The really great thing about this set is that there is an identical set of these dishes. You see, my great grandmother and her sister had identical sets of dishes. That way, when they had large dinner parties they could share the dishes they needed. Isn’t that brilliant?
Well, my sister and I thought it was a fabulous idea. If our great grandmother made it work, then we certainly could too! My sister and I lives just minutes from each other and we take turns entertaining when we have family parties. Our family has traditionally enjoyed sit-down-dinners when we get together. There are 20 of us. Twenty. Twenty dinner plates. Twenty salad plates. Twenty dessert plates. You get the idea. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have room to store all that, plus serving pieces! Our arrangement for sharing works out perfectly.
We both have a full set of Friendly Village and we each have a few serving pieces. At Thanksgiving, I pack up my dishes and drop them at her house. At Christmas, she packs up her dishes and brings them to my house. We live close, so we don’t even wrap the dishes. We just put them in a box and take them for a little drive.
I absolutely LOVE these dishes. They are perfect for winter holidays. You’re probably wondering what we do for the other holidays and family parties. Don’t worry, we have the same everyday dishes and serving pieces too.
Our great grandmother and her sister had a pretty smart idea. Sharing is such a good thing.
Here’s a peek into Thanksgiving in our neck of the woods. My sister and sister-in-law hosted our meals this year. We all live in the same neighborhood, so we didn’t have to drive far between parties.
There was turkey, of course…
unless, you are 7 and dishing your own plate… then it will look like this. Olives. Potatoes. Giant cinnamon roll. Jello. Yep, that’s all you need for a perfect Thanksgiving meal.
Green bean casserole
Sweet potato puffs
A good nap afterward
What do you get when you combine 13 girls, 10 boys, 2 movies, 2 nights, and 7 bags of popcorn?
Well, you’d get my weekend. Last weekend, to be exact. There was no special occasion. No fancy invitations. No fancy appetizers. No last minute stress to make sure the house was all clean. We sent out evites on Monday and invited the girls from my daughter’s kindergarten class to come over on Friday for pizza and a movie. Saturday was my son’s turn. He invited the boys from his class and we had the same party all over again. My daughter chose the new Barbie movie and my son chose Karate Kid.
The kids were only over for about 3 hours each night. It was low key, low stress, but tons of fun. The parents appreciated the time to themselves. My kids appreciated the way we opened our home to their friends. I appreciated seeing my childrens’ gratitude, for something that was really no work for me. So often, when I plan a party, it involves huge themes, party favors, way too much food, and the overall grandeur that comes with entertaining. This was different. It was just friends hanging out. No expectations, just fun times with friends. Isn’t that the way entertaining should be?
Every other month, or so, my family gets together to celebrate birthdays. This time it was my turn to host. We never know who’ll be able to come. Some of our family members have a three hour drive to get here. Today, I was expecting twelve adults and eight kids.
Growing up, we always had an elegant supper. It was always on a Sunday, at 1:00. There was fancy china, homemade cinnamon rolls, mashed potatoes, and something like swiss steak or turkey. My mom would usually have five different pies prepared for us to choose from. Imagine a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner for 25… that was family dinner.
My grandma is now in assisted living and my mom has downsized to a smaller home. The reality has finally hit. The “kids” are now responsible for taking on this family tradition. It’s a little more laid back now that the kids are in charge. We don’t always break out the china. Most of the time the dinner is buffet style. The floors will probably not be freshly waxed. It may not be my mother or grandmother’s party, but there are a few things that are always the same. There will always be lots of food. There will be kids running through the house, happy to have time to play with their cousins. My brother will still organize a game of some sort (most likely wii, instead of ping pong or wiffle ball like we did in our younger days). We will all be too full for dessert, but eat it anyway. It will be time for family. Some things never change.
So, here’s a glimpse of the table, from family dinner at my house. I can’t wait to post this on Tablescape Thursday, at Between Naps on the Porch.