food

Simple can be gorgeous when setting a holiday table

4 Comments
By MELISSA RAYWORTH

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4 Comments
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Don't worry about tradition

I won't. In addition to my mini Christmas tree, I'll just have a couple of candles on the table, leaving space for the roast chicken, mashed taters, stuffing, green peas and carrots, pumpkin pie with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, beer and water.

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We don't celebrate Christmas but we do celebrate New Year and will make such a table setting since we have the plates and the room. But we are only two.

Back in the UK I have a cousin with a large family and they go to her place for Christmas. She solved the problem years ago and instead using the plates she uses the more expensive paper plates with decoration. Plastic glasses but real cutlery. She just throws it into the garbage saving the washing up time.

I also use some green from the garden.

In the photo everything is matching but I think its alright to use a mixture if the plates are nice.

But for most people this will all be too pompous.

Pizza takeaway anyone?

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Throw away paper and plastic are falling out of favour, Zichi. It is easy, but perhaps a strategy that is obsolete. I know plenty of families who choose to go out for dinner and let the restaurant deal with the prep and clean up instead. They can concentrate on each other. Bonus, for the most part people behave better in a public place. Fewer chances of family tantrums that way.

I think people should do what they like. I know those who feel intimidated the moment something is "fancy." Or worse, they consider the host pretentious for "showing off" when all they may have wanted to do is to add a little glamour--even rustic glamour--to an occasion that is a notch above day-to-day ordinary.

Personally, I'm a huge fan of Christmas. I savour and indulge in the whole season from Advent through Epiphany. For that reason I adore creating a unique centerpiece for the dining table every year simply because it's something I enjoy doing. I do it even during those Christmas seasons I have celebrated alone. I'm quite happy to do it up just for me. As a friend once said to me, an occasion doesn't feel festive without the festivities.

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"Holiday table". Cringe.

I dislike over fussy table settings, they get in the way of conversation and, as in this picture, the food. Where do you put the turkey, potatoes, sprouts etc. where are the Christmas crackers.

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