Monday, December 04, 2006

Red and Green: Coleus and Christmas Dishes

The coleus should be long gone by now, what with the frost at night. But this one, a volunteer seedling from summer seems determined to stay.

And no wonder; with a color combination like that, it has come into its full glory in December!
This is a picture of my Christmas dishes. And as promised: The story behind the dishes.

When the children were very small, back in 1982, Bernie's maternal grandfather Albert Kiester of Homedale Idaho made it down to our home in San Diego for a one time visit.

Following that visit, he began to send $20 a year to us as a family for Christmas.

I needed to dream up a way to use that money. Shopping for four gifts was challenging...until I came upon a place setting of four dishes in a Christmas pattern called White Christmas. The company making the pattern was Sango.
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Back in the early 1980, which doesn't seem all that long ago, the only Christmas dishes available were the fine china sets by Lenox and one other company.

I certainly couldn't afford those settings, but guess what? The Sango place setting of four dinner plates and four cups and saucers were...ta-da-da-dah! Twenty bucks!!!

Something we as a whole family could enjoy!

The next year I bought another set of four, thinking if we had other families over, or both sets of grandparents. Or one day, maybe, (cue up the whiny sound) grandchildren.

The next years I added salt and pepper shakers, cream and sugar set, salad plates and soup bowls. Somewhere along the way I added the ruby edged goblets. I see the goblets in antique stores now all the time, and I skeptically raise my eyebrows accordingly.

We got the last check in 1990. He died one day after his 86th birthday, on Feb. 1, 1990.

He was a tough old bird, and probably would have raised his eyebrows skeptically at the thought that the lovely Christmas dishes remind us of him each year.

He'd be right.

Fancy table settings just wasn't his style.

He'll forever be remembered in our famly for his blue overalls and his simple life, and for being a tough old bird.

PS: The salt and pepper, sugar and creamer are on the counter beside the stove top, hence the timer. The Christmas tree is a ceramic piece made by my mom. Lots of my Christmas things are made by my mom. Lucky me!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine anything one could spend a modest sum on, and then derive so much enjoyment from for so many years, than such a set of dishes. Your decision must have been divinely inspired. May you, your children, and grandchildren enjoy them in good health!