Wednesday, December 16, 2009


For ten years we've had the same group of friends over for a festive dinner at Christmas time. For most of those years, we were meeting frequently as a small group from our church. Some of us have gone our separate ways, but still work to maintain very precious friendships.

Quite a few times a friend would pack up and cart over her Christmas china so we could have a Christmasy table. But the dear Gardener surprised me last Valentine's Day with a set of 12 Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles Pink Christmas plates. Wow,  to finally have Christmas china, and especially for our 10th "anniversary dinner."

The Gardener thought my grandmother's pink depression salad plates would go with the Castle dishes.

He's got a good eye, doesn't he? I've taught him well! (No he came by it naturally).

Shh...notice how the hostess gives herself the goblet with the chipped base and tries to hide it close to her plate?

Turns out we used all 12 of those plates as we invited some extra "surprise guests," which made the evening even more fun. We played a game of identifying obscure lines in Christmas songs, and found ourselves singing our way through dinner as we tried to figure out the answers.

We felt like we were in a "fancy"restaurant when one of the couples flamed the Creme Brulee they had made, and treated us to a beautifully decorated cheese cake.

We are using the castle dishes every evening as we eat dinner this month. What a treasured gift the thoughtful Gardener gave to me!


  1. How sweet ! I love your new dishes and they do look good with your old....Love the idea of using them everyday this holiday season !

  2. Beautiful! I love the dish pattern!

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Anonymous9:01 PM

    Beautiful Christmas dishes! I think we all should have holiday dishes to use the entire month....that's a wonderful way for you to be festive all month long. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Beautiful dishes and the creme brulee looks so delicious. That's one of my most favorite desserts....Christine

  5. I love the dishes and yes so nice to use them all month long! I just got some transfer ware dishes at the Thrift and I'm still trying to find just the right things to go with them. Your antique plates are perfect!

  6. Beautiful table, love the dishes. I think the chipped goblet shows that you would rather use your 'good' dishes than just showcase them! Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and yours.

  7. Hello Ms.P...

    Ohhh my...what a sweet honey you have!!!'re right, he does have a good eye for pretty things!!! Of course, I just adore your beautiful red transferware and I especially like the Christmas tree pattern! Girl, they look fabulous with your pink depression glass...gorgeous!!! Your place settings along with that beautiful centerpiece sure made for a fabulous Christmas table with friends!!! How sweet that you all still get together...that is what Christmas is all about, my friend!!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful home, Christmas tablescape, and your fun evening with friends!!!

    Warmest wishes and Christmas blessings to you and your family, my friend!

    Chari @Happy To Design

  8. I love your dishes, and I love creme brulee! :)


  9. What a special time for all of you and how sweet of your husband to give you the dishes. There's nothing like the fellowship of old friends is there?
    Hugs, Rhondi

  10. Love those dishes! I have some very much like them and have really enjoyed them this year -- sounds like the gardner knows you well! Pretty!

  11. What a great gardner! Your table is lovely. Have a great day!

  12. I just love the traditions you keep-especially the "friends" traditions. Also nice to see some familiar faces!

  13. You have a lovely friend!! Such a wonderful gift, and they look so beautiful on your table! Love your grandmother's depression glass dishes, too!

  14. What a wonderful Gardener you have! And this is another thing we have in common...that Castles china...I don't own it but I've admired it for a long time and would love to! Perhaps I should put hint into the Musician's ear (my version of the Gardener)...

  15. Your new Christmas plates are lovely, and they harmonize beautifully with your grandmother's salad plates. I often give myself the stemware with the spot where I've filed down a rim chip, etc., so I can relate to your using the imperfect one for yourself. You're obviously a thoughtful hostess. Your friends and family are fortunate indeed!

    Happy Holidays!

  16. Lydia grace10:00 AM

    It was one of my favorite nights of Christmas...You are one of my favorite people in ya,friend...

  17. Those dishes are incredible. I know you treasure your friendships so much. Merry Christmas.

  18. Your pink transfer-ware and depression glass plates are so lovely!!! Your Christmas table will be beautiful!


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