I had not intended to have a tree, in the dining room, this year. When we visited the Kringles Shops in Branson, I found the blue poinsettias. After that, there was no turning back. Of course, our family knew all along there would be more than one tree. They were also extemely skeptical when I declared there would be no tree in the dining room, in 2008.
Standing in a corner, near the window, the tree is decorated in blues, creams and glittery silver. A copper and blue bow and white poinsettia top the tree. Santa, dressed in white, sits on the floor next to the urn. The Santa was a gift from J, one Christmas more than 15 years ago. I neglected to get a close up of the Santa. I'll make a note to do that and attach it to another of my Christmas posts.
The centerpiece is made from elements of two different arrangements, used in past years. It sits on a Mikasa French Countryside plate. We removed the table leaves, for the holidays.
Simplicity was my goal, in decorating this room. I added blue ornaments and silver bells to the drink dispenser and a Santa, to the shelves that hold my white dinnerware and serving pieces. A bit of blue glittery garland is twined along the top shelf.
More of the blue garland was used on the top of my mother's cabinet. Merry Christmas is written on the glass sign, hanging from the latch. The cream jars are Lenox, purchased at a Lenox going out of business sale, at Osage Beach Outlets. When I see those jars I am always reminded of the day I bought them. I was at the outlets with my oldest daughter Terrie and granddaughter Xanti. J, who was along for the ride, found a bench outside the shops, while the girls and I browsed the book store. When we came out of the store, J pointed out a 75% off sign, in the Lenox store's window. We've never let him live that down. We shopped and shopped that day and the next, thanks to J's telling us about that sale!
The day before we toured Biltmore Estate, in North Carolina, during Christmas week, last year, I shopped another Lenox going out of business sale, at an outlet in Tennessee. I found 12 Holiday dinner plates at $7.50 each. I looked them over very well and could find no flaws, even though they were marked as seconds. I also bought three sets of 4 canape plates, marked at 50% off. I had another great bargain day. I believe all Lenox Outlets are closed now. I miss them and the Mikasa Outlets, which are also closed.
The small round bowl in red, with holly, is from a shop at the lake. The bowl is unmarked. Gathering Family, is written inside the bowl. I have four of these bowls. Something different is written in each.
We'll use the Lenox dinner plates when our family is here for brunch on Christmas morning.
For this setting, I used a square silver charger, from the Tennessee Lenox Outlet. I found only 2 and wish to find more. The dishes are Mikasa French Countryside. Even though J and I were about 40 years old when we married and it was the 2nd time around, I registered at Famous Barr, a May Company store, now Macy's. I was working at Famous and my co-workers encouraged me to register. I had lots of fun choosing patterns and such. I registered for the Mikasa and was touched when my co-workers gave us several place settings, as wedding gifts. I've added pieces through the years. French Countryside is versatile. I've used it in two place settings, pictured in this post. Above, I used Mary Carol (Mary Carol Garrity, of Nell Hill's fame) plates, as accessories.
The duck napkin rings were purchased over 25 years ago, while I was working at Famous Barr. The first department I was assigned to was China, Crystal, Silver and Linens. I later became a flyer or floater and worked many departments, which included "china".
In this place setting, using French Countryside, I added a reproduction cobalt plate and sherbet. The napkin is from a clearance shelf at Wal-mart.
***A reader asked about the chickadees under the hearth room tree. I don't remember exactly where I found them. I've found similar ones in gift and home decor stores.
***Another question concerned Christmas storage. We have a basement. Half is finished, as a "lodge", for J. The other half, unfinished, is dedicated to storage. One section, measuring about 12x12, under the hearthroom, is where we keep our Christmas. We leave the trees assembled. They stand at the edge of the "room". Clear plastic containers are stacked around the perimeter. The hooks, used when pouring concrete, were left on the basement walls. Rather than snip them off, J decided to leave them. They are the perfect solution for hanging wreaths and greenery. I suppose, one day, when we downsize, we will pass along all this Christmas stuff to the kiddo's. They read the Back Porch, so this is my fair warning, to them!
I created a little Christmas "award". There are no rules, to follow, when accepting this button. I'm giving this to each of you, in appreciation for your many visits, kind comments and e-mails, to the Back Porch, during 2007 and 2008. It is my wish you all experience Comfort & Joy, throughout the upcoming Holidays.
Don't forget Trim the Tree Thursday at The Southern Hostess.