(Before I get rolling on this new missive, please accept my apologies for the extremely poor photography in the previous post. I am definitely out of practice with the picture taking aspect of blogging, and my resolution (pun unintended) is to greatly improve that skill. Some of the dark, fuzzy photos have been replaced, if you care to revisit the last post.)
Now onto the good stuff. Yesterday was our family Christmas party. All together, there were 11 of us, including these precious guys, both of whom were somewhat under the weather, and napped a lot during their visit:
We had a wonderful time. It was also the first time that Greg’s sister, Pattie, & her husband, Clyde, had seen the remodel. They raved about it, and ooh-ed & aah-ed in all the right places, (love you, guys!), which was very gratifying.
Which brings us to the title of this post. In years past, we have always used the finest quality of disposable plates, napkins, cups, wine glasses, and eating utensils that money could buy. This year, however, I started wondering why we had a setting for 12 of everything, that never escaped its storage closet! Besides, we were christening our new dining room and table, so why not use the good stuff? So I decided to go for the gusto, and this is the resulting table setting:
I even made place cards, which tickled my mother-in-law to no end!
The food was wonderful, the conversation was hilarious, and the atmosphere was deemed perfect.
Other views of the dining room include the buffet that houses the good dishes and flatware. Atop it sits one of our family favorites: a snowman nativity by Sandy Gore Evans:
The aftermath of dinner was, predictably, not quite as jolly. My lovely new kitchen looked like this before dinner:
(Please note the infamous glass shelves are in place. Hooray!)
This was the post-dinner decor (and this was after two loads of dishes had been placed in the dishwashers!):
I am so glad I opted against an “open concept kitchen”!
In retrospect, would I use the good dishes again? You bet I would! Especially since I have nothing to do the rest of the week, except finish the dishes, wrap gifts while listening to Christmas carols, sip wine in front of the fire, and enjoy our Christmas tree.
That segue takes us into the living room, which is very oddly shaped. It is long and quite narrow. One of the long walls is an open railing to the stairs that lead down to the “apartment” (where Greg & I reside. That entire area is on the 2015 redo list!) So we essentially have 2 full walls to position furniture against, and one of those walls forms a foyer of sorts. We have to float our furniture in this space.
The centerpiece of the living room is the fireplace, which was one of the first additions we made to the house in 2011. (Who lives in the mountains without a big, stone, wood-burning fireplace? Not this family!)
My only problem with the mantel set-up is the monstrous television that looms above and, in my mind, detracts from the holiday décor. However, there is no other place for a tv in this room, so its location will never change. If I had my druthers, though, my mantel wouldcresemble this gorgeously decorated fireplace, from the wonderful blog, The Everyday Home:
This is the Christmas tree that caused so much angst this year. Lovely, isn’t it?
“Around the bannister” from the living room is the breakfast area.
Besides the small round table, surrounded by 4 awesome wood x-back chairs (found online for an incredible price at Cymax), we also have a sideboard that I refinished & decoupaged with floral motifs cut from Dollar Tree gift bags. It houses liquor, and displays our lovely collection of cut-glass decanters. Above it, is the “Ho-ho-ho shelf” that was decorated especially for our grandsons.
In closing, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our beloved Jack Russell Terrier, Max, who passed away in June. He loved Christmas, and when given the go signal, could unwrap a gift faster than you could say his name! Max also loved to ride in his red truck (we used to laughingly say that he let Greg drive his truck!) Some days, if the weather was nice, Greg would open the driver’s side door, and he would spend the day, napping in his happiest place in the world (please note that I am crying as I write this.) Anyway, we decided to make our Max angel an integral part of this year’s Christmas celebration. So I set up this vignette of a toy red truck, with a Sculpey image of Max that I somehow made (it had to be the hand of God guiding my fingers!) that looks just like him, smile & all. In the back of the truck, Max is bringing home the tree!
We love and miss you, Max, but your spirit is always with us!
And now, Pip & Bear would like to wish you the very merriest of Christmases, the happiest of Hanukahs, and the most prosperous of New Years!
I, of course, second those sentiments, but also want you to know how thankful I am that you are out there!
God Bless Us Every One…