I just love setting the Christmas table. Most of my Christmas china is not very fine -- but I love it just the same. And it doesn't really matter if it's Waterford, or Sears Roebuck. If it looks like Christmas, it works for me!
I actually think that the Christmas plate that is shown in the picture above may have been in a detergent soap box in its former life. Remember when you could acquire a whole set of dinnerware and maybe flatware too -- by buying a certain kind of detergent? I'm certain my mom got some of her serve ware that way. Hilarious when you think about it. But what a fun memory!
My mom's dinnerware when I was growing up was the Franciscan Apple pattern. We used it for formal Christmas dinners, and for every day dinners in front of the TV. I still have it, and I use it for various occasions. It's sturdy, and is the most popular raised-relief hand-painted earthenware pattern from Gladding, McBean & Co., which began production of Franciscan dinnerware in 1934 at their plant in Glendale, California.
That's probably why my parents had a set of that type of dinnerware. We lived in North Hollywood, a stone's throw from Glendale, and I'm sure the Franciscan dinnerware was affordable, but also quite lovely.
I remember many Christmas Eves with my mom proudly serving her Chestnut Chicken, Company Potatoes, and Strawberry Sour Cream Jello Mold on a crocheted table cloth made by my Grandma.
For me, the china in my cabinets is a way to connect with the past and the long line of women on whose shoulders I stand. Women who nurtured the body and souls of their families, and celebrated life at the dinner table.