family room was so packed with gifts that there was hardly a place for all of us to sit and unwrap presents. Because of my experience, I like to create “fantasy” tablescapes  that are packed full, like our family room was, and deeply layered, to create a feeling of abundant bounty, with hardly an open spot for people to sit and enjoy all the goodies.

TJ McGrath Tutorial Christmas in July

To create this fantasy holiday tablescape, I curated a collection of vintage milk-glass containers and mixed them with more contemporary vessels. For my traditional red-and-white color palette, I selected all white flowers; red-and-white place settings; and red fruits and veggies, including ‘Bing’ cherries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, apples, bell and cherry peppers, pears, and even watermelon, to make Christmas-tree-shaped cake toppers. Bell peppers, when sliced in half horizontally, can serve as great vessels for miniature arrangements or single blooms.

Step – By – Step

Step 1
Choose a large milk-glass container to create the main centerpiece for the center of the table and/or buffet. Secure a hairpin holder into the container with adhesive clay, and arrange a varied selection of flowers into the container.

Step 2
Choose additional smaller containers and vases—or even bell peppers—and create monobotanical designs in some of them and fill others with flowering plants. Place them to accessorize the main centerpiece.

Step 3
Mix into the collection tiered serving stands filled with a variety of fresh fruit and confections, like cakes, cookies and candies.

Lay stems of seasonal foliages and a few pieces of fruit on the table and/or buffet.

Finish accessorizing with taper and pillar candles.



  • Papaver rhoeas ‘Amazing Grey’ (corn poppy, field poppy, Flanders poppy, Shirley poppy)
  • Papaver seedpod (poppy pod)
  • Paeonia lactiflora (Chinese peony, garden peony)
  • Rosa ‘Alabaster’ (garden rose)
  • Rosa (spray garden rose)
  • Hydrangea quercifolia (oak-leaf hortensia, oak-leaf Hydrangea)
  • Consolida ajacis/C. ambigua (larkspur, rocket larkspur, doubtful knight’s spur)
  • Ornithogalum thyrsoides (chincherinchee, star-of-Bethlehem)
  • Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s lace, wild carrot)
  • Chamelaucium uncinatum (waxflower, Geraldton waxflower)
  • Magnolia grandiflora, blooms and foliage (bull bay, Southern Magnolia)
  • Viburnum , berried
  • Petunia x hybrida, potted (common garden Petunia)
  • Begonia spp. , potted


  • Hairpin Holders (round and oval) from Floral Genius
  • FloraLife® SURE-STIK® Floral Adhesive from Oasis Floral Products
  • Taper candles and candleholders
  • Pillar candles and hurricane holders
  • Assorted vintage milk-glass

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