S.C. under the tree

The holly and the ivy — and the palmetto tree: state symbols add a Southern touch

November 23, 2008 

You can bring home a South Carolina Christmas in all sorts of ways this season.

South Carolina’s state emblem — with its blue background, white palmetto tree and crescent moon — can be found on everything from flip-flops to crystal, making it a perfect gift for locals or ex-pats.

Or try adding a few palmetto trees and a little blue and white to your holiday decor, with the state’s symbol on ornaments, tree skirts and T-shirts. Add to that an assortment of food items that offer a taste of South Carolina for yourself or for gift-giving.

A South Carolina Christmas — all wrapped up.

Add a little South Carolina beneath your Christmas tree with the palmetto tree skirt. Rich greens, golden yellow and deep red highlight the traditional tree skirt. The border features holly leaves and berries, while palmetto trees are at the center of the skirt. The cost is $56 at the Cotton Mill Exchange at the State Museum.


Blue Christmas balls with the state symbol hand-painted on them add a Palmetto State touch to the tree. The ornaments are hand painted by artist Mary Harley and cost $9 at the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop.


These simple metal ornaments, a cut-out circle with the state map and seal in the center, come in blue and other colors. Available at the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop for $5.


Braided fabric baskets in blue or white, with the state emblem attached, are made by Plantation Creations in Lake City. They come in all sizes, to hold crackers, a jar of jelly or a whole gift assortment. This small basket is $12 at the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop in the Caldwell-Boylston House at the mansion complex, 800 Richland St.


How about wearing your state symbol — with a holiday touch? These Tshirts were designed by Ann Gray Jumper of Columbia. She was 12 when she colored this design for her family Christmas card. She and her mother now sell the shirts around the state. The long-sleeve white Tshirt is $28 at the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop in the Caldwell-Boylston house on the mansion grounds, 800 Richland St.


Show your allegiance to your school on your Christmas tree. This Clemson Tiger handpainted ornament is $16.95 from collegefootballart.com. You also can get a set of three USC Gamecocks hand-blown, garnet-and-black candy-cane ornaments to hang on the tree, use as drink stirrers or tie to packages. $49.95 at collegefootballart.com.


Bring the Palmetto State’s emblem into a home office with a metal tissue box, Post-it note holder and pencil jar. The tissue box is $30; $20 for the note holder; and $20 for the pen holder. Available at the Cotton Mill Exchange in the State Museum.


For a gift with a rustic South Carolina touch, check out these state flag designs cut out of scrap steel. Fred Moore of Charleston makes these rusted metal designs — everything from wall hangings (small ones are $35) to votive candle holders ($24). They work well indoors or out, and the finish is a streaked rust patina. Available at the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop.


These Carolina angels — angel-shaped pottery ornaments with the state logo painted on them — are made by Summerville artist Karen DeLoach. They are $12 at the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop.


Let Santa cheer on your favorite team. This Santa plate is available with “Go Gamecocks” or “Go Tigers” (or, for LSU fans, “Geaux Tigers”). It’s $37.95 from collegefootballart.com.


These ornaments aren’t just adorned with the palmetto tree — they’re made from one. Artist Everett White carves and paints fallen palm fronds for wall hangings or tree ornaments. They are $10-$25 at the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop, or see everettwhite.com.


The crescent moon and the palmetto tree work everywhere — even at the top of a wine bottle. These wooden wine stoppers ($20 each) are sold separately or can fit into a wine stopper stand in the shape of the state ($12). Available at Cotton Mill Exchange at the State Museum.


A wooden cutting board in the shape of the state’s palmetto tree adds a touch of South Carolina to your holiday party. The hand-crafted board, made by Just Cutting Up, is $40 at the Cotton Mill Exchange gift shop in the State Museum.


Have an oyster lover on your gift list? Check out these oyster knives from the Charleston Shucker Co. For $23, you can get the Original Charleston Shucker, engraved on each side of the blade. Choose a monogram on one side and the state symbol on the other, for example. Shucking gloves are an extra $5. charlestonshuckerco.com or (843) 819-9070.


This hook pillow features the palmetto and moon emblem on a blue background. It works in just about any decor in your own home or as a gift for a fellow South Carolinian. It costs $38 at the Cotton Mill Exchange in the State Museum.


PHOTOGRAPHS BY KIM KIM FOSTER-TOBIN/KKFOSTER@THESTATE.COM

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