Linens and things

I have pampered the table linens I acquired at the flea market in Emden last month. They have been washed, rolled and steam pressed and are now ready to be laid out on our tables.

This is not second nature to me. I grew up in a household with an informal and homey entertaining style.

My mother and step father are the Queen and King of the picnic party.  Born out of the necessity of a large family and small post war suburban ranch home. BBQ’s were moms way of making the most of the situation. Come Christmas the situation became a bit more complicated. Our table for six became a buffet as a compromise and tv trays were provided.  Dinner was a one-handed meal.  Nothing to cut, everything ready to be stabbed with a fork.  It worked pretty well, I thought and as kids we loved it.  We could fidget as much as we wanted and no one said a word.

The first Christmas I spent with my husband’s family, I got an ulcer.  It was so formal we could hear each other swallow. The table was beautiful.  Martha Stewart could take some tips from my mother-in-law. She must have spent days making it so and as I have learned later the great art of setting a table is a still alive and well in Norway.

Since we are hosting Christmas, I am trying to combine these two things, a formal table setting with the lightheartedness of a BBQ.   As our family has shrunken this past year we have fewer place settings, but I hope we can honor their spirit by keeping the same cheery tone that hubby’s great aunt was so adept at.

What do you think?

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