I’ve just finished setting the table for Christmas Day; trying to get a little ahead of the curve. Thought you might enjoy seeing it, along with my nutcracker collection centerpiece.
Two years ago, I was in Florida helping mom to downsize. At the time, my parents were living in a sprawling, four-bedroom home; planning a move into an apartment. Sistah B had already helped go through much of the clothing, artwork, sculptures, and decor items. Mom and I worked on the kitchen, bathrooms, smaller artwork, dining room, and her extensive holiday collection of decorations, ornaments and collectibles.
Most of the items had a great deal of sentimental value, and a number were handmade treasures. We spent several days going through the emotional, difficult process. As we accessed each item, we determined what was going in the house contents sale, to donate, or give to family members and friends.
Unfortunately, my two sisters and I simply could not absorb everything. After all, we are our mother’s daughters — having collected holiday decoration ourselves for decades! Plus, mom and dad had given us Christmas ornaments and decor every year since we were kids. None of the grandchildren were married or had homes yet, so they had no place to keep or display anything. That meant my sisters and I would have to store our children’s keepsakes too.
I selected the Christmas decorations and ornaments that had the most sentimental or nostalgic value to me, primarily items from my childhood. Some I had given to my parents, others I knew the boys were particularly partial to — like nutcrackers.
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No Room at the Inn
Two years later, and the boys still have not taken procession of the holiday decorations I shipped to Pittsburgh. They live in lovely condos, but urban apartment living does not provide much display or storage space.
Although I was able to find space on the tree for ornaments and squeeze in several Byers Choice carolers and smaller nutcrackers into my groupings, there was simply no display space for the large figures destined for my sons.
Chef Red Cloud and Drosselmeyer spent two years boxed in their old bedroom closets.
Last year, I found this wonderful nutcracker table runner at Marshalls. That’s when I had the eureka moment to create a nutcracker theme tablescape. I combined all of our nutcrackers to create a holiday centerpiece.
For this year, there would be no Peacock Ornaments Decorate Chandelier at Christmas and coordinating table. Besides, I have plenty more around the house!
Prior to the more recent additions from my parents, I already had three nutcrackers displayed on the baker’s rack in the family room. Do you collect or have any nutcrackers decorating your home?
First in my collection was the general pictured above. He’s also my favorite nutcracker for sentimental reasons. Dad brought him home from a business trip to Germany. He knew how much I loved the ballet, music and story. I still do!
The first trip we took after our honeymoon was to West Germany — the country was still divided by the Iron Curtain. Hard for millennials to imagine! I bought several nutcrackers as gifts, and brought home one riding a horse. Isn’t he special?
Mom and dad added two more nutcrackers to my collection over the years. Pictured above is one with a plumed hat, holding a shield and flag.
Another nutcracker raises his sword. Next to him is the classic design I brought home from the downsizing trip.
Collection Combined into Centerpiece
To create a cohesive look for the nutcracker centerpiece, I weaved a holiday garland around the seven figures. Next, I simply tucked in faux greens and berries, with a few gold spray-painted pinecones.
Which nutcracker do you like best?
It’s Not Always a Theme
Queen of Theme I claim to be, this tablescape is not as matchy-matchy as many others, such as Casual Christmas Table Set for Holiday Season.
Other than the centerpiece, table runner and butter knife, the only other nutcracker elements are these festive crackers found at Pier 1. I loved them so much, I bought three packages at a post-Christmas clearance.
Christmas is the only occasion I can use Lenox Holiday Nouveau dinner plates. Another lovely gift from my parents, this time for our 25th wedding anniversary.
Holiday Nouveau is currently available, although I don’t believe they still make my uniquely-shaped dinner plate? I love the rounded-square corners, plaid ribbon and how well they coordinate with my Lenox Eclipse china.
Do any of you have the Holiday Nouveau pattern? They even made a tissue holder to match!
Setting the Holiday Table
Waterford Kenmare pattern crystal also graces the Christmas table. I’ve placed the champagne on top of the holiday plate, to hold shrimp cocktail — a family tradition.
Napkins matching the tablecloth are tucked next to each champagne glass; being careful not to cover the holly design. No fancy fold, just a simple Christmas tree-like shape.
Vintage flatware belonged to my husband’s great grandmother. Although Enchantress by International is not a pattern I may have picked, I’ve come to treasure it. I love it’s patina and family history; having graced many tables.
Gold tapers, ornament balls and individual votives glow around the table, while little gold trees hold place cards.
A few china and crystal serving pieces are scattered around the table. Next to my husband’s place is a wine plate and several stoppers.
I always pick up a few at post-holiday sales for next year’s stocking stuffers and hostess gifts to accompany a bottle of wine.
What’s your go-to holiday hostess gift?
Time to Make Merry
I hope you’ve enjoyed having a seat at my Christmas Day table?
2021 Update: For my Christmas holiday table, I made hand painted Nutcracker Glasses & Crafted Napkin Rings out of ornaments. The post provides detailed descriptions to make your own and photos of the restyled nutcracker theme tablescape.
If you are just visiting or a newer subscriber to Debbee’s Buzz, you might enjoy seeing last year’s holiday tablescapes.
Yesterday the last packages arrived (whew) and I picked eldest son up from the airport before the deluge began.
Today the rest of the Christmas cards went in the mail. Finally! Tonight, I finish up menu planning and tomorrow morning I do the better part of grocery shopping. Hubby will be sent out Christmas Eve to pick up the rest. Only one more cookie recipe to bake. Youngest son arrives tomorrow, after driving across the state. By then, the heavy rain should be over (fingers crossed!).
Mom is coming to Pittsburgh for her youngest sister’s wedding. She’ll first spend the holiday with dad, who is in a care facility. I want her to see that their cherished holiday decorations now have a place in my home. Wish my dad could be here too…
A very merry Christmas to you all, and may God bless us, every one!
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