Before Thanksgiving, we borrowed Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet from the library. Fancy Nancy is among our favorite book characters. She inspires the kids to use sophisticated vocabulary words and to behave with their best etiquette. In this particular book, Nancy has the opportunity to dine with the adults, away from the “kid” table. Naturally, our kids wanted to do the same. Just before packing away our fall decor, we decided to have a family dinner in our formal dining room with ceramic plates instead of our usual plastic fare. The kids relished every second of it, and we were pleasantly surprised with their outstanding table manners.
When I set the table for Thanksgiving, I realized the table stayed pretty all season and didn’t collect junk. I wanted to do the same with Christmas décor, so I set out to create an elegant Christmas tablescape. George and I have twelve place settings of fine china, flatware, and crystal. Over the course of our marriage, we’ve used it on special occasions such as anniversaries and holiday meals. In twelve years we’ve probably used them no more than once a year. Why? Mostly because I don’t like hand washing dishes and our china isn’t dishwasher safe. That’s ridiculous. I decided that not only was our dining room table going to be set using our fine china, but we were also going to use it!
I gave the chandelier my usual dressing, garland adorned with my Old World Christmas Wedding Ornaments. They are among my favorite ornaments, but are also quite delicate and are best away from little hands. I then created a table runner with lime deco mesh, which I brightened with hurricane glass filled with candles and silver ornaments. I thought our silver plated nativity was the perfect finishing touch and compliment to our china.
We’ve already used the formal dining room twice this month and hand washing the dishes wasn’t such a hassle either time. First, we celebrated my mom’s birthday with my parents, sister, and brother in law. There was room for all ten of us at the table, and even the quads were allowed to use the china. Then, my college room mates joined us for brunch. On each occasion, our guests presumed the beautiful table was for show, and felt honored when they discovered it was for them. If a milestone birthday and nearly two decades of friendship aren’t worthy of china dining, I don’t know what is.
I’m not sure whether we’ll have more guests over before Christmas or not, but our table is gorgeous and awaiting another meal. Even if we don’t have guests over, our family will enjoy it at least once more before I come up with a winter tablescape.
Do you have a formal dining area or fine china? Do you use it?