Cozy Christmas Dinner

(Top plates are Pioneer Woman from Wal-Mart.Under plates are Rachel Ray from DI for $1 each.)

Make It Merry and Bright


The easiest thing to do is to buy perishable paper products at the store, including brightly colored paper cups, gold plastic utensils and call it good. I am not saying that I haven’t done that many times but each time I do I feel like a lazy bones. Besides, I am a dedicated “thrifter” with a smug eye for interesting and inexpensive treasures. I should be able to put together a nice table for less than the cost of all of the throw-aways and because I am spoiled and have two dishwashers . . . one electric and the other in the form of Grandpa I should never hesitate to use real dishes just because I think they will take too much time to clean up.

That is the attitude with which I joyfully looked forward to the first of two “little Christmas dinners” which I scheduled for this week with my daughters and their families.


(Mugs 75 cents each at DI and a $2 pitcher for the Egg Nog.)

My reward for a thrifting job well done, followed by a Merry Christmas dinner is an Oohh and Ahhhh from anyone who cares. This is one measure of how far I might have moved towards my goal. You can never be sorry with red. That is something I know. Red grabs your eyeballs and holds on tight. I love red. Egg Nog doesn’t look quite as appetizing in a white mug. But, . . . in a red mug . . . now there’s a holiday sight.





Melissa asked me to keep my eyes open for a fancy candle holder for her table. I have looked for one every time I have gone into a thrift store and finally, there it was. It didn’t look quite like the picture above when I found it. I called her. I described it. She couldn’t picture it but said she trusted me as she always does. What a nice burden. When I spotted it, it was gleaming with crystals which hung from each little circle at the bottom of each candle stem. I know my daughter  well enough to know that the crystals had to go. The glass candle cups were covered with other peoples’ wax in many colors. I liked that because it meant that they had used it for many a cozy dinner and that cleaning it could be managed.

I bought it and brought it home. Grandpa went through his pretend “you have lost your mind” moment and then set about to remove the crystals, which he said I should leave in place in case Melissa liked them. I said she wouldn’t. He said she might. Then he took them off one by one and I put them into a bag to give to a granddaughter who I know loves  crystals.

Grandpa removed all of the candle holders and cleaned off the old wax. When he put them back on, they were gleaming. He wondered if I wanted him to paint the whole thing to make it look new. I said no . . . Melissa will like the distressed look of the white. He said he wasn’t sure. I said I was. He gave me the “we’ll see” smile, once again and I scurried off to the store to buy some candles.

When Melissa and her family came for their Christmas dinner, the candles were blazing on the kitchen table. IT was the first thing she noticed and when I told her that it was hers, she said:

” Oh, Mommie,” (which she sometimes calls me still) “it is perfect, perfect, perfect”.

Then, she took it home when it was late and time to go.


I gave Grandpa an extra-nice hug and he acted like he didn’t know why I was hugging him.

But, since he is never one to turn down a hug from anyone for any reason, it all turned out well.



The menu was:


Smashed Red Potatoes (from our summer garden)
Crouton and Cranberry Stuffing
Baked Carrots
Beehive Rolls
Peppermint Ice Cream with Hot Fudge and Sprinkles
Egg Nog

It really is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.



It is a miracle that I found exactly what she had in mind. 




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