White Christmas Holiday Table
Being a teacher and then an school administrator meant that I always had a two-week vacation centered around Christmas. Since we lived away from both of our families, those two weeks made it possible for us either to go to see our families for several days or to have them come stay with us for several days. Christmas has always been a multi-day holiday which means several meals, not just one large holiday meal.
Spending several days with our family is cozy in many ways. Most importantly, we have enough time to spend time together talking about what's going on in our lives. However, none of us want to spend all day in the kitchen cooking lavish meals. How do we balance our time so we have time to enjoy one another's company and still have food on a pretty table?
Soup and salad are the perfect solution for warm, cozy meals on frosty winter days. Soup can be made from left over turkey and vegetables, can be reheated in a large pot for a full sit-down meal, or can be heated in individual serving bowls in the microwave for staggered meals.
You know, staggered midday meals, when a couple of people have run to the mall for last-minute gifts, dragging in packages, laughing, and talking in whispers as they rush into their rooms with the bags, but others will starve if they wait for them to get home to eat.
Salads are also easy to prepare ahead, store in the refrigerator, and bring out for a sit-down meal or as needed for one of those staggered lunches.
Salads can be fruit salads, or tossed leafy greens with your favorite extras like goat's cheese, walnuts, cranberries, or vegetable salads made from broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms. Add sliced left-over turkey and hot rolls, and you have a quick, nutritious meal in just a few minutes for a hungry crowd.
Place settings are also quick and easy, yet still festive, with boxwood wreaths atop book pages that proclaim a golden joyeux in honor of the season. With simple soup and salad meals, only forks for salads and spoons for soup are needed.
Pretty vintage French soup spoons and vintage French monogrammed napkins from Paris flea markets dress up a holiday table.
The book pages are fun to read, either silently to yourself, or taking turns to read aloud around the table. Wouldn't a short-story mystery be fun to read in installments over several days while house guests stay for the holidays? How about a prize for the person who guesses "who did it" correctly before the final reading?
Pages from Words In A French Life have two to three page stories that incorporate French words while describing every day French events seen through the eyes of an American married to a Frenchman.
Last year I wrote a tutorial for creating joyeux printed pages on a book page.
Place cards have room to handwrite guests' names and can be used every day guests stay. As some guests arrive later than others or stay longer, the cards can be moved to different places at the table. See link at the end of the post for free printable place cards for personal use only.
Three ceramic white trees and a framed Christmas tree print make a beautiful centerpiece that can be easily rearranged or left on the table between meals.
The Christmas tree print and ceramic trees are short enough they do not interfere with conversations across the table.
Between meals we enjoy playing games like Scrabble and Clue. Scrabble was my mother's favorite game, and Clue was my daddy's favorite game. One year at my sister-in-law's house we had such a fun time playing a video version of Clue with all the teenage nieces, nephews, and adults, that we extended our stay by a day to play another round. Good memories of a cozy Christmas with family...
Part of the joy of Christmas is having the table set for everyday meals during the holiday, not just at the large family gathering on Christmas Day.
What makes Christmas cozy for your family?
See all of the ideas for a cozy Christmas...
Cozy At Christmas Blog Tour
Monday, Dec. 5Let's Add Sprinkles/ Hyacinths for the Soul/ Southern DayDreams/ White Spray Paint/ Garden Up Green/ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson/ Ellie and Elizabeth
Tuesday, Dec. 6Brookhollow Lane/ At Home With Jemma/ My Heart Lives Here/ The B Farm/ Botanic Bleu/ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen/ Art and Sand/ Ash Tree Cottage
Wednesday, Dec. 7Sweet Nothings/ At Rivercrest Cottage/ Opulent Cottage/ Decor to Adore/ Fern Creek Cottage/ The Dedicated House/ Bluesky Kitchen
Free printable for NOEL/deer head place cards for personal use only.
Please join me at these inspiring places for more joy of living.
Dishing It and Digging It @ Rustic and Refined