13 Days of Christmas

O.K. I missed a few days. Everyone needs a little vacation now and then, right? Christmas parties and shopping and schoolwork and remodeling got in the way of my daily posts, but I’m back with a new energy to take our countdown right up to the big day!

Depending on who you talk to, people consider my love of dishes either endearing or crazy. My husband falls on the “my wife is crazy” side, but despite this, I have to express my appreciation for his willingness to do the dishes after we have one of our all-out dinner parties. I do have other friends who are right there with me, setting their tables with seasonal decor and enjoying mine. As we count down the blessings of Christmastime, I’d also like to give a standing ovation for all of those display people who work in retail at this time of year. I really appreciate what they do to raise my spirits at Christmas (and sometimes cause me to open up my wallet).

Just a quick walk through the mall last week brought lots of visual delights. Here’s the “12 Days of Christmas” plates from Williams Sonoma. I’ve always wanted these, but they are pretty expensive and I already have lots of Christmas plates. Still… they are gorgeous and fit my family traditions perfectly.

Crate and Barrel never disappoints me, but they really pull out all the stops for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The sensory overload from the colors and shine is enough to bring on a seizure, but oh, my. Can I resist that bright green against the red? I could mix these linens with my mother-in-law’s very traditional green and gold-rimmed china. See, I can rationalize just about anything when it comes to dishes, and I think the green vase is just drop-dead-fabulous.

Or this cute modern stripe on the runner and the ruby glass with the fifties-inspired plate. I could do that, too. It would look absolutely smashing with my red sofa…

This modern setting isn’t really me, but the joy of dishes is that you can always buy it for someone else. I do like the mix of textures with the plain red glazing, the dimensional linens, and the wooden coin place mats.

And who can resist jewel tones for the holidays? I could probably figure out how to use these saturated purple and turquoise pieces somewhere.

When you think about, dishes really do make magic. The looks on the faces of your family and guests when they see your beautiful table is worth the little bit of extra work it takes. Although people these days seem to have strayed away from collecting and using real dishes, creating a fantasy at your table will take even pizza to a higher plane. As long as it will go into the dishwasher, why wouldn’t you use the prettiest thing you can to make your family and friends feel special? It’s not crazy, it’s just fun.

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