Simple Table Settings
A Little More on Day Ten
– I used to use place cards at each seat – until one of my adult children teased me. That caused me to re-think using them, and I like it better without! Now, everyone is on their own in choosing where they sit, and I use the little holders to hold a Scripture verse instead of a name.
– If you have clear plates you can place a paper snowflake or other flat decoration underneath; I use a large flat leaf at Thanksgiving.
– Fresh evergreens will make your table beautiful and smell good too. Mix in a few colorful berries, ornaments, candles (place to prevent fire) and ribbons.
– A bowl filled with bright red and green apples make a festive in expensive centerpiece that’s edible.
– Fill a vase with fresh cranberries and small pine cones for a centerpiece that smells as good as it looks.
– Spray paint fruit (apples, oranges, pears etc.) with gold or silver paint for a stunning table.
Simple Table Setting I have hesitated having a large group over because I did not have enough dishes – or at least I thought I didn’t A dear friend offered a demo at Morning Grace (our weekly Bible study) on how to extend your dinnerware by combining several sets of dishes. This fascinated me as I watched her alternate dinner plates with contrasting salad plates on top. I could hardly wait to try this out! I combined glassware, silverware and cloth napkins too! Not only did my table settings look beautiful, I did not need to buy any additional dishes. To read a little more about table settings and a few center piece ideas you can go to my web site: www.suemwilson.com
A Little More on Day Nine
– Breakfast for dinner is fun and takes little effort: omelets, pan fried potatoes with eggs, waffles and pancakes are a few suggestions.
– Taking some time each week to plan meals will save you from the stress of deciding what to make for dinner. *
– Devise your list from what you have on hand and you will save money during an expensive month! *
– If you would like to host a Christmas meal for your friends or family but cannot tackle Christmas dinner – how about Christmas Eve, serving appetizers and dessert, Christmas breakfast or a meal between Christmas and New Year’s.
– A progressive dinner is another way to enjoy a fun meal – sharing the load, and the fun.
* If you are interested, these two tips are expanded on in Home Matters – the book, chapter 9.
Meals – Cooking once and eating twice is really helpful, especially during the month of December. It is easy to do, just double your recipes and freeze one meal. I love my freezer because it holds “bonus meals” that are stored away for days when I need them most! December is also a good time to have different types of soups or crock pot meals along with a healthy salad! These are easy to make and will help balance good food with the holiday treats we may be devouring throughout the day! For some easy Some easy meal ideas are on my web site: www.suemwilson.com
You are Invited to Morning Grace Spring Session!
What is Morning Grace? It is a ministry to women of all ages in every stage in life that is dedicated to teaching, inspiring , encouraging and building up women their Christian faith so they can be the light in their homes, church, workplace and community.
January 13th & 15th – Opening Brunches – you choose if Tuesdays or Thursdays work best for you!
Online registration will open December 15th – you must register if you need child care (its free – first come basis).
Home Matters will be one of the class selections on Thursdays!
Morning Grace meets every Tuesday and Thursday (you can come to one or both days) from 10–11:45 am. We gather in Clanton Hall for powerful worship, testimonies, panel discussions and/or demos. Then, we break and go to a class you have selected for teaching, fellowship and prayer. The MG Preschool Children’s Ministry is available to moms attending MG and is limited to your choice of either Tuesday or Thursday. Homeschool classes are available on Thursdays for moms attending Morning Grace. We would love to have you join us!
– If you enjoy baking and want to share your goodies, you can purchase real plates at the dollar store; the plate becomes part of the gift that the recipient can continue used. This will make the transport of the treats easier too!
– For a cookie exchange you could have each guest bring 2 & 1/2 dozen of one kind of cookie. Two dozen are to share and 1/2 dozen can be eaten at the exchange. Each recipe can be tasted, and the host doesn’t have to make dessert! If you have some super-duper bakers they could bring more than one type of cookie. Each guest takes home the same amount that they brought.
– Recipient ideas, other than friends and neighbors could be your local fire department or police station, teachers, hair technician, bank tellers, store clerk, mail carriers etc.
– If you don’t have the time to bake and know someone that does – how about you supply the ingredients, and your friend does the baking!
– Freezing Christmas cookies and treats on a plate makes them easy to serve or take to a party. I also like to place a few in a zip type baggie for Len and I to enjoy on occasion with a hot cup of tea! What a delicious way to welcome in the new year – if they last that long!
Baking – I knew I had a problem when I continued to bake all of the Christmas cookies that my mom made – even the ones I did not like! For some reason I thought it would be Christmas without each and every recipe! My mom was very generous with her homemade treats and made plates up for neighbors and friends – filling special requests for her delicious fudge! I am relieved that I have learned to bake only what I like; which I should have done a long time ago! There have been some years when I have not baked one single Christmas cookie! Those are the years I really enjoyed the edible gifts I received, savoring every bite! Baking should be something enjoyed, with (good) memories. If you are hungry for some Christmas treats but do not have the time or resources to fill many recipes, you might want to consider a cookie exchange. I had the fun of hosting a few with friends, family and even a Home Matters class! During those events my friends received a lovely plate of homemade treats – they weren’t safe in my house!
Learning to clean smart will save you so much time!
– If you have several members in your home, and a few bathrooms, designating one to a capable family member. Children need to be taught valuable life skills and keeping a bathroom clean is one of them! You can learn how to clean a bathroom in 10 minutes in chapter 11 of my book Home Matters (click on book icon to purchase- if you’re interested).
– To keep things looking nice I like to wipe out the sinks after I use them – this is easy if you keep a cleaning cloth in the cabinet underneath each sink. You can also wipe down the faucets first with the cloth and the mirror – if necessary. This only takes a minute and keeps your bathroom fresh.
– Take that extra minute to put something away – you will be so glad you did when your room looks tidy; more importantly you won’t have to spend valuable time looking for items!
Cleaning – A word to the wise – do not do too much of this -too soon! If you strategically plan when said cleaning is to be accomplished, you will save yourself a lot of work! If you are using fresh greens and putting up a tree, it is going to be messy. Even artificial greens and trees shed their needles. Do not vacuum until all messy decorating is finished – or you will be doing this many times. Sometimes sweeping up is necessary, to not spread the mess throughout the house. I also have learned to clean the floor after a party! I do make sure there are not huge chunks of debris on the floor and I mop up any area that my feet are sticking to! Your guests will never know – and your floor is sure to collect crumbs and sticky stuff during your party or event. One of the most important rooms to give extra attention to, is the bathroom your guests will be using. Give yourself a break and lighten up – you will get more longevity from cleaning done when you are taking your Christmas decorations down, starting the new year with a clean house. P.S. – encourage your family to wear their jeans and use their towels more than once, this will lighten your laundry load during December – who knows it may become a regular habit!
Consider enlisting family members to help with the decorating process. A word to the wise – only have them help you with what you really want them to do – and don’t change what they do! When I know exactly what I want, I just do it myself. I remember one year when I was a teen, my mom was working more hours that she usually did. She told me I could decorate our home for Christmas. My dad and I went up in the attic to get all the decorations, and decorate I did! The absolute best part of this arrangement was my mom did not change one single thing! I think I grew a few inches taller that Christmas – her confidence in my ability and appreciation for my help instilled a wonderful confidence in me, and I still enjoy decorating!