We love the holiday season down here on the Gulf Coast. Whether we’re all bundled up in the middle of a cold front or we’re wearing shorts on Christmas, it’s a magical time of year.
We like to put our spin on things, though. And with fresh Alabama Gulf Seafood on the menu all year long, December is no different.
Fancy decorations, colorful lights, and inflatable snowmen are all joyous displays of holiday cheer, but nothing says South Alabama Christmas quite like an oyster shell ornament. Not only is it a worthy showcase for resourcefulness and ingenuity, they’re truly the perfect size and shape to be hung from the tree.
You always could go the simple route by cleaning off an empty shell and gluing a hook to the pointy end. (This would be especially prudent if you’re doing an entire tree full of oyster shell ornaments.) But if you put in a little more time and effort, you could cook up something lovely that can be kept and used year after year. It’s especially fun for an arts & crafts activity with your children!
There’s no wrong way to create an oyster shell ornament, especially since the base has already been shaped for you by our coastal waters. But if you need a helpful guide, we’d recommend this how-to video from Simple Nature Décor.
And if you’d prefer to leave the design process to the pros—or you just want to support some creative Southerners during one of their busiest seasons—there are all kinds of delightful oyster shell ornaments available on Etsy. Here are a few of our favorites.
Santa Ornaments – Kelly Yeager (Louisiana)
We like to think that Saint Nick is a big fan of Gulf oysters, and when he visits your house on Christmas Eve, he’ll get a kick out of these ornaments.
Grinch Ornaments – Letha Eller (South Carolina)
Oyster shells aren’t just the perfect shape for Santa’s face. Add a little bit of mischief to your tree with these colorful Grinch ornaments.
Blue Crab Ornaments – Paula Crowley (Georgia)
Two Gulf seafood treasures in one ornament! These beautiful, delicately painted designs will add a welcome dose of blue to all that red and green.
Nativity Ornaments – Carrie Nenstiel (Alabama)
For those that wish to honor the real reason for the season, these ornaments pair the noble simplicity of the nativity with a lovely gold trim.
Angel Ornaments – Lina G. (Louisiana)
You don’t have to paint the shell to create a delightful oyster ornament! These lovely angels will be right at home on your tree’s branches—or even at the top.
Holiday Ornaments – Shelby Sapah-Gulian (Florida) / Holiday Ornaments – Laura (North Carolina)
The holiday design possibilities for oyster shell ornaments are endless, as shown by these two crafters. There’s no such thing as too many ornaments on the tree!
If you’ve already decorated your tree this year, well, we hate to tell you this, but…you missed a spot. Look closely, we think you’ll see it. And we think an oyster shell ornament or two is just the thing to fill it.
And don’t forget: The best part about making your own oyster shell ornaments is eating those fresh Alabama oysters! Whether you order from your favorite restaurant or get ‘em straight from one of Alabama’s many oyster farms, enjoy a dozen or two this holiday season, then don’t let those shells go to waste. And if you need a new recipe to try, we’ve got you covered.