old linens and dishes… oh my!

DSC_0404Well now that I spent a full weekend running around junking, barn picking, and antiquing with friends I actually have to clean the stuff up!

The old large depression glass era bowls that I snapped up at the Smithfield Barn for $6 and $8 cleaned up in a jiffy and will get put away until I need them at Christmas.  DSC_0411

I have a thing about people who talk about setting a beautiful holiday table and then use plastic bowls, mismatched and plastic cutlery, and either paper or plastic plates. And yes, I get the lament that you have kids, it takes more time and so on and so forth.

Guess what? My mother and most of my friends’ mothers used real silverware, linens, and dishes and so on for the holidays and we did not destroy the stuff. Yes it requires more effort, but it looks so much better. And why go to the trouble of cooking up a storm of fabulous in your holiday kitchen to have it look like a Wawa?

paper platesI have probably just insulted a whole slew of people, but I can’t help it.  To me it is like an insult to what comes out of the kitchen.  A woman I used to know used to do that.  She would half-set her table with aluminum foil pans just plunked on the table at Thanksgiving and never met a paper plate  she did not love.  But her “good” dishes were brown crockery and they looked like mud so there is no accounting for taste.  Seriously though? Paper tablecloths are for picnics and kid birthday parties, and even then I prefer real table linens.

So now all my vintage Christmas linens are soaking in Woolite. I generally use that or liquid Ivory Snow now.  I used to have these soap flakes that came in a blue and white box but I can’t remember what they were called, nor do I see them in the grocery stores now.  I will carefully rinse them and hang them up to dry and then iron them.  I know a lot of people send their linens out to be laundered by the dry cleaner but with vintage linens that often leads to yellowing.

And let us get into the cost of things.  I am a bargain hunter.  I might love good old linens and dishes and so on but if I am at a Flea Market or garage sale or something similar I will walk away from things I know are overpriced for what they are and more importantly WHERE they are.  Whether it is an old tablecloth, a platter, or even vintage Christmas décor do not be afraid to ask for a best price or bundled price if you are buying a few things.

I have found everything I need for this Christmas as far as how I want my table to look, and the things I wish to decorate with.  It will be slightly retro Christmas, but there is something to be said about that simple and pretty look.

Of course now I will spend the next few weeks agonizing over menus.  Am thinking of doing a country pâté since I scored that cool commercial loaf pan.  And of course lots of cookies!

Taking the time to set your holiday tables with real dishes and linens pays off. Another thing – if you are having a crowd a buffet is fine if you don’t really have the space for sit down. I would rather my guests be comfortable than knocking elbows at the table because they are crammed in like

What are you all planning for the holidays? Do we want to do a cookie recipe exchange on this blog? As in send your favorite cookie recipe in via a comment and so on? Let me know!