Christmas Detox: Holiday China Edition

So what, Christmas decorations can go up in stores before Halloween, but we’re just supposed to stop December 26? In the immortal words of Cher Horowitz, I don’t think so. I’ve been wanting to do a post on my Christmas china for awhile–I do so love it, and I have so much, but I’ve hesitated because I worried that it was too self-indulgent. Then I realized that having my own blog was pretty self-indulgent, so why not?

I had a lot of fun taking pictures of everything before I put it away until (sigh) next December–I hope you enjoy!

Lenox Holiday China

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For me, Lenox Holiday is the gold standard, the ne plus ultra of Christmas china. For years, I eyed it like a future junkie: “I’ll certainly never buy that, that would be ridiculous! Ha!” I knew I’d only be able to hold out so long. I finally started collecting it after I made a little deal with myself: I would start slow (buying two place settings on sale), and I would use it for every meal, every day in December.

This justification was aided by the fact that Lenox Holiday is basically a holly-festooned version of my wedding china, Eternal, so I could mix and match the pieces until I gathered a full set. I currently have eight place settings, thanks in large part to my Mom, who has also donated to the “cause.”

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Um, as you can see, I didn’t stop with the place setting (see also: the adorable Santa train salt and pepper shakers, above). I have more Holiday serving pieces than Eternal (I actually have none for that), because Holiday goes way on sale around the holidays, and Eternal never does! Get that wedding registry money, Macy’s–you jerks! But. I love these, and I generally entertain a lot around the holidays, so I use them a lot.

Rosanna Twelve Days of Christmas & More

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While the Lenox Holiday is my drug of choice, my gateway plates are from Rosanna, a Seattle company that designs delightful tableware. I believe I first saw these 12 Days of Christmas appetizer plates in Martha Stewart, and they’re still available on the Rosanna site! A real bonus: Rosanna packages their wares in collectible boxes that are cute and actually useful for storage.

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Yes, there’s more. Listen, I can stop whenever I want. These three items were all presents from my brother, who raided Rosanna’s Jolly Holiday collection. Unfortunately, these are no longer available on the site. I use the small tray for cookies for “Santa,” and the plates and mugs for snacks and hot chocolate.

Thrift/Unknown

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I got this large vintage plastic (melamine?) tray at a thrift store a long time ago and I love it. The pearlized plastic is embedded with flecks of silver, and it’s unbreakable. Thrift and vintage stores can be a great source of holiday china and serve ware–garage and estate sales, too!

When I see my holiday china all laid out like this, 50% of me is embarrassed and the other 50% wants to roll around on it like Indecent Proposal (weird, also: ouch). But I love it so much: I love the holidays, and entertaining, and family traditions, and I love having something special to use in December. I look at my china and I see decades of holidays around the table, and it makes me very happy.

I’m gonna close with another shot of salt-and-pepper Santa! Thanks for reading about my jolly folly!

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White Christmas Cross Stitch Embroidery

Happy Wednesday! Holiday Best

White Christmas Cross Stitch Embroidery

White Christmas cross-stitch! I’ll post the pattern soon.

Happy . . . Wednesday? Did you know I thought today was Tuesday? Which makes no sense, because yesterday (Tuesday) I was woken up by a call from the dentist wondering where I was–I blew it because I thought my appointment was Wednesday. Which is today.

So my usual Happy Monday blog is two days late–I suck! Unfortunately, I’ve had doctor’s appointments (for me), calls to Poison Control (for Sarah), and Christmas preparations distracting me. But I thought I’d at least put together a quick “best of” list for the holidays.

Best Christmas Movie: White Christmas. This is a fantastic film in the “Let’s put on a show!” genre of the past. The best part is the bromance between former WWII army buddies-turned Broadway entertainers played by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, who put on said show to save their former general’s Vermont inn from going under when snow fails to arrive for the winter. If this movie were made today, the movie would end with “Bob” and “Phil” realizing they’re each others’ soul mates, instead of pairing off with two sisters. But! The songs! The costumes! The witty dialogue!

Even better, White Christmas is available on Netflix streaming, so you can watch it right now! As you can see from the picture above, I actually created a White Christmas cross stitch pattern. I’m going to finish it this week and post the pattern for you all–my only issue is that it was an Excel document, and  of course I only have Numbers now on my Mac and . . . it sucks. I’ll get it going for you guys.

In the meantime, my favorite scene from White Christmas is below. Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen are such a pleasure to watch, and Rosemary Clooney’s line at 3:40 slays me!

Best Drunk Recaps of ABC Family Holiday Movies: My friend Alex Cox did a hilarious 12 Days of Christmas (. . . As Told by ABC Family) over at his World of Awesome blog last year. He did some super funny recaps of “classics” like Snow (starring The Flash‘s Tom Cavanagh) and Desperately Seeking Santa (starring Smallville‘s Laura Vandervoort). It looks like he didn’t make it past Day 5, because . . . Tori Spelling. But still. Worth a read.

Best Holiday China: This, of course, is Lenox’s Holiday china. It says “holiday” right in the name, folks! I’ve been slowly collecting sets of this for four years (with my lovely mother adding a place setting each year) and mixing it with my Lenox Eternal china (my wedding china) for larger dinners. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see I’ve been using Holiday every day in December and posting pics. I lead an exciting life.

Lenox Holiday China

Lenox Holiday china with greek yogurt and granola. Christmassy!

Best Christmas Cookie: I already said this in my Five Cookies You Meet at Christmas post, but again: Southern Living‘s slice-and-bake cranberry-orange shortbread.

Best Christmas Appetizer That I Haven’t Actually Made Yet: So, I think I mentioned I read Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand on my trip East last month to my sister-in-law’s wedding? It was an airport book. So it was basically an ABC Family holiday movie in book form, but it had some great descriptions of a holiday party, including several appetizers, including something called a Salted Almond Pinecone, which intrigued me. I looked into it: it’s basically a cheese ball with almonds, which sounds fantastic, and which I’m going to make for my holiday party this year.

Hopefully these very important links will bring you some joy this holiday season. My other piece of advice: do not let your baby play with a “child proof” bottle of infant ibuprofen while you change her diaper, because she’ll probably open it, drenching herself with it, resulting in the above-mentioned call to Poison Control. She’s fine, I’m an idiot.

So what are your holiday favorites? Post them below!

Lenox Holiday Sugar Bowl Creamer

Happy Monday! Christmas Christmas Christmas

Lenox Holiday Sugar Bowl Creamer

But I waaaaaant thiiiiiiiisssss!

Happy Monday! Now that Thanksgiving has been put to bed (in case you missed it, check out my Holiday Post-Game piece for ideas of what to do with your leftovers), you can expect a lot of Christmas stuff on this blog!

But first, I need a moment of silence. For the hours between 9 and 11 am. This used to be a sacred time: Sarah’s morning nap. But it looks like it’s gone forever–she appears to fall asleep during our post-breakfast nursing, but she pops awake when I put her down. She actually hurled herself out of her crib yesterday when I left her there (we’ve since lowered her mattress), but . . . yeah. Looks like it’s afternoon naps (if any) from here on out.

This was traditionally my blogging time, too, so I’m extra bummed. My days are pretty packed and I’m definitely feeling the stress. But I’ll work it out!

Links!

I have a confession: I looooooove china. And I loooooooooooooove Christmas china. I know it makes no sense to have a set of china you only use once a year. But I’ve solved that! Starting tomorrow, we will be using our Christmas china every day in December–breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ve been slowly collecting sets of Lenox’s Holiday china over the years (it mixes with my wedding china, Lenox’s Eternal), and . . . I did notice Macy’s is having some great Cyber Monday deals on Lenox Holiday china. You know, if you want to join in my obsession.

We kicked off our month-long holiday movie marathon with a little flick called The Long Kiss Goodnight, about an amnesiac schoolteacher played by Geena Davis who discovers she’s actually an assassin–with the help of Samuel L. Jackson, before he ran his shtick into the ground. It counts as a Christmas movie because 1) it begins with a Christmas parade 2) it has a ton of fantastic action sequences involving ice and 3) the chemistry between Davis and Jackson is the gift that keeps on giving. I’m posting the scene where sweet “Samantha” transforms herself back into sexy “Charly,” because it amuses me that she wears gloves to dye her hair (as she should!) and that her wardrobe as the edgy, badass Charly is . . . black yoga togs. Hilarious.

I was so sad when I heard Gawker Media was closing down Kitchenette, but was so happy when I heard Wonkette would be taking on Behind Closed Ovens (now titled Off the Menu), a weekly delight filled with stories of horrible restaurant customers, amazing managers, and servers who got their revenge. Read the first column now!

That’s all I got right now . . . but get ready! Oh, and post your favorite holiday movie below.