For example, during my engagement when they told me not to register for china, I didn't.
Their rationale was simple and based on their own experience.
"Whatever you register for now will sit in boxes for years, until you have a home big enough to host the entire family and by then, your taste will have changed and you'll hate it. Register for crystal. You'll use that now and if you pick something classic and you'll love it forever."
Being the starry-eyed little sister, that's what I did.
I wasn't so sure at first. At the store, registry clipboard in hand (remember those?), there were so many lovely patterns.
It was hard to walk away, but you know, everything happened just the way they said it would.
I have a huge family. I am one of the babies. For the first ten to fifteen years of my marriage, I never hosted a holiday.
I never had a dinner party either. None of my friends were into it. We were all tired of cooking by the time the weekend rolled around. We went out instead.
My sisters were right, that china would've sat in the box for at least a decade.
And my taste has totally changed.
At 25, I hated the color red.
Did I just say that out loud?
Yup, I did. There, I said it again, just in case you missed it the first time.
Hard to believe isn't it?
Our first apartment was accented in jewel tones, burgundy and green against a lot of beige paint. The first home we owned was the sweetest little cottage and near the beach. It was light, bright and white, with purple, green and yellow peppered throughout. I think I had three cabinets in that kitchen and no actual dining area. The table was just randomly set in the living room, which was the only room in the house, other than the bedrooms and bath.
The china would've been stored away, probably at my mom's and definitely in her garage or basement. As it was, most of the crystal was tucked into a closet. I was only able to keep a few wine glasses out for use.
My sisters knew what they were talking about.
When we moved into our current place, another smallish beach cottage, I started hosting the holidays, generally Christmas and Christmas Eve. I wasn't always able to set a formal table, I'm not sure who has room to seat thirty, no matter the size of the home, but I always wanted the plates to match and be something special.
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I'm not exactly sure why. I can't recall if I mentioned that I liked them or if as a traditionalist, she decided that I needed some kind of china, but either way, I now have virtually every piece they make. I use it throughout the holiday season. I have used it as early as Thanksgiving and as late as Easter.
I know. That's a no-no, isn't it?
Well, it is what it is, I guess, because at present it's the only china I own.
Ok, that's kind of a lie. I do own my mom's Lenox Eternal now. It was a pattern she started collecting after my dad died. She never really liked the orange and brown Mikasa Terra Stone she received for her own wedding. That was the china our holiday tables were set with.
When she sold her house, it was given to me. As a kid, I constantly admired it and said that I would love to have it someday. It was so shiny! What I didn't count on was that someday, I might think that the classic, elegant gold and white pattern would seem a little boring for this girl's taste. What I also didn't count of was that I might like silver more than gold during middle age and that ~ probably most importantly ~ it's a lot of work to unpack, wash and pack it all up again for one holiday.
I am so honored to have it, I just don't see myself using it.
That's not to say that I don't have a ton of dishes peppered around my house.
I am actually dish obsessed!!
Next to white pitchers and cake plates, dishes, of any type are my weakness.
|Flower Pot Fruit Bowl|
I don't buy whole sets. No room. But I buy.
Some patterns are purchased for eating, some are strictly for display, some are dual purpose.
|Thanksgiving Place Cards|
They are all pretty though and over the last decade, as you can imagine, they are all red.
|An Unexpected Journey|
Have I thought of whipping out some of my mom's Lenox, mixing it up with a few of my own random plates and Spode pieces to create an eclectic holiday table setting?
Of course, as the family keeps expanding and we move towards another round of high chairs at the table, I may be setting it with Chinet instead of actual china and all those plates may just stay tucked away in their boxes for a few more years.
That's a lot more likely.
It's a good thing my crystal goes with everything.
Boy, am I glad I listened to my sisters.
What was your bridal china pattern?