Monday, December 13, 2010

The Smaller Christmas

I am having the smaller Christmas this year as every other year my brother and his family go to my sister-in-law's relatives.  I say smaller because there are less people, but we all know that the preparation is the same, the same baking, decorating, table setting and decor, less food but the same recipes.  Since I have a small family, I will miss that other part of my childhood.  He is my only sibling and my sister-in-law is a good friend,  we have so much in common.  I get over it each year and look forward to the next when we are all together.

The table is set each year with the china I have had since I was first married.  It is Franciscan Rondelay, extinct (only to be found at, overlayed with a depression glass salad plate called Dogwood.  I have Waterford crystal from Ireland (actually ordered from Ireland many years ago) but this year I will use my aunt's depression glass water and wine goblets.  I have brought them to the depression glass shows and no one can name them, close to many others but not the same.  They were one of her wedding gifts in the late 1920's.

Rondelay Franciscan Fine China (small pink flowers with gray leaves) no longer available

Overlayed with MacBeth Evans Depression glassware in the pink Dogwood pattern

An interesting story about her glasses, she had painted her pantry shelves and put the glasses back top down only to realize they had all stuck and pulled off some of the glass rims.  I had them all restored by the crystal grinder (expensive) and have used them with many memories ever since.

Depression glassware, made during the depression years, some sold in dime stores and some made in specialty glass factories.  These were of a finer manufacturing process with flutes, jewels and intentional ripples in the pink tinted portion. 

The Christmas Amaryllis are in their full glory, probably won't be for Christmas.

The tablecloth is vintage overlayed on an older Irish linen tablecloth called Adams.  Both were purchased at antique shops with the Irish linen still being in the box yellowed with age and the Christmas one having several age marks.  I had bought some concoction a few years ago for soaking vintage linens and it worked, both coming out as good as new.  I wish I knew what to tell you it was but I have not been able to find it since.

I bought some LED candles a couple of years ago that are wax coated and I have used them for just about everything including power outages.

They do flicker like real candles when lit (I know it doesn't show in the photo) are safe and will last a very long time on batteries.

I intersperse them with real candles that I do light, but it is nice to leave the LED candles lit even when you leave the dinner table.  I have some pretty glittered ones also that I will put on the living room coffee table.

Birds are a good luck symbol at the dinner table.  I purchased these a few years ago at an after-holiday sale at a local florist shop.  I have them on the table for every holiday meal in some form or other, i.e., next to the Easter display, pumpkins, etc.

I am so lucky because my children are with us for Christmas as we share them with other relatives for Thanksgiving every other year.

I am beginning the non-stop baking that I have done each year for I would guess about thirty-five years, breads, cookies, candies, etc.  When working full time, I baked each year for all of the moms who used to help out in my classroom, giving their time without pay each week throughout the year.  I would enclose a little scented candle with their special bread and some years sugared pecans and white chocolate peppermint.

I am not a fan of faux, but I am beginning to become a fan of the more realistic greens now on the market.  I do not bring any real greens into my home anymore until the last minute.  So, I will mix real greens with the faux greens above and also work in fresh flowers throughout the tablescape.

A work in progress!