A Christmas table
We're fast approaching the countdown to Christmas, and my inspiration has been running rampant. I thought this year we were going to spend Christmas Eve on our own, just the three of us for the first time, something I have been dreaming of for a while, now. I know Christmas is that time of the year when everything and everyone makes it feel mandatory to be around your extended family 24/7, but I find that it is also quite important to at least for once spend the date with your close family: mother, father, chidren. Although being around the rest of one's family can be fun - or not! - it can also be quite stressful, quite time demanding, quite tiring, leaving one listless and knackered in that time of the year when one is supposed to get some rest and gather energy for the upcoming new year.
Having family members come over and stay for the holidays can take its toll, we all know that, but we also know that when it comes to the elderly members of one's family, and especially when one has children, there may be a limited amount of Christmas that can be spent together as a family, and no one wants to deprive their children of spending that particular date with their grandparents. So if one part of me was so deliriously happy with the idea of having a quiet Christmas Eve between the three of us, it was also with a sort of a heavy heart that I faced the thought of not having family staying over, as I know my son thrives on that.
I focused my mind on coming up with ideas for a lovely dinner table set for three, to make the date a bit more cheerful, and at the same time quite homely and cozy. Because if one's spending the holidays with only one's immediate family, it does not mean one has to eat dinner at the kitchen table, with one's usual dishes and cutlery, no way, it is of extreme importance that one goes to the trouble - if trouble it is! - of making that night different, a date to remember, and that involves making an effort of setting a proper table and cooking a proper dinner, and simply enjoy time to sit down and eat and talk, and have fun.
I knew straight away I wanted to try a green and red theme, and I wanted to mix patterns. I had just watched an episode of Outlander when the thought for this table setting came to my mind, and I decided to use a tartan pattern in green, black and white and mix it up with a toile de Jouy in red for the place mats and a quite portuguese pattern known as "cavalinho" in dark blue on my dishes. For the glasses I went for a combo of tall red and small clear ones, as it helped bring together the whole concept.
I wanted to keep the centerpiece quite simple, and seeing that my dinning table has a particular format, being long but rather narrow, we hardly ever have centerpieces on it during dinner parties as it's way too narrow for that, so I added my cast iron medieval fruit bowl, with some Christmas decorations inside as coloured pinecones and a golden bell, and placed my four advent candles next to it, for colour and cheer.
I quite liked the end result, the mix of colours is quite Christmas-y, the delicacy of the crystalware combined with the warm sturdiness of the tartan wool throw is quite different and unexpected, the rustic country charm of the Toile and the "cavalinho" make for a homely, but elegant setting, a classic look that does not go out of fashion. As it turns out that we'll be having family over, this will not be the table setting I will be using for Christmas, but it was fun to think of this option and style it and photograph it, maybe I will use a version of it for New Year's Eve!! What do you think?