In Which I Dish On China

A few days ago David helped Mother / Martha / “Martie” move into a garden home (oh, the stories. THE STORIES.), and when he made it back to our house Sunday afternoon, he walked in the front door with a special treat.

GIN!

Oh, I kid. Kiddy McKidderson Kid.

Because do you know what’s really inside that box?

CHINA!

I know that might not seem very exciting to a lot of people, but let me tell you: I am such a fan of pretty dishes. Apparently I inherited the loves-pretty-dishes gene from my mama, and I have been crazy about china since I was in high school. It makes me laugh that I can be so sentimental about, you know, PLATES, but I totally am. I remember all the dishes my mama has ever owned, and if I ever happen to run across a full set of the everyday pattern that she used when I was a little girl, I’ll probably cry just a little bit.

Now I feel like I should go hide. Perhaps I’ve overshared.

Anyway.

Since Martha’s new house doesn’t have quite as much storage space as her old one, she was very sweet to give me 12 place settings of a china pattern that David’s daddy bought when he was stationed overseas back in the 50s. I can’t even tell you how much I will treasure it. The pattern is Noritake LaSalle, and I LOVE IT. It’s so different than anything else I have – I think it’s delicate and retro and modern all at the same time.

By the way, I’m pretty sure that you’re officially a grown-up when you enthusiastically snap a picture of a covered vegetable bowl.

But DID YOU NOTICE THAT FUNKY HANDLE? ISN’T THAT THE GREATEST THING YOU’VE EVER SEEN?

It took me all of five minutes before I started trying to figure out how I could mix the new-to-me pattern with dishes I already have. My fine china is Lenox Eternal, and I love how it looks with the LaSalle salad plate. I think they’ll look sassy on top of some charger plates I bought a few years ago at Old Time Pottery – they were a whopping $1.50 a piece, I think.

Won’t they all be so purty together on Christmas day? Is it wrong that thinking about all the mix-and-match china makes me a smidge giddy? Do I need to go hide again?

Maybe I need to go hide again.

I love the cups and saucers, too – even if the cup will only hold about two tablespoons of coffee. Because those two tablespoons of coffee will look fab next to that kicky handle, now won’t they?

So what about y’all? Do you use your “good” dishes on Christmas day? Do you have a favorite Christmas pattern? Do you like to mix and match the dishes you have? Or do you save yourself the headache of having to wash a bunch of dishes and just break out the paper stuff instead?

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Comments

  1. We live overseas right now, and I put all my good china in storage in the US before moving. Now, one of the reasons I kind of want to move back to the US is to get it out.

    If that’s not a strange (ok, possibly stupid) reason for a relo, I don’t know what is.

    And, no, I don’t think you’re over the top about china at all. The handles are awesome. Take pics – use it all! My grandmother thought the reason women outlive men was getting up after the big holiday meal to do all those dishes. So, in using them, you’re actually contributing to your health (and that of all the people you make help you clean up)!

  2. My Pfaltzgraff Christmas pattern that I was working on got discontinued after three years. Go figure. I do have a set of candlewick china passed down from my mom. If you know candlewick, it is clear. I sometimes use it even though she claims it is worth a small fortune and I am rather ungraceful.

    I love looking at china patterns. I love looking at yours!

  3. I also have Lenox Eternal! The reason I chose it 10 years ago was just so I could mix and match it! I usually do just what you have done. Use the Eternal dinner plate with a Christmas salad plate. Or something else that just looks pretty.

  4. I like to mix and match or change it up a bit myself.

    I don’t really love my “fine china” like I did when I picked it out 26 years ago. Funny how your taste can change with maturity.

    Anyway. I use two different kinds of dishes together or separate depending on my mood.

  5. Sophie, you are just darling. I also love the china/glassware, and I got that gene from my gramma. She had a china cabinet that was jaw dropping. I LOVE the retro, delicate, hip china you’ve been given – what a great gift and treat. Have a blast working it in. It looks great with your china. I’m a little bit jealous!

  6. Katherine says:

    Sophie! My dad brought the EXACT SAME dishes back from Korea when he was in the Navy!! I can’t tell you how many Thanksgiving and Christmas meals I have eaten on these over the years -they are sitting in my parents china cabinet right now. Your Lenox Eternal looks great with them, and I have the same chargers, too. You have GREAT taste! LOL

  7. My mum always used the China on Christmas Day. We didn’t use it very often, but I always enjoyed our big, fancy Christmas dinner.

  8. LOVE the funky handle on the covered vegetable bowl! I love china too. Someday I’m going to have a “China Room”, just so I can display cool pieces.

  9. Michele Albert says:

    I LOVE DISHES!! I currently have five sets of dishes, three “everyday” and two “china”. For the big functions I use one of the everyday sets so it can go in the dishwasher but when we just have a few people over, I love using the china, especially my Grandmothers. It makes me happy to remember all of the times we ate dinner at her house on her lovely china.

    Congratulations on your “new” set and enjoy it!!

  10. Lots of us gals love china! That is a beautiful gift and should be a lot of fun to play with. Did you know that Southern Lady magazine often has articles that are ALL ABOUT mixing and matching pieces of china and linens and centerpieces to come up with new looks? Have fun!

  11. When we got married, I chose Mikasa china that I could use everyday. We still do, after 18 years!

    To mix things up, I bought some red and silver chargers (at the Big Lots for $1.50 per!) that we’ll use on Christmas Eve. Can’t wait!

    Love the funky handles. Can’t do better than funky handles.

  12. I.LOVE.CHINA.

    It’s a sickness really. I have four sets of dishes, plus lots of misc. pieces that just catch my eye at thrift shops and yard osales.

    I got my fine china set at a yard sale for $25!!! It was the bargain of the century. My husband wanted me to take it back! He said, “I don’t think the lady knew what she had!”
    I said, “Honey, yes she did. She told me she never used it anymore, and she was glad it was going to someone who could use it.”
    I told her I’d cherish it forever.
    My husband even made me call an elder from our church and ask if it was OK to keep it! haha She said, “Did you ask her to take less money than she was asking?” I said, “No”
    She said, “Then I think it’s fine that you keep it.

    Great story I love to tell!

    Oh, and I love to set a formal table! It was quite a shock a few weeks ago at Thanksgiving at my cousin’s house….she served us on Chinet paper plates! ;)
    But it was all good, cause I was with my beloved family!

    Amy

  13. WOW! We were stationed in Japan and Noritake is great stuff :-)

    My mother in law gave me her china a few years ago and we plan on using it this year at Christmas since we are going to be in our own home. I can’t wait!! It is a very simple pattern but I think that is why I love it. It’s beautiful in its simplicity!!

    Oh, and my daughter is almost 18 but started buying her first pieces of China at 16.. she has her own unique style and loves any china that is torquoise blue :-)

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  14. Hello. My name is Lysa. I am a dish addict. Seriously. I LOVE china. Mostly I’m a paper plate gal. But, on Christmas it’s all things, all meals, on China.

    Love your new/old set.

    Gorgeous!!!

  15. I may lose my Southern heritage after admitting this BUT I use the best and finest Chinette plates that they have to offer.

  16. LOVE those! I say whenever possible, use the china! Life is too short not to enjoy your beautiful things. Enjoy your fabulous new plates!

  17. Sadly, 4 years ago my Grandmother’s china was stolen!

    I lived in an apartment building with LOCKED storage in the basement. I sold my china hutch (long story) and thought my china and other items would be safe in my locked storage (I lived in a one bedroom apt with zero storage). Sadly, a bolt cutter was all that was needed! I was so upset and they were never found.

    However, that aside, I am tickled that you got a wonderful set of dishes! And I agree–that lid handle is awesome!!

  18. I LOVE dishes. I know just how you feel! If I had the chance, I’d fill a whole room w/ different patterns of china and use a new one every day! What is that about? I get emotional too, when I see things Mom had. I use Lenox Holiday at Christmas (and all during the year) It’s fun to mix and match stuff with everything. Merry Christmas!

  19. Oh my, LaSalle is beautiful, just beautiful. I share your delight in pretty dishes.

    I have Lenox Eternal and love to mix and match with my grandmother’s china. Usually the *good* only came out on holidays and special occasions; but I recently found out one set that my grandmother had given me was named Queen Esther, I moved some pieces to the everyday dishes cabinets. The teens and I have done Beth Moore’s Esther study and I just can’t resist handing them a fruit cup and saying to them, “You were born for such a time as this.”

    Oh, I’d love to sit at your table and have a few tablespoons from the lovely little cup.

  20. Oh my! I didn’t realize that there was a “loves pretty dishes” gene! And I have it!!
    A few years ago, my mom bought some Christmas dishes for us and I LOVE them! They’re not fancy, just a “store brand” but I love that because I feel like we can use them every day and put them in the dishwasher. She bought me another set this year, with a different pattern, which I was ECSTATIC about because I can now mix and match!!
    I also purposely picked white-on-white wedding china so I could mix and match it with anything. AND I DO! And I pull it out and use it at the slightest provocation.
    OK, I’m done with this long comment!
    Merry Christmas!!

  21. Wonderful! I too have a passion for dishes and recently added a set from my grandmother. It wasn’t her “good” china, as we never were allowed to use her “good” china, strange I know. But this is the set we always used, so I’m so excited to add it to my collection. I have 6 different sets of dishes!

  22. Heather BC says:

    I too inherited the china gene – from my mother and somehow from my mother-in-law too! I am just starting a collection of Spode Christmas Tree China and I am in love.

  23. I love your new plates! We have a set of Spode Holiday Rose that we will use on Christmas Day. I also have 2 sets of ‘every day Christmas china’ that we use from Thanksgiving until New Years. I let my children pick which one we use each year. (We also have 2 sets of year-round everyday plates.)

    And, I’ve always loved that my grandmother started giving me sterling serving pieces of different patterns when I was little. I think it makes my table look so interesting to have the different patterns.

    Merry, merry!

  24. My mom has Lenox Eternal and uses it with her Christmas china each year. I do not have fine china, so I, at this point in my life, do not set a pretty table.

    I love the gift you received and the pattern of the china. What a special gift!

  25. Fellow China Lover,
    China addiction is less detrimental to ones health than MOST other vices. Indulge. I like your mix/match pairing. The handles are DIVINE!

    I only own 4 sets of china but have about 6 more over which I lust… If you ever get a chance to visit the Replacements Limited location in NC. Take it – its like disney world for china lovers only better!

  26. I have to admit….I love me some dishes! I would rather have a new set of china/dishes than jewelry, etc.

    However, I knew I was getting old when I found my “everyday” wedding china in a little antique shop a couple of years ago!!
    I’m still hanging on to it…..Harper might find it groovey someday!!!
    Have a Merry Christmas, Sophie!

  27. I love this post and your new dishes! I come from a long line of women who love dishes. My own grandmother has sets of dishes under every bed in her house because she ran out of storage space decades ago. It’s a longstanding metaphor for the “heritage” we all claim. Enjoy using your new dishes on Christmas Day!

  28. I love your new china!

    My mother gave me the complete set of Nikko christmas dishes with the provision that I host Christmas dinner every year. Which I do. I love having my family at my house and I can’t wait to get them out every year.

  29. I love dishes too. I inherited that from my mom who inherited it from her mom. Anyway, I have mix and match Christmas dishes for Christmas time. I LOVE them, just as much as I love my fiestaware and my Johnson Brothers red dishes!

  30. Love, love, love dishes as well. I have two china patterns – one was my mom’s and one was my grandmother’s. I’ve been looking for several years for a Christmas pattern that I like and the closest thing I’ve come to liking is Pfaltzgraff’s Winterberry. I’d buy that except my mom has the whole set and I’ll probably end up with it one day! (Not wishing that would be any time soon, just being realistic!!)

    So what to do? Since I don’t cook on Christmas (I’m always at Mom’s using her Winterberry china!)…I don’t guess I really NEED Christmas dishes yet. Maybe when my grandkids come along and they are all coming to my house for Christmas then I’ll borrow that Winterberry set. But for now, I’ll just go to Mom’s and admire it!

  31. Very beautiful!!!! :)

  32. You have probably already heard of this place, but there is a warehouse and a website called replacements.com that has hundreds of thousands of china patterns. You can look for your Mommas dishes there, or if you are missing a piece from one of your sets you can surely find it! Give it a look…as a “dishy” you won’t be disappointed :o)

  33. I’m reminded of the time a certain person showed another person the pictures of her wreath and that person laughed and said, “Umm, how old are we when we’re whipping out pictures of our wreaths?!!”

  34. I too have that china-loving gene. It goes way back in the women of my family as evidenced by all the different patterns of china, everyday, and serving dishes we all have. When I was a teenager, I just didn’t get it when my mom and grandmother would Oooh and Aaahh over dishes. I though it was stupid (slap my hand), but that gene kicked into high gear for me in my early 20’s and hasn’t quit yet. It’s fun!! And that china pattern you received is just fabulous! And the fact that you can pair it with some you already have is even more fabulous!

  35. When my dad was in Japan during Vietnam, he bought his mom a 12 place set of Noritake china, an elegant set with platinum edges and small tone on tone flowers around the edge. When my mom bought her pots and pans (which she still uses, by the way) she got a free 8 place set of funky 70’s china (think geometric flowers in shades of orange, yellow, and baby blue.) Sometime before I can remember, my mom and grandma switched sets because grandma didn’t entertain as much anymore. Then, when I got married, grandma gave me “her” china. We call it grandma’s china and revere it like it is, but it really is just funky 70’s china.

  36. Your new china is beautiful! I also have a thing for dishes. If I had a the room and lots of extra money I would have a set for every day of the week. When we lived in NJ I would go to the Lenox warehouse. Over the 5 years we lived there I was able to get 12 place settings of Lenox holiday china! It makes me happy every year to use those. Enjoy your china!

  37. Oh, I love them! What a flexible pattern! I think they look great with the holiday plates. Its such a shame the handles and styles such as these are no longer made

  38. Oh, how I love china! My fine china was picked out by my British grandmother who said “You are getting this pattern because of the shape of the tea cup since it will keep tea warmer longer.” Good thing I liked it too! Who would have ever thought something like that was so important! She has taught me so much and so proud of my heritage and all the things she has taught me about having “nice” things.

  39. “perhaps I have overshared” – you crack me up! Love this post – I have a dish/china addiction too. I have a weakness for salad/dessert plates in different patterns. Because you never know when you might host a little luncheon or something and need A LOT of little plates. :)

  40. Rosemary D says:

    Love that china! I also enjoy “fancy dishes” having fall/winter china and spring/summer china. I also have Christmas china and have started another Christmas pattern for my daughter who just turned 13. I started giving it to her when she was 5 years old – cause that’s what kindergarteners need, right?

    By the way, not long after I married I got a job as a bridal consultant at a local department store. In the interview I impressed the mangager by naming several brands and patterns of china in casual conversation. I was fresh off of the year long study of china patterns to select the bridal china and a lot of that information became useful after all. Turns out that I was the only one who could inventory the china store room without using a catalog to look up pictures. Some have the gift of healing, some have the gift of ministry, and then there’s me.

  41. I love dishes! So much so,I need to be in a 12 step program. I love to mix, and I have the Night Before Christmas China, which has a line of the poem on each one! I think everyone should have at least 1 set for each season. I am working on finding a summer set right now with bees on it or something! Love your Blog, its like porn for dish lovers! Candy

  42. I guess I am offically an adult then, b/c when I got the picture I gasped and said Oh, that’s Pretty!! (all to myself, in my little work cubicle)

    Its goregous! I grew up using paper plates, until I visited a friend one time from college. Her mom said “Yeah! Lets use the good plates” and broke out the china. I remember to this day how honored I felt.

    So yes, when we have family over for holidays we use the good stuff…even the kids. :)

  43. Oh you have no idea how much I love dishes- I use my good china on Sundays for dinner- Wedgewood Clio- starting the day after Thanksgiving I get out my Christmas dishes (Spode Christmas Tree)- now I’m on to collecing the Spode Woodland Hunting Dog collection for fall and Thanksgiving. If I ever get a house with a butler pantry, or we get rid of a child via higher learning, I’m totally upping the ante on my dish obsession- I feel an spring/Easter pattern coming on.

  44. We are twin souls, sister! I love nice china. Last time we were in the US, my husband’s parents gave us a Noritake 12 piece china set…COMPLETE!…that Donn’s great aunt bought in occupied Japan during WWII when she was secretary to General MacArthur. It’s very cool. Of course we left it in storage. But my wedding china is Royal Doulton and I brought it to Africa with me. After all, what’s the good of having it if you don’t use it? And yes, we use the good stuff on special occasions.

  45. I think there needs to be a support group for people like you and I. I LOVE china. I cried a little when I finally received my 12th place setting as a wedding gift. How special that you can mix and match with so many different pieces!

  46. Dishes. Sigh. If you’re still in hiding, I’m right there with you. Up in the attic where I have to store my four sets of china. I frequently climb those attic stairs to pull a set out, or sometimes just to visit them up there. The 5th set is my Fiestaware that we use every day, which I love, love, love too and often mix it with the others. In thinking of a Christmas present for me, my husband asked me if I would rather have the matching canisters or the matching Christmas dishes. What? I told him that was like asking if I wanted a left shoe or a right shoe. The answer is YES.

  47. spode christmas china!
    on sale every july (my birthday) and i never have enough :)
    plus noritake from mother-in-law (chrysanthemums in orange and silver, stunning)
    wedgewood from my grandma along with her fostoria
    we are addicts, yes, but i proudly USE these dishes so my girls will have the same sweet memories you do, and hopefully treasure these dishes as their own some day.

  48. Oh, you speak my love language. I love a beautiful dish. Those are gorgeous. The handles totally make that vegetable bowl.

    My mom has Christmas china that we use every year at her house. This year I got some fun plates that are red and white with snowflakes on them. They aren’t expensive, but are simple and modern. Kinda like a country Christmas vibe. I LOVE them.

    Have a Merry Christmas Sophie. Enjoy the china.

  49. Oh My these are BEautiful!!! I love china too! My China is cheap because I splurged and registerd for very expensive every day dishes. SO I felt registering for cheap china was in order. I’m hoping to inherit lots of beautiful china from my grandmother though, she has many sets! I’ve never used my china, it’s still in storage until I can buy a bigger house one day.. what a waste.

  50. Oh I am so so so so so glad that I have met my new sisters in spirit! (I feel like we are all kindred spirits) All of us that share this love and addiction for pretty things. My Nana blessed me with her beautiful china set that she used every single Sunday and every Holiday (even by us grandkids). Such memories! Some pieces have a few chips here and there, but that’s because they were well loved.

    Now I serve my Sunday dinners on them and use them every chance I get. I mix and match them with depression glass pieces that I also collect. My prized pieces are little luncheon plates (with the circle on the plate to place your tea cup).

    Thanks for giving us a place to share our wonderful addiction!!

  51. I’m sorry to say that my china will be discovered in the attic by my children after I’m dead and gone. My girls will look at it in wonder and say: “The previous owners must have left this behind. It can’t be Mama’s!”

  52. Believe it or not, I just recently received my first set of china–my husband’s grandmother’s–and I’m more in love with it than I can say. I might have cried a little bit, too, so I guess we’d have to go hide together.

    We use our nice dishes on Christmas Eve, when we have a family-traditional squash soup, french bread and salad before the candlelight service. But our Christmas Day tradition is (don’t hate for this, you Southerner, you) to forgo the whole dinner and instead make a ton of appetizers to graze on all day–all the scrumptious fixins on which we usually fill up on before the feast and never actually enjoy because we’re feeling guilty. So… we do the big fancy dinner on Thanksgiving and then munch on a feast of appetizers on Christmas day. We get to eat meatballs and mozzarella sticks and dips and crackers and chips and egg rolls and a TON of other goodies… AND, we don’t spend all of Christmas Day in the kitchen. Yep, we’re an oddity!

  53. Sophie – we were separated at BIRTH – this is hereby confirmed. I love dishes and china…and don’t even get me started on nesting bowls…

    LOVE THIS POST!

    Merry Merry Christmas!

    Your friend, Jan

  54. I only have one set of China. And I’m not sure I’d call it “fine”. ;D

    I think you may have summed up one of the reasons I don’t usually get it out. Two tablespoons full of coffee. ;) Just doesn’t work for us Community Coffee drinkers around here.

    I LOVE your new set, though! Your post makes me want to use mine.

  55. Those are absolutely gorgeous! When we got married, we were deciding between two China patterns, and decided on one because of it’s fancy teacup handle. SO SO pretty!

    But, we don’t have enough settings, so we’ll use regular dishes for Christmas this year. I love those, too!

  56. SO pretty! I really like the pattern and the color! When I was getting married I decided not to register for china. My grandmother gave me her china that her mother started. It is Johnson Bros. Rose chintz. Pretty girly, but I love it and it always reminds me of her.

  57. We vary, depending on the number of people here. If it’s less than 15, we’ll use the good stuff. This year though, we’re having around 40 people and 15 kiddos, so it’ll be whatever paper product my sister-in-law brings. Glory Hallelujah.

    I have to tell you though, you’re a woman after my own heart with the dishes. I love love love everything my grandmother has given me/left to me. I have everything from Candlewick to Luray to milk glass to Blue Willow to some fine china patterns my dad sent her when he was stationed in Korea. The Luray I only got a very few pieces of (they had been my great-grandmother’s when she was a young wife and mother) and I have slowly added to the set over the years as I find some in antique stores, to where I now have a complete service for 12 (or 15?) in it! It was her everyday pattern, and I now use it as my everyday dishes. (With her original ones tucked safely in the china cabinet where I’ll never break them!)

    Do not run and hide!
    I love it.
    You’re definitely a grown up now! (smile)

  58. I,too, am a dish addict but have decided I cannot have ANY more. I have full sets of formal china (Noritake Allendale), casual china (Mikasa Italian Countryside which I am still in LOVE with) and Christmas china (Winterberry). I also have other items that were my grandmother’s dishes. I love to go to thrift stores and yard sales and just drool. My dream is to have a butler’s pantry one day to keep all my dishes where I can see it all whenever I want and not have to unpack it all. I think it’s just a southern thing!

  59. Hilary Larson says:

    I use my china for Christmas brunch, Lenox Eternal! :)

  60. First, I am a FREAK about dishes of any sort. It’s an addiction, I tell you.

    Second, my mother has a Noritake set she bought in the fifties when we were overseas…not the same pattern but the vegetable bowl is shaped exactly the same!

    Third, I don’t even mind random dishes…have them hanging on walls all over the house. See #1.

  61. I have 5 sets of dishes. I love them all, First one is my grandmothers, blue rim with pink camellias in the middle. Then a number of years ago my children gave me Christmas dishes for my Nov. Birthday. We are enjoying them now. I have ironstone that I got when we married, Corelle that I got when Mama was here and couldn’t lift the ironstone and a china set my husband bought me plus the “real” china we registered for our wedding. Too many but I would love one for each month. Need to go buy a WINNING lottery ticket.

  62. I seriously cried when I saw these pictures! LOVE THIS! And I got so excited for you!

    I use a mixture of my good china, everday (they are close enough to mix) and my Christmas china. Just depends on how many we are feeding. :)

    My mom is packing up her wedding china and her casual snowman set for me to bring home at Christmas. I’m more excited about this than the trip to Disney we are taking in Feb. Seriously…

    Take some pictures of that table and share!
    Hugs
    stephanie

  63. Oh, those are divine! Love, love the painted gold edging.

  64. I have two Christmas patterns that I go back and forth between the month of December. I got fine china when we got married, and I don’t use it often. Now that my kids are older, I think I’ll start using it once a week just to make them feel special. Your china is so pretty…

  65. We do not usually use our china with four young children–someday! In fact, I was sorely tempted to send you the 10 assorted Friendly Village (the pattern you and I both share) plates that we have on display and never use. They are beautiful! And I hate that they don’t get used.

  66. I love that the china was packed in a Gin box.

    I LOVE china as well. Your Eternal and the new addition will make for some lovely fall luncheons in the future. If you added some apple green accents- I think that would make a wonderful spring look.

  67. I had to go & watch that pageant video from yesterday because of your bantering, you can banter with the best :) and now feel compelled to talk about dishes. oh my yes, I love me some dishes & have plenty of them on hand. Just bought 4 more plates last week that I just fell in love with ON THE SPOT in TJ Maxx. They will mix in with my plain everyday whites too. I need to use all the good dishes more often. Sometimes I do, but when there is a crowd, I’ll most likely go for the paper stuff out of practicality.

    Those are purdy, enjoy them! Merry Christmas to you.

  68. Thank you for this post, Sophie — we are kindred spirits!

    I love my dishes, too! I have a set of Christmas dishes that I mixed with a set of white dishes last Sunday when we had some people over — “so much fun!”

    I also have a set-that-isn’t-a-set, antique red-on-white transferware, that I’ve collected over time. We use it every Thanksgiving, and I love the mix-and-matchiness of it.

    Enjoy your new china!

  69. Girl, I know what you mean about loving pretty dishes! I have special Christmas dishes with poinsettas on them that I get out every year. No paper plates for our Christmas dinner. I just make sure I have the dish washer cleaned out before we start. ha

    Your new china is fabulous! I’m so happy for you!

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends!

    Merry Christmas!

    Marilyn…in Mississippi

  70. I may have a few sets of china myself. I love dishes. I can’t help it. There is something about lovely dishes/china/pottery that just makes me happy. I just moved back to the states from England…I may have bought more than two sets of dishes while living there. I mean the potteries were right there and you could get portmerion plates for the equiv. of $2…how could I not buy?

    I have the Portmerion Christmas pattern (The Holly and the Ivy) and more than a few serving pieces, etc. I love it.

    And I use all my china. My wedding china is Royal Doulton and I’m still not tired of using it.

    I completely understand a china addiction.

  71. We usually do family gatherings at my parents’ for holidays, and that usually means all six of my siblings and their spouses/girlfriends/boyfriends, a few grandparents and maybe a couple of “adopted family” sprinkled in. So, that usually means paper plates.

    My own personal china, (which I love, btw) I’ve used a handfull of times. I didn’t inherit the pretty-dishes-gene (it’s quite recessive in my family), so I rarely even think about them being up in the cabinet above the fridge. I think the last time we used them was when we lived in Texas and couldn’t come home for Thanksgiving. I’m pretty sure I brought home some turkey from the BBQ place I worked for, and mixed up some powdered mashed potatoes and some sad canned vegetables. Definitely not worthy of my beautiful Lenox china.

  72. I have Noritake Crestwood Platinum for my good china, and I use it as often as possible. It sat in storage for the first 4 years of our marriage until I actually had a china cabinet. Now it proudly decorates my home AND actively holds our food. I couldn’t be happier!

    And your china obsession is not strange in the least. I love that pattern you got from your MIL.

  73. Beautiful, just beautiful. I really really like them. Seriously I do.

    Ahem.

    Was that enough about the dishes?

    Cause if there are Martha stories we NEED to get to that.

    How about a very special bloggy occasion like over at Big Mama’s where P. dispensed “afield” advice, only here David would regal us with “Garden Home” stories. Because I NEED to know what a Garden home is and how it should be decorated, and what length of sleeve should one wear when moving house……

  74. Whoops that would be regale not regal, although both words could apply to a Martha story.

  75. I so wish that I could use our nice china for holidays. But, how shall I put this delicately? I’m in South Louisiana, and there may just be a few people in my husbands immediate family who think that fine china is the “extra sturdy” Dixie plate. I’m scared for the safety of my china. Does that sound terrible? Because I really am a nice person…I promise. Maybe next year I’ll just throw caution to the wind…..

  76. I remember eating every sunday dinner at my grandparents… grandpa always cooked! They had Johnson brothers Rose Chintz… it is beautiful!
    My mom gave me a dish a few years ago… and I started buying them on ebay…we use them everyday, and I have enough to start a bed and breakfast!
    I will use them tonight when my 4 siblings and spouses, and dad and mom come for dinner, before all the Christmas rush… and 50 people arrive for the holidays..I love the red and flowers in the pattern! They are beautiful, and bring back such sweet memories!

  77. I LOVE china as well. We always used it for every major holiday growing up. I’d use it everyday if I could but hubby would think I’m nuts, not to mention that I’m not such a big fan of handwashing the stuff.

  78. My first job was at McRae’s Department store wrapping gifts. The first thing I bought with my hard earned cash was a set of “Sculptured Daisy” dishes by Poppytrail. I still have those and love them! That was 35 years ago and I still love dishes. When I ‘graduated’ from wrapping gifts I worked in the china/crystal department and was in hog heaven making up table settings all the time. Love your ‘new’ dishes and I’m sure you will make your own memories using them.

  79. We have Christmas specific china! It is very simple, with just a line of holly around the edge. I love using it, although I get MUCH slack for decorating to the hilt for “just family.” I love how special it makes the meal feel. So should I hide now?

  80. I absolutely love china, especially antique dishes. My grandmother recently gave me her mother’s china for my birthday. It is Haviland Limoges china, the princess pattern. It is quite old and quite beautiful! It makes me giddy just looking at it. My favorite piece is the soup tureen (sp?). I have other antique place settings from great-aunt and beautiful fostoria glass dishes that I love to use for luncheons with my best girl friends. I do love me some beautiful dishes!!! And I have enjoyed looking at your beautiful dishes. :)

  81. I love china. I love all pretty dishes. I have my grandmother’s china now, but whenever I even find a pretty plate here or there, I’ll buy it and display it. I just love all the pretty patterns.
    Now, we never have very dressy type dinner parties so we usually do not break out the china but once per year at Thanksgiving. I do wish we had more because I do love me some china!

  82. Oooh! Also, I have a question….what is a garden home? I have heard this term before – used in the South. I live in the snowy North and have wondered what it is?

  83. I looove that china pattern! It looks beautiful! I love dishes too but no one in my family has a really expensive set like that to hand down! Guess I’ll have to keep adding to my collections on my own….

  84. Terri Matheney says:

    Oh, Boomama! Your new china is so lovely, just lovely! It looks so good with your other china, as well. I, too, love dishes! I’m very sentimental about sweet memories connected to them. The only dish of my grandma’s that I have is a bright-lime green dish that she ALWAYS had mashed potatoes in at every gathering at her house. I’m all teary-eyed just telling you that.

    My china is Blue Garland from (if I can spell it right)Johann Haviland. My mom got them for me before we got married. I have never had a cabinet to display them in until 2 months ago. I bought a corner cabinet at a thrift shop, painted it dark blue, and put my precious collectables in it.

    It was a sweet moment seeing my favorite dishes in it. I’ve been married 29 1/2 years (that HALF counts, let me tell you!We got married on 6-21-80)and finally had them out to see. Very satifying. Martha must have known how you would treasure them. Great story!

  85. Love the funky handle. That china is just beautiful. I know you will enjoy it!

  86. I like to use my pretty dishes on the “official” meal. We usually use paper for snacks and other meals. It seems like too many people save their good stuff for a special occasion and that special occasion never occurs. Then they never use their pretty dishes. What is more special than a meal with your family?!

  87. Oh how I love china……and I love to mix and match. My good china is a Williamsburg reproduction pattern, Chinese Flowers, and I don’t yet have much to mix it with. But, my everyday is quite mixable and a lot of fun. One of my favorite things to do is set a table, and I would much rather buy china than shoes!

  88. that china is absolutely gorgeous & i hope you absolutely enjoy it!

    i have no good china! i’m a part of the buy lots cheap group. but i would love to have someone give me some really nice stuff. i’m hoping my sister will will me her noritaki that my brother in law bought when he was in vietnam in the late 60’s. it’s a gorgeous silver wheat pattern.

    i do have lots of cheap dishes; enough to serve 30+ at a moment’s notice. but it’s not like your absolutely gorgeous early christmas present. enjoy!

    and merry Christmas! may it be blessed!

    peace –

  89. Too funny that you just did this post–I told the story of MY china on my blog earlier this week, a must read ;) My pattern is Florence by Sango and YES! I use it!

  90. Those are gorgeous!

    We don’t break out our china for Christmas, because, well, we barely have a full place setting let alone an entire tables worth! I have my mom’s Minton china in BelleMeade and I just love it, unfortunately she never had a complete set. One day I will get a few more pieces and set our Christmas table!

  91. BooMama, this is why I love reading your blog! You are so fun and so Southern – this Georgia girl loves her china, too! I just finished setting 2 tables with my Christmas china – Lenox Holiday – and oh the joy that I am feeling now! And the gold chargers just make me happy. You go, girl!

  92. a garden home is not code for nursing home facility is it?

    i don’t have beautiful dishes. i did not register for china when i got married, instead my mom gave me all the safeway dishes she got with her store coupons that she had saved for me all those years. we are a real practical bunch.

    i think a lovely table like that is so nice and beautiful but if i did that right now, in about 2 minutes it would be covered up by some kind of yarn and paper craft and i would be a frustrated mama and it’s just not worth it.

    maybe someday i’ll inherit some nice dishes.

  93. My word, I love your china too. And I secretly covet my mother-in-law’s, with this kicky 1950’s pattern of little stars falling.
    But I have two boys who break *melamine* with alarming regularity so alas, no china here, even on Christmas. Maybe in 10 years or so! Or maybe not.
    Wishing you the merriest of Christmases!

  94. I only use my royal doulton china on New Years Day and our anniversary. I wouldn’t think of bringing out for Christmas. I’d be too overcome with worry about something breaking.

  95. You just reminded me that I even have china! I’ve had it boxed up because I have no place to display it here, so I totally forgot. I’m gonna have to pull those bad boys out and see how I can coordinate it all for Christmas! :)

  96. I would dine on a different china pattern every night if I could. I had Spode’s Christmas china that my mom had helped me collect, but when she passed, I had to give it to my cousin, it made me sad to use it, and they love it! I now use a pattern I found a couple of years ago at CVS (yes, really!) for 25% off. I put it out the day after thanksgiving and use it until my family makes me put it away, around Valentine’s day.

  97. I love dishes!! I will make my entire family stop at an antique store if it looks like they may have an abundance of dishes in said store. My real love is Fire King Jadeite. I use some of the jadeite that I have. The better stuff just sits out for me to look at. :)

    Yes, I knew I was getting old when I almost screamed out loud upon finding some cool dishes at the Alabaster thrift store.

  98. LOVE it. It is screaming Thanksgiving china. Love the colors. Just a precious treasure.
    And yes, we use the good china on Christmas day. I’ve started using it every Sunday, too.

  99. I love my china…I currently have 2 full sets, one German Johann Havilland….with beautiful pale blue flowers and a silver rim. and the other either Noritake or Mikasa with an almost identical pattern in pale pink also with a silver rim. The pink pattern my mom bought in the 60s while my dad was stationed in Thailand and they lived on Okinawa for 2 years. She also bought a dark green pattern trimmed in gold and that is now my sisters. My grandma has Franciscan Desert Rose. I also have a set of Christmas dishes, Its nutcrackers w/ red trim and I love love love them. I actually got them long before I got married because my mom and I found them on clearance around my birthday one year and couldnt pass them up, we got two boxes of 4 place sittings each for 12$ a box.
    Steff

  100. Oh, I really do get the obsession and may I just add that I got a little giddy looking at these gorgeous dishes! LOVE them. I wish I used mine more…not so brave. I know I should though! :)