28 December 2013

Christmas Connections

If you've been following my blog, you know that I brought home a lot of stuff from my parents' house while preparing for our estate sale. While I had a hard time making decisions about certain things to keep or sell, there was never any doubt about two particular sets of dishes which belonged to my mom -- her Syracuse china and her holly dishes. I kept most of the Syracuse pieces and all of the holly dishes and actually used them on Christmas. Truthfully, it has been too hard to even look at them, so it was a big deal for me to even consider getting them out this year.

I always loved the Syracuse china Mom collected. She picked up pieces of this heavy white china here and there so it doesn't all match, which makes it especially appealing to me. Most of it has a green ring around the outside, but some pieces are plain white. These dishes are sturdy and practical enough for everyday use, so I kept several serving pieces plus a few pieced-together place settings. You can see some of her collection in this photo from last summer.

The holly dishes, on the other hand, are obviously just to be used for Christmas. Mom didn't use her them very often which always puzzled me -- at least until I took a good look at them. Turns out she had a lot of decorative and serving pieces but only two dinner plates, which meant that her collection was pretty much reserved for dessert. So I used the holly dinner plates to hold cookies and mixed in the Syracuse china dinner plates for lunch. Going forward, I may look into purchasing a few more holly dinner plates on Ebay to make the set more versatile. In the meantime, I enjoyed using her decorative dishes this year and even picked up two more matching pieces at Goodwill for next to nothing!

 I used her two dinner plates to hold Nutmeg Sparklers and Gingerbread Cookies. Dad loved gingerbread and I always sent him home with a big supply.

   This year, Bailey made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies which aren't necessarily a Christmas cookie, but why couldn't they be? They were really good and looked cute on this tree-shaped plate!

I used Mom's holly dessert plates, cups, cream and sugar set, and a few other pieces for my little dessert table. The Starbucks deer do not match but kept appearing in the midst of things (sort of like the Elf on a Shelf!) so I let them stay. :)

 For the actual table setting, I decided to go a little more casual -- mainly because I had to mix and match everything. I also added in my mom's green water glasses which aren't a perfect match but were fun to use for the first time. Sure, the table could have looked a lot more pulled together if I'd given it more thought, but I lowered my expectations for this holiday and just went with it. :)

   Like my mom and grandma, I usually try to make some type of decoration for each place setting. This year I just dressed up some candy canes with die cut holly leaves and twine. Very simple and quick, and it kept me from eating all the candy canes!

My grief counselor reminds me that each object I have kept is a connection to my past, so with that in mind I'm glad that I was finally able to use Mom's dishes. I definitely felt the connection to her, almost like she was part of the day with us. 


Kristina said...

Love your mother's holly pieces! They look beautiful on your table. Even though I get a little sad during the holidays because Mom is gone and we miss her so much, I do get comfort in surrounding myself with the things that she gifted me with or that I took possession of after she was gone.

Janet said...

Thanks, Kristina! I didn't even consider using her things until this year, but I'm really glad I did. With both of my parents gone, it was a big comfort to me having a few special things visible. Thanks for stopping by. :)