Thursday, December 27, 2018

My Dining Room

My dining room is a busy place at Christmas time. Full of meals, snowflakes, and holiday decor, it’s a space with stories to tell.


^ After a night spent roaming around the internet and looking at china cupboard Christmas vignettes, I convinced myself that I couldn’t live without several hundred dollars’ worth of new serving pieces and an onslaught of shimmering baubles that would make even Santa blush. I filled several online shopping carts to the brim, but stopped short of pulling the triggers and decided to sleep on my bright ideas.

The next morning, I impulsively emptied out my cupboard, took my three favorite platters and centered them on each shelf, from smallest at the top to biggest at the bottom. Inspired by a set of wooden bowls and a pair of brass deer I had bought over the summer, I realized I had the core components of a forest vibe.

Within an hour, I had shuffled through my storage cabinet, selected a handful of other pieces that fit the theme, finished off the arrangement, and found inner peace.

Then I went and deleted every single one of those shopping carts that I’d filled the night before, and enjoyed my make-it-work moment.

^ To anchor this flurry of snowflakes in the window, I sent my husband out to the yard and asked him to find me a big stick.


And I think that’s a good start to any project.

^ The dining room table often turns into my gift wrap staging area and this year was no exception. What did happen differently was that I was late to the gift-wrapping game and my fore-thinking daughters had knocked back our gift wrap supply to shockingly few leftovers.  Rather than having my choice of the peach, gray, and glittering whites that we picked out before Thanksgiving,Ii was left with a few rolls of odds and ends, and a heap of scraps.

Ditto that on the ribbon selection.


Laying aside any expectations of grandeur, I worked with a passionless determination to get every box wrapped in something and tied up with anything long enough to tie into a bow.

Only when I laid my stash out in the table and took in the sight as a whole did I realize that somehow, the scrappy and uncoordinated presents were beautiful together. What a fun surprise.

^ Every year, I tell myself that I’m going to buy a proper luxe bouquet for Christmas. Maybe some stunning red roses, or a mixed bouquet with white lilies, white hydrangea and red berries, or even something dramatic featuring tall spiky brown branches. I dare myself to buy something unexpected, unpredictable, and maybe even downright unique.

But I never do.

Every year, I buy red tulips for my Christmas table and I am always glad. They make me happy. .

^ Look among the heaps of gifts I bought this year for my family. See the brown tissue paper package in the lower right corner?

That is a gift for me.

This may be purely selfish and quite out of step with the true spirit of the season, but while I’m Christmas shopping, I often stumble across some beautiful thing that I cannot live without. And even though I feel a wee bit bad about it, I buy it.

And somehow it helps soothe my guilty conscious if I tuck it away till Christmastime, and then wrap it up and give it to myself as a proper present.

Love your neighbors as you love yourself, right?

Inside this year’s package was a white quartz coaster from Anthropologie. It’s now unwrapped and sitting on my nightstand, where I use it every night for my glass of water.

And every time I look at it, I remember that I gave it for myself as a Christmas gift.

I have zero regrets.

^ Of all the holiday treasures that pass through my dining room each Christmas, the paper snowflakes must be my favorite. Magic can be worked from humble paper and string and a bit of tape.

And if you don’t believe me, I invite you to come to my dining room and see for yourself.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment...I'd love to hear from you!