We’re in the final countdown to Christmas this week! Are your gifts wrapped yet? Got all that baking done? Not so much? Well, that’s ok, me neither! Might as well just roll with it, because Christmas will be here in 7 short days whether we’re ready or not!
I stole a little time last night when the kids were winding down, brushing teeth and getting ready for bed to “pre-set” my Christmas dinner table and get an idea of how I want it to look this weekend. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking….really? Ain’t nobody got time for that!! But it literally took me all of 10 minutes, plus I really wanted to share the details with all of you this week!
For me, Christmas is really a lot about traditions. Growing up, we had plenty of them, and now that I have a family of my own, we strive to do that same thing. We have started our own little family tradition of Christmas Eve dinner.
My husband and I wanted to have a tradition that our family could really look forward to each year. So, we thought of all the meals we enjoy eating and chose a really yummy recipe for homemade manicotti, which is an Italian pasta dish, very similar to lasagna. Christmas manicotti has been our “go-to” meal now every Christmas Eve since our kids were babies. After we get home from church, we gather round the table to enjoy this delicious dish, with a nice green salad and some fresh garlic bread.
I remember growing up, on special occasions at our house, many times we’d enjoy a big family meal and the table would always be set with our “good china” so we knew it must be a fancy dinner. I don’t necessarily have any good china of my own, but I do add a few special touches to our dinner table when we serve this Christmas Eve dinner. It’s my way of letting our kids know, this is a special occasion, where we can celebrate each other and the gift of family at Christmas.
I found these adorable melamine appetizer plates on sale at Target this year for $1 each and I knew they would be a great addition to our family’s table. Not only do I love that they say Joy and Noel, but I really love the fact that they are non-breakable when dining with little ones.
The silver beaded chargers were a set my husband found for me on Ebay for $5 – he’s always finding great deals on gently used items online. And the white ceramic dinner plates & silverware we’ve had since we were first married, almost 12 years ago.
These vintage painted Christmas cups were a gift my Mom gave me many years ago. I love their frosty winter scenes that are so reminiscent of the Northwoods. It’s fun to break them out this time of year.
The table runner was one of my favorite finds this season. I purchased it for $10 at a local antique & consignment shop. I was over the moon for it since it had both green and blue, plus red in it to match my kitchen’s colors! The hand stitched Joy & Peace and snowflake designs are really beautiful.
Another new find this year was a set of Pioneer Woman’s cheerful holiday napkins from Walmart. My husband and I use the Savings Catcher app from Walmart with every purchase we make at their store. If a local competitor offers a lower advertised price on an eligible item you purchased at Walmart, their Savings Catcher program allows you to get back the difference on a Walmart Rewards eGift Card. So guess what? These napkins were totally FREE – since I used my Savings Catcher reward balance to purchase them! Awesome-sauce!
Our centerpiece this year is mason jar meets country farmhouse! Lots of little red and green ornaments fill the inside of a vintage blue mason jar, along with mini glass jelly jar luminaries. I added some country red checked ribbon, faux boxwood, sparkly pomegranates and green limes mixed in between.
This adorable little vintage-inspired salt & pepper shaker was a gift from my grandparents this Christmas. It’s a car towing a trailer and it’s also magnetic! Too cute for words 🙂
On Christmas Eve, when this table is set and ready for us all to dig into a warm, home-cooked meal, all of this prettiness won’t really matter that much…while it’s nice to have it look a certain way and enjoy the fancy atmosphere, what really matters the most are the people who are seated around the table and what we share as a family.
Making memories with your family at Christmastime is what’s most important. Heck, you could be eating take out pizza off paper plates and it would still be special, if you are with the ones you love. I hope you experience that family time with those closest in your life this holiday season.
Stay tuned this week for one more project I’d like to share with you – from yet another family tradition of ours on Christmas Eve! Now go get that wrapping finished up and take those cookies out of the oven!