Yes, this post is about a Christmas tablecloth. Yes, Christmas was a week ago and for some, like my OCD neighbors who took down their outdoor lights on Christmas Day, Christmas is over. But I’ve had this post in my mind for several weeks and just could not make myself sit down and write it out. I really want to share it with you, dear readers. So, before the New Year rings in in a few hours, I’m sharing this short story!
Preparing for a small family gathering the weekend before Christmas I was standing in front of the linen closet staring at the shelf where the folded, no iron, tablecloths were stacked. I was about to pull out the usual green cloth and lace overlay that are my Christmas favorites when at the bottom of the stack my eyes were drawn to…holly leaves on a tablecloth folded wrong side out. I knew it was one of several vintage cloths I had brought home from my parent’s house, but I had no memory of bringing home one that was a Christmas cloth. Out of curiosity I pulled it out and oh my, I knew I had to use it!
As I spread it out on the table I tried to remember this tablecloth. The memory was there, I thought, but I just could not place it to a particular home or time that it was used. Yet, it was familiar and the vintage design was enchanting.
The ironing board was set up and the iron was heating when I realized that there was yellowing around the border, so off went the iron and on went the washing machine. After soaking overnight and two washes it looked much better except for a stain on one of the short ends. Not to be worried about, it is what it is – signs of use. I can’t believe my Mother’s eagle eye for stains had missed it!
The question of when and where this tablecloth appeared continued to haunt me. I seem to connect it with my early childhood; it is familiar, but I just don’t remember it. Definitely a vintage piece and seems to be in the style of the 1960’s. My sister did remember it from her teenage and college years of the 1980’s. She and my parents ate their meals at a breakfast bar, but she remembered Mama putting it on the dining room table to “make it look pretty.” My sister-in-law remembered Mama using it on the table in their last house in Brandon when she and my brother visited during the holidays. She also remembered the breakfast quiche that my mother served; Mama always went all out when her son was visiting!
The dinner turned out nice and the tablecloth was a special little perk up for a casual pre-Christmas meal. Just to note, this picture was made after the meal when I reset the table with full flatware and wine goblets. The Lenox Holiday plates are new this year and I’m glad the internet ad for them popped up one day last summer, they were quite a bargain and I was able to buy 8!
Does food taste better when served on fine china and a vintage tablecloth? Well, probably just the same if the food was on a paper plate on the deck table, but I enjoy using my fine china frequently and, just to note, Lenox china can go in the dishwasher and the 100% cotton tablecloth was a dream to iron! Yay!
By the time most of you read this it will be a New Year, 2023! I hope 2023 will be a year of moving forward and contentment in all you do. Remember that it is the small, simple things of life that bring us peace.