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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

White Christmas Holiday Table

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

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. 

Several of my blogger friends are sharing their Cozy at Christmas ideas in a blog tour hosted by Katie of Let's Add Sprinkles. Thanks, Katie, for gathering together our holiday ideas for a cozy Christmas. One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is to look at beautiful Christmas decorations and ideas. The entire schedule for Cozy at Christmas is below. I think you will enjoy seeing all of them as much as I do.

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. 5

Let's Add SprinklesHyacinths for the Soul/ Southern DayDreams/ White Spray Paint/ Garden Up Green/ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson/ Ellie and Elizabeth  

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Brookhollow LaneAt Home With Jemma/ My Heart Lives Here/ The B Farm/ Botanic Bleu/ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen/ Art and Sand/ Ash Tree Cottage

Wednesday, Dec. 7 

Sweet Nothings/ At Rivercrest Cottage/ Opulent Cottage/ Decor to Adore/ Fern Creek CottageThe 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




Katie Mansfield said...

Gorgeous. Thank you for all the great tips, the beauty and for being a stop on our Cozy at Christmas tour.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

We love those comforting soups when it gets cool. And we have a board game set up on our library table now. It's a fun time of year. Your home is gorgeous! I love your place mats! Holiday hugs, Diane

Carole West said...

Beautiful Judith - what a great place to set your table and the view it's got to be amazing. I love those white ceramic trees and after seeing silver (love those images) I think I may need to clean mine and use it this Christmas. Enjoyed and wishes for a Merry Christmas!

Carole @ Garden Up Green

Rhondi said...

What a beautiful table setting. Hope you have lots of great conversations around the table! Thanks for the tour.

Decor To Adore said...

What a gorgeous tour! My heart always beats faster at French antiques. I adore the wee boxwood wreaths. I'll have to get a few of those next year at your fabulous shop!

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Judith, What a lovely tour. Love your beautiful set table and the boxwood wreath at each setting is perfect. Soups and salads are the way to go when lots of company stay for the holiday. We do the same here since all our family live out of town. When they come, it's for more then just a day!! Your table is beautifully set and I love the setting by the lovely window with the light streaming through. Thank you for the tour. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

What a beautifully set table and with such a simple elegance, you've created, Judith! I also love your dining chairs, which would make each guest feel comfortable around your table. The boxwood wreaths are just so perfect at each place setting. Thank you for sharing your tips for easy meals of soup and salad, and for sharing the warmth of your cozy home.

craftyles said...

WHat a pretty table you have set. I love all the white with the boxwood wreaths and text. Great ideas for food-soup and salads. Made some chicken noodle yesterday to have this week when it gets really cold. Thanks for the tour!

Mary Vitullo said...

Thank you for all the simple and great tips and food ideas/

Cecilia Bramhall said...

your table is beautiful - love the book pages printed with Gold and the wreaths. I love to have soup during this time of year - as you say, easy to use for staggered meals. It looks very cozy, indeed!
Christmas blessings!

Eilis said...

I'm so glad we got to visit today. Your fruit salad was delicious! Your cozy Christmas table is just beautiful.

Stacey said...

Judith, this is so pretty and I appreciate your thinking. We often have a big crowd at our house and soup is a go to for me on Christmas Eve. The white dishes and our French soup spoons are beautiful! Like Eilis, I really enjoyed that fruit salad and think it deserves a blog post.

Merry Christmas to you sweet friend. :)

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Some sensible ideas here to think about. The holidays always seem to bring so many heavy meals with it, I like the idea of soup and salad for a few meals as relief from all the food. Your table setting is lovely, even for a simple meal. I will be on the look-out every where for those french spoons!

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

What a stunning table! I just love the crisp white dishes and trees! The book pages are wonderful too! Those monogrammed still my heart!

Pam Richardson said...

How perfectly lovely. Judith!

Botanic Bleu said...

Soup is a winter staple for us. Board games were always part of our childhood and part of our Christmas presents.


Botanic Bleu said...

We have enjoyed the sunspace all during the year. Some years I set up a Christmas tree in one corner. Yes, you should use your silver for Christmas.


Botanic Bleu said...

For the past several years, the number one thing I look for in a dining chair is "cushioned". :) I've enjoyed being on the tour with you today.


Botanic Bleu said...

Thanks, Pam.


Sarah said...

Judith, it's always a treat to visit your home. I love the light filled eating area. You must enjoy sitting at that table! The white dishes are perfect for any season. Thanks for the place card printable. I love using place cards.

Art and Sand said...

Oh, so beautiful!

Your dishes are lovely and the flatware is so special.

What makes Christmas cozy for our family? Being together because we all live in different towns. We go on a family vacation every year - our son and his wife along with our daughter and her boyfriend are meeting up in Carmel for Christmas this year. We're all counting the days.

bj said...

You have a beautiful the table by all those windows..your white dishes are lovely...I think everyone should have a set of whites ...Have a wonderful Christmas..

Bonnie said...

I don't know where to start, everything is so pretty. How simple and elegant your white dishes and white quilted placemats and boxwood wreaths are! Love your french soup spoons and napkinsl The light was your friend while you photographed your table which with your floral chairs is such a happy and cozy area.
Love your centerpiece items and your french book pages.

Ginger Valdes said...

Absolutely LOVE all the white! So simple yet elegant. Such great ideas for personal interactions rather than everyone staring at the boob tube!

My Kentucky Living said...

Your table is just gorgeous. White plates, napkins, silver...oh la la. Love. And those darling little boxwood those too. Merry Christmas!

Bluesky Kitchen Carol Lander said...

Isn't white wonderful?!! It's that French vibe that you and I love so much. Judith, you've done an amazing job of creating a simple, yet stupendous holiday home. I love every element. Happy to be sharing another blog tour with you. Merry Christmas!

Jann Olson said...

I love your table setting! The addition of the book pages and little wreaths are darling! I also love your floral chairs! Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

Kathryn Ferguson Griffin from The Dedicated House said...

Judith, you created such a beautiful white tablescape! You have me swooning over those soup spoons! So gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your table setting with us! Merry Christmas! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

Leanna - Of Faeries and Fauna said...

Very very pretty. I have not done alot of tablescapes in my home. Pinning this for inspiration. I love the white.

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Good Afternoon Judith,
Beautiful White Christmas Holiday table and such sensible tips too.
I so enjoy the salad which you made for us at our Christmas party. I made a mini version of it for us last night. My dressing wasn't as tasty as yours, but oh those stupendous ingredients are marvelous!
Merry Christmas to you!

The Charm of Home said...

Just beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

Christine Graves said...

Gorgeous! Loving the crisp white dishes for the holidays. You did a beautiful job.