Saturday, January 6, 2018

Christmas Eve, 2017

It ended up as quite the eventful Christmas by the time all was said and done. On the 23rd, I was feeling just slightly cocky that everything was so well organized.  I could see a wonderful Christmas Eve Dinner and Tree at our house, followed by Santa ClausTree and Christmas Brunch at KC's house Christmas morning.  We weren't scheduled to make the trip to Texas this year, so Christmas afternoon was beckoning afternoon for just the two of us, doing just whatever we wanted to do.  Then came the phone call.  Sweet Mister's sister, who was spending Christmas deep down in Bryan, Texas with Sweet Mister's brother and family, had taken a fall and had broken her leg about one inch above the ankle.  We knew it was a hideous break that would require surgery, and we would need to drive to Dallas to pick her up from her brother, and then drive her the rest of the way home.  Kiss that lazy Christmas day afternoon goodbye. Suddenly everything went into overdrive.  We were still able to pull off the Christmas Eve dinner for KC's family, two of our closest friends and their family visiting from Texas. This night I set a table for 12.  We're in the dining room;  come on in and join us...

 I wanted something a little different tonight.

 I knew that the Williams Sonoma Black Watch plaid tablecloth would lend a relaxed and welcoming tone to the table.

I had been keeping an eye on the California Gold poinsettias at a local nursery.  I couldn't resist them, and they were pretty much the inspiration for my design.  Aren't they wonderful?!

 My choices kept reminding me of a homey table that might appeal to an Anglophile... I headed straight for the cabinets that housed the antique English Oak bowl and biscuit jars.  I relish the opportunity each time that I use the antique Barley Twist candlesticks.

I even went against type (for me) and chose a caramel colored candle. 

Now I was pretty pleased with my slightly different take on our Christmas Eve tablescape.  Five year old Beatrice Emaline, on the other hand, proffered her own opinion, "What in the world was Mo thinking.  Did we really want to have a second Thanksgiving table?"  It tickled me that she cared and knew enough to have an opinion.  I'll obviously need to coordinate plans more closely with her next year!  Lord, I adore that little girl.  I'm gaga over my three grandsons, too, but they show little interest in tablescaping.  If I set the table with an assortment of football, soccer, basketball, and baseball equipment, they'd be right in there from start to finish. That's the way it should be.  They've mainly been concerned about the food on the table.  It's all good!     

 I've had the della Robbia style fruit trees for years.  Some holidays I forget about them, but they offered a level of charm for tonight's table.  "Luca della Robbia (1399/1400–1482) was an Italian sculptor from Florence. Della Robbia is noted for his colorful, tin-glazed terracotta statuary, a technique which he invented and passed on to his nephew Andrea della Robbia and great-nephews Giovanni della Robbia and Girolamo della Robbia. Though a leading sculptor in stone, he worked primarily in terracotta after developing his technique in the early 1440s. His large workshop produced both cheaper works cast from molds in multiple versions, and more expensive one-off individually modeled pieces. The vibrant, polychrome glazes made his creations both more durable and expressive." (Wikipedia)

Let's look at the place settings...

I love these Pier One Copper chargers.  To me they say, "Pull up a chair, relax, and enjoy a good meal and some excellent conversation.  Stay awhile!"

Remember that not all chargers and dinner plates are "married".  To avoid a spinning dinner plate as my guest attempts to cut food, I use 8 1/2 - 9" doilies to anchor the dinner plate.  You may be lucky enough to have piles of wonderful old doilies from your grandmama.  You can also acquire some nice and inexpensive doilies via eBay.  The ones that I use most often are 8", new, and available in ecru or white, in sets of 6 for $13.00 - $15.00 and up.

I am mad for this Hartley Greens Leeds reticulated creamware dinner plate.  

The Williams Sonoma "Flax" hemstitch linen napkin is one of my all time favorites.  This is the napkin that I want to have enough to use for a luncheon or dinner with 10 round tables.

Waterford Simply Lilac is easily paired with the Tiffin Elyse wine.

The antique Fraley & Clark molded knife and fork are easily paired with the L'Argent Sophia gold teaspoon.  Remember!  Never soak flatware that is made with assembled pieces.  Long term, the adhesive that holds them together will eventually become brittle and the pieces will fall apart.  Bummer!

The place setting is complete.  Will you be comfortable seated here?

The menu for tonight:  Beef Tenderloin, Simple Salad, Green Beans, Crescent Rolls, Coconut Cream, Key Lime, and Chocolate Bourbon Pies for dessert.

You've pretty much seen the table from all angles.  No place cards tonight.  Where would you like to be seated?  

Our celebration of the most important birthday party of the year was energetic, relaxed, joyous, and relation building.  I don't know what more I could ask.  I pray that you had a blessed fulfilling Christmas and New Year!  I'm so looking forward to learn God's plan for me during 2018.  Praise and Glory to Him and unending thanks for the gift of His precious Son, Jesus, Lover of our ragged souls.

This week I'm joining:

Inspire Me Tuesday with Marty @ A Stroll Through Life

The Scoop with Confessions of a Plate Addict

It's A Party @ DIY By Design

Entertaining Women
Entertaining Women

Hello, I'm Cherry Kay I was 40 before I realized that I am an artist. I love to paint, work in clay, rubber stamping, design tablescapes, entertain, and share ideas. I'm an interior designer credentials, but lots of experience.


  1. Beautiful as always. Best wishes for the coming year 2018. Be prepared for the best.

  2. I would enjoy being seated anywhere at this table!! B.E. sounds as if she might be following in your footsteps and I love that she is interested in your pretty table setting! It's been fun to watch her grow up - she is beautiful! I love your suggestion of using a doily to prevent the plate from spinning, I have never thought of doing that! As always, I enjoyed every detail and I must say, I have never seen nor heard of biscuit jars - very unique! Happy New Year to you and your family!!

  3. Cherry Kay, this table is magnificent! I've been wanting to use my copperchargers and flatware for Christmas for years now and you've given me great ideas! Your collection of barley twist is wonderful. Love the tartan tablecloth! So sorry about your sis in law. Hopefully she will heal completely. Xo marlis

  4. I like your untraditional Christmas Eve table -- very pretty. I saw some of those same poinsettias this year and they were outstanding! I also fell in love but didn't buy any!

  5. Traditional or not makes no difference when family is gathered round. Your table is gorgeous as always, Cherry Kay. Your carved flatware takes my breath away each time you share it. I parted with some of my mother of pearl flatware and serving pieces recently. I'm trying to edit out what I'm not using, and my first pieces were not the quality that I've come to want now that I find additional pieces. My barley twist candlesticks are some I've not parted with, even though I don't often pull them out to use. I need to remind myself to do that.
    Happ2018, my friend!

  6. Thank you for posting this beautiful Christmas Eve table, Cherry Kay. I hope your sister-in-law is healing well. I enjoyed seeing how you used that tablecloth because I have the same one and also runner and napkins (went a little crazy over it). It always makes me want to try to have a Scottish or English look for the table too. I have used it with Spode Christmas Tree and also with our everyday white Wedgwood Countryware. For me, the tartan napkins are a bit much with the tablecloth and I prefer white ones, but the plaid ones look cute with the runner. You carried out the warm neutrals beautifully with the cloth-- the flax napkins, copper chargers, caramel candles, gold poinsettias (so striking) and the Della Robbia trees. That was really subtle and nicely done. I liked how simple your menu was, and absolutely delicious. I am really working on trying to simplify menus and somehow it is not easy for me! This year I served Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, Christmas dinner, and a big New Year's Day buffet. The most fun part was Christmas Eve, when our dear friends came home with us after church and we had hot crab dip, take-out Chinese, and chocolate raspberry bundt cake-- that was easy and fun and I need to learn to always try to make meals the easy way! -- Oh, and your granddaughter is a delight!

  7. Hello, I am new to your sight and have been on a computer-binge reading every post since inception. You are an Inspiration and a Marvel with your settings & backgrounds. On one of your older posts I saw your "Old Avesbury" pattern & I was thrilled. It was my choice of wedding china (that I never received, however.) I ultimately received (15 years later) white patterned Rosenthal instead. I am trying to emulate albeit on a much smaller scale. I now have 2 more sets of antique china (much to my hubby's dismay) procured at incredible bargain prices along with different serving pieces and chargers & linen. Might I add that I'm doing this later in life. Please, I haven't seen any posts since your Christmas design delight. I hope all is well with your family and that you continue for many years to come.

  8. Cherry Kay: How did I miss this brilliant post? My favorite elements: The tureen, the Barley Twist candlesticks, the gold poinsettias, the Blackwatch tablecloth. . . I adore this table! Your granddaughter’s comment made me chuckle. You’ve planted the seed! Now she’s hooked! The first time I saw doilies on top of a metal charger, was in Granada, Spain, but I’d forgotten all about it. I need to get some now. Thank you for the tip. The whole table evinces your excellent taste. You could serve hot dogs and potato chips and no one would even notice because they’d feel so special. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration!


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