“My memories of Christmas are centered around a table,” shared Diane Opperman Tate.
And indeed, it seems that, for many of us, it is the times around the holiday table, holding hands and saying grace and laughing together (and sometimes crying) that we remember – there is something sacred about a shared meal.
All of us on the Hadley Court team were touched by the holiday meal and tabletop memories you shared on the Hadley Court Facebook page this week as part of our #HadleyCourtBookGiveaway of the exquisite book, “The Collected Tabletop” by designer and tastemaker, Kathryn Greeley.
We’re pleased today to congratulate Cary Hallum, whose comment was picked as the favorite by Hadley Court Editor-in-Chief Leslie Hendrix Wood! As a result, Cary has won The Collected Tabletop by Kathryn Greeley, whose own tabletop design for Chrismas 2014 is shown below, featuring china patterns Holly Ribbons by Royal Worcester and Christmas Rose by Spode, along with Italian Murano glasses by Nasonmoretti, Gorham’s Buttercup sterling silver and a tablecloth created with Wood Cardinal Faux Bois by Brunswig & Fils. A full display of Kathryn’s Christmas china is below this picture.
Cary’s Christmas memory was from a time that she and her grandmother, great-grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins were all in the kitchen preparing the meal. “My uncle was home visiting that year, and while we were preparing the Christmas dinner, he set up a recorder and recorded the conversations in the kitchen. He labeled the tape, ‘Christmas at Grandma’s.’ The noise was joyful! Sometimes that’s where we find Christmas: in the noise and voices!”‘
Indeed! For others of you, Christmas was found in time spent together preparing a special tabletop design or delightful recipes. That was the case for Angel Rasper, who shared of a time when her mother-in-law was expecting special guests for Christmas. The two collaborated to create an extra special tabletop design made of pine greenery and grapevines. “We even convinced the guys to help us, as we ventured out into the cold and snow, to pull vines from the trees!” she shared. “Once gathered, we put the pine boughs, garlands and grapevine wreaths in place with her collection of china, crystal and Old World Santas. The guests were awestruck at the beauty when they arrived!”
“The best part,” said Angel, was the time spent together in the cold gathering vines and designing what is still one of my all time favorite settings.”
The setting, above, is Angel’s current Christmas tabletop using the same combination of grapevine wreaths, fresh pine and Santas. Another Hadley Court reader, Natalie Sewell Reddell, also shared her current holiday tablescape featuring a sleigh, topiaries, crystal and many layers.
Commenting on the setting, Natalie said, “I mixed Limoges, wedding crystal, twig placemats, and gorgeous layered fabrics. It’s all about the layers.”
And, it is all about family togetherness. For those of you who shared your holiday meal memories, whether you were from Evanston, Ill. or Cincinnati, Ohio; Tucson, Arizona, Abiliene, Texas or Winston-Salem, N.C., celebrating by being together was the heart of your memory.
Diane Opperman Tate put it this way in her comment, “My hope and mission is to have more time and dinners at a dining table with family and friends. We need to go back to those core values to strengthen the family. The family is what holds the community together.”
We couldn’t agree more, especially when the generations gather, and the older ones can mentor the younger ones, and the youngest can learn from their elders. Many of your stories included grandparents and even great-grandparents, and we heard from several grandmothers, including Jean Darden Baker, who wrote, “I’ve always decorated the table for family holiday dinners. My grandson had never commented, but once, when he was saying the blessing, he said, ‘We thank you for (Grand)Mom’s pretty table!”
And on that poignant note, we at Hadley Court want to say “God bless you, dear Hadley Court readers–every one!”
Thank you for joining in and sharing your Christmas meal memories with us and with each other on our Facebook Page. We appreciate your willingness to share your own family traditions to warm the soul of our readers’ everywhere.
Kim Darden Shaver
Leslie Hendrix Wood
Founder, Editor In Chief
Gracious Living. Timeless Design. Family Traditions.