Most of our holiday entertaining with family and friends occurs in the run up to Christmas, for 2-3 crazy, busy weeks where we have dinners, lunches, staff parties, etc. Bucking tradition, Christmas Eve at our home is a very intimate and cozy affair, often just the Teen, Mom and Dad and a couple or so close friends. With all grandparents gone and siblings scattered around the globe with their own families, we do not typically have the humongous family reunions that characterize many a Pinoy Christmas Eve/Noche Buena Feasts. And we like it that way. I recently asked the Teen if we should plan to go away next Christmas on some grand holiday (our 20th wedding anniversary coming up as well) like a villa in Bali, safari, or rural idyll in Europe somewhere, and she immediately opted for the simple “let’s stay at home” version instead. We will take that as a compliment… :)
This past Christmas, we opted for a festive but less formal table setting. You have seen many of these pieces before, they are just mixed in different ways. More casual yellow orange ceramic plates paired with large mother of pearl shells, formal european silver (with steak knives with different colored handles?!) on top of an off-white crisp russian linen tablecloth. Most of these, gifts… the large mother of pearl shells from my mother, the tablecloth, silver and plates from Sister.
Water glass, big red (literally and figuratively) wine glass, white wine glass and thick lead crystal champagne saucers.
I got these multi-colored steak knives from that venerable knife company Laguiole at Crate & Barrel for a very reasonable price… and I was surprised to see that they were made from completely recycled materials…
Flowers on the table were simple arrangements of red roses, with recycled greens from our Christmas wreath project.
Large cotton napkins are French, and purchased at 50% off at a Parisian department store some 7+ years ago (amazing how vibrant they look despite their age).
Large red candles used for weeks before this dinner, re-appear at the table, this time with bits of evergreen clippings lining the glass hurricane lamps. Next up, the luxurious but uncomplicated Christmas meal we enjoyed on this table setting…