diagram from hungrymonster.com
Today my favorite job is on my list of things to do: set the table. We will have two set tables this year (we often have three), and one is our kitchen table, so I can't set that until tomorrow before dinner, but I can set the dining room table and I love that job.
I love getting out my mother-in-law's wedding silver, polishing it up and placing it besides my own mother's wedding china and crystal. I love putting out the freshly ironed napkins and putting the candles around the centerpiece. This is the stuff big holiday meals are made of -- the extra pretty touches. I always pull out my Joy of Cooking to make certain I have the wine and water goblets in the right place, but I found a website today that helps you set your table. It couldn't be any easier. And don't worry if you don't have enough matching pieces -- my table is all mix and match, and either no one cares, or no one notices. In the glow of the dimly lit chandelier, and the table candles, it all looks gorgeous.
This picture really doesn't do the table justice, if I do say so myself. I had to turn the lights up for the pictures, but when the candles are lit and the chandelier dim, I know it will glow. You may notice that some of the glasses are different, and several of the chairs, as are the napkins (that was intentional), but when it's all put together, it looks pretty. You can't tell from this angle, but the centerpiece is an old cornucopia that has been in the family for years.
This is a decoration for the other table in the kitchen eating area. It just goes to show that it doesn't take a lot of money to pretty up a table. I found this little centerpiece with the artificial fruit and leaves in my discount grocer's closeout dept. for $3.99. Then I used some jelly jars, filled with popping corn and real cranberries, and a plumber's candle (about 75 cents a piece at the neighborhood hardware store) to brighten the table some more. This table is traditionally the "kids table" but I will sit there with my mom and my single brother, with the younger kids. I chose to move a few of the older kids to the dining room table -- maybe they'll "notice" some manners in there.