Special days call for special table settings with surprises.
The weather out the window is not the surprise. This is one of several typical weather days for Christmas in north Texas. More years than not, the weather will either be bright sunny blue skies or a little overcast like this. It is unusual for north Texas to have a white Christmas, but it can happen.
The big blue tarp in the yard is covering materials for the next section of the deck to be replaced. The tarp will protect the wood from any snow should it appear.
Christmas day is usually a very peaceful day for us. Any surprises are usually good ones that bring a lot of smiles and laughter. Like the year my sister gave me an ironing board cover as a Christmas present. I had just told my sister a couple of days before Christmas that I thought Christmas presents should be special things that are beautiful and not something one would buy for herself.
Our mother was a practical woman who had happily received screen doors and lawn mowers as presents from our dad over the years. Those do not fall into my category of gifts; they are household necessities in my mind. So, I told my sister to please steer our mother away from those kinds of gifts for me and please, do not let her buy me something like an ironing board for Christmas.
On Christmas morning my sister was eyeing me very closely as I opened my present from her. It was an ironing board cover. Our eyes met, and I began laughing hysterically, throwing back my head and laughing on and on. My sister joined me in laughing hysterically; both of us wiping away tears from laughing so hard. Our mother was sitting next to me on the sofa and couldn't understand what we found so funny. Now, I must admit, the ironing board cover is one of the prettiest I've ever seen, and it is still on my ironing board this Christmas.
A golden PEACE Christmas card at each place reminds us of the peacefulness of the season. Three golden wisemen encircle a narrow preserved boxwood bundle.
All of my family, including my uncles, enjoy gardening. The botanical letters just speak to me and seem perfect to go with the preserved boxwood.
More botanicals stand on the white bookcase that I use as a potting table. The paperwhites in the vintage crockpot are in full bloom, just in time for Christmas day.
Since the breakfast table is small, any centerpiece needs to be small. The narrow design of this bundle of preserved boxwood fits the space very nicely, leaving room for the cards at each place and the golden wisemen.
In the center of each salad plate is a cluster of berries and leaves that echoes the botanical theme of the cards, boxwood, and nearby papewhites. By repeating variations of a theme, the overall effect is more striking.
The china pattern is Winter Holiday, Rose Wreath by Fitz and Floyd.
A good surprise this Christmas is how Christmas dishes go with the upholstery on the breakfast table chairs. When I had these chairs recovered I had not realized the fabric had little touches of rosy red.
The Fitz and Floyd dishes also include coordinating salt and pepper shakers.
Another option in the Winter Holiday pattern is Garland, and it is holding a special surprise glass ornament for each person at the table.
A watering can for a gardner who grows paperwhites. A star for the person who starred in a local Christmas play this year. A church for the person who is a minister. A Big Ben for the traveler who visited England this summer.
Each place setting has a holiday envelope for another special surprise that may be a gift card, a lottery ticket, or a ticket to a movie after lunch. One of my family's holiday traditions is to go the movie on Christmas day.
May your Christmas be filled with peace, be filled with good surprises, and be filled with love of your family and friends.
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