I really enjoy going into department stores to look at all of the beautiful place settings arranged on dining room tables. I hear them screaming out to me “buy me” or, “you need me for your next class”! I really have to resist the urge to buy any more dinner plates, salad plates, bread plates and glasses. Perhaps it’s because I grew up watching my grandmother Bessie and my mother Sallie set their dining room tables for Sunday dinners, plus holidays. I was the one who had to polish the silver and brass candle stick holders, trays and coffee pot beginning at the age of five. It was a part of my Saturday chore list and I did not like it at all. But I did love to see my reflection in the pieces after I had rubbed and rubbed for what seemed like hours.
I remember when I was finally old enough to sit at the “big” table with the grown-ups. I think I was seven years old. This meant I could ditch the hard, plastic cartoon plate in exchange for the fancy, delicate bone china plate for Sunday dinner. I was soooooo excited! It was such a rite of passage. I was finally old enough to be trusted not to drop the plate! From that point, I knew that I loved the look and feel of bone china.
Now, as an adult, I enjoy using glass, porcelain and bone china plates, plus real silverware during my etiquette classes. Children, as young as three and four years old, have used my “fancy” plates and nothing has gotten broken during the last four years I have been teaching. That is quite an accomplishment because when I was a little girl, I remember giggling at my great-aunt Dorothy for dropping and breaking her plates and cups.
When you explain to children how important it is to be careful and explain the reason why they should respect the place settings, they typically will try to impress you in their abilities to be extra careful. For this holiday season, I can’t wait to use my “fancy” pieces as often as possible, and not just for special occasions. Each time I do, I will continue to honor my family traditions and I can’t wait to do it again this holiday season, beginning this Thursday on Thanksgiving, and then on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and even Monday, too. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Categories: Blog Posts