As my Christmas Mentor, Dee Hardie, said, "I'd much rather dress the table than the turkey." And like her, "Sometimes I do it days ahead." Our main table, seen here, is in the kitchen and is difficult to set days ahead as this is where we eat, where we work on paperwork, where I stack cookbooks and plan menus. It is where, when family comes, a waffle breakfast is eaten, snacks throughout the day, and where family pitch in and help by peeling potatoes. Appetizers are put out here. Glasses of wine and the ubiquitous unclaimed bottles of water are left here. It is difficult to set the stage ahead at this kitchen table.
So today it is a pleasure to introduce it to you as one of the four Christmas tables for my day of the Tis the Season Blog Tour!
When I saw this lovely and simple 1950's pink china called Dwarf Pine by Taylor-Smith & Taylor, I knew it was meant to be mine. With Christmas eBay gift certificates last year from a son and his wife, I bought a stack of the plates.
I used vintage white cotton sheets for the tablecloth but did buy a pretty gray runner for the center. It and the dainty pine sprigs design on the china, almost Japanese in look, inspired me to have R.H. cut branches of a dwarf pine outside to use on the table. Another son rushed all over town a few days ago to find cans of artificial snow to spritz on the pine needles. I added white Christmas trees and white candles. [I know, the rule is that candles must be lit if on tables, but R.H. ruled that out as too much of a fire hazard with the pine needles so close!]
The bouillon cups are from Austria and the little glasses with white Christmas trees are from Goodwill. We found the stemware at Pier One on clearance and thought it added a modern touch to our mid-century table setting.
If you would like to see more of our kitchen dressed for Christmas, please return next week for a posting. But here is a picture of our punch bowl and glass snack plates, more mid-century pieces, standing next to our main Christmas tree that is full of vintage purple and blue balls and some modern pieces for a little sparkle, with purple and pink lights on the tree.
I think our kids probably hate this Christmas tree, but we had that traditional green tree with all the children's ornaments for decades and now it's my turn to have a grown-up tree. And it has a beautiful glow at night.
Let's move on to tables two and three. Recently I had a post titled "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride" about my longing for a dining room. Where I could indeed "set the stage" early. The only way to get a dining room seemed to be to knock out the back wall in the room below and build out towards the smokehouse. Not even on R.H.'s radar screen, so determined to get a dining room out of this narrow space, I had the boys move in a wonderful old primitive green and black table from my bedroom. Now we can sit four people at it and four at the old red and white enamel table. And I have a dining room!
Table two here is a little kids' Christmas table, even though we only have one "little kid" now, granddaughter Nora. Maybe she could invite three friends!
I tied cool plastic spoons in old cloth red and white checked bows I made over 30 years ago, and tucked in sprigs of holly. The spoons would be good for a children's favorite--Mac 'n Cheese. Colorful Christmas glasses are from Goodwill.
Old red Pyrex bowls could hold cut fruit to be picked up with little fingers.
I'd have to add a sandwich to the Mac 'n Cheese on these red-rimmed Christmas tree plates from Goodwill, called Holly & Spruce, also by Taylor-Smith & Taylor.
There are lots of interesting Christmas items on the table for the kids to look at.
Here we are at table three.
Spode's Christmas Tree has been our Christmas china for decades and here we have it set on one of the wonderful vintage Christmas tablecloths in my collection. They really made linens to last in the old days.
These bread plates called The Old Curiosity Shop have a wonderful clock on the design.
Aren't these little glasses cute? My mother gave them to me and some years I've put candy in them at each place setting.
Look who is already at the table! Zack and Defee's old bears! I hope they don't ask for them back too soon.
Now to the fourth table that is set up in our living room.
One person can sit on the sofa and another one can take the old red chair that was once in a bank.
Another person can sit in the old red Bentwood chair.
The last person at the table has to sit in the old red chair brought in from the garden! The table itself is from the garden and yes, R.H., you did have to repaint the whole table black, not just the legs that show!
Let's have the soup course in these wonderful bowls that came from Goodwill. You find the best things at Goodwill! These are by Vitromaster and the pattern is Metropolitan.
We remove the soup bowls to see what are actually luncheon plates to use for our salad. I have many sets of Copeland Spode, beginning with our wedding china called Blue Bird, but I think these are the loveliest. I bought a big stack of them for under $100 years ago on eBay and they are gold rimmed, crimson border, with a beautiful urn of flowers. They are marked Spode Copeland, Tatman, Chicago. No pattern name. If you happen to know the pattern I would so much appreciate learning what it is.
Next is our dinner plate, our Spode Christmas Tree again, but I do love changing it around this way and mixing these pieces together.
Now to show the chargers! I'm excited about these! I don't do chargers. Don't have the space for them and when I've looked for chargers, the ones I liked were expensive. But I have watched the tables of my table setting gurus, Laurie of Bargain Hunting (and chatting) with Laurie, and Pat of Back Porch Musings, and know what a difference it makes when they use them so beautifully. So when we found the Metropolitan soup bowls and bread plates at Goodwill, I held them up against the Christmas Tree china and they went together like magic. Over two years now I have bought four of the Metropolitan charger size plates. They are heavy to ship and not cheap to begin with so I have limited myself to four of these and will continue to set a grownup table for four with them. I wish that two of our engaged grandsons could eat at this table with their lovely fiancés for a romantic table for four.
Here is a closeup. I call them my Modigliani plates as the faces remind me of the artist's work.
All of these tables are set with old linen that I've had for years except for the gray runner for the kitchen table. Like my Christmas Mentor, Dee Hardie, I like old linens. Here is her dining room table with "a great-grandmother's cloth, like Mrs. Cratchit's gown in A Christmas Carol, 'twice-turned but brave with ribbons.'"
|[House Beautiful, December 1983]|
I guess it's time to say goodbye for now. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to each of you. R.H. and I hope you'll visit us here again at Across the Way.
Just to let everyone know that we have been gone all day, driving to KY to adopt two precious dachshund brothers. Now they have explored everything, eaten and settled down in their nest at my feet. I will start answering comments and be making blog visits tomorrow when Otis & Milo sleep! Thank you for the sweet comments, R.H. and I appreciate them so much!