Monday, December 22, 2008

Tablescape Tuesday: A Christmas Eve Dinner for Six


Setting the table for a Christmas Eve dinner is a chance to be a child again.

A blank canvas is an opportunity for you to play, and to build little worlds at each placesetting. As your imagination takes off, joy will infuse everything you touch.

This bit of magic will be passed along to your family and guests--the gift of experiencing childlike happiness as they sit down to the table that you have lovingly prepared.


I started to hum as I set out the "Christmas Crackers." These favors (Amazon.com) are traditional in England--for a small package, they pack a huge punch: inside are joyful items, like paper crowns, word puzzles, plastic rings. Since choco-holics will be coming to dinner, I added candy Santas, too (Publix). This is my way of saying, "Oh, go ahead--eat dessert first!" And sometimes we do.


Many years ago, my mother gave me the Christmas dishes ("Festive Season" by Mikasa).


The swirled red goblets were wedding gifts, mixed in with red wine glasses.


The placemats are from K-Mart; the napkins are made by Lenox. And, as always, my Mimi's flatware (Rue, the pattern is Wild Rose).


For the centerpiece, I placed a punchbowl on top of an ornate resin mirror.

After I filled the bowl with cranberries, I added roses and greenery (Publix).

Here, you can see the mirror's frame peeking out from the centerpiece.


The joy of puttering is often contagious, and Young Gollum helped me light the mercury glass votives (Ballards Designs).

Note to self: dripless candles, Gollum. Dripless candles that Bunny Williams loves, Colonial Candles.


Dessert, coffee, and tea awaits on the sideboard...

...with a holly cake (what would I do without Publix?).
Hello, Dr. Gollum's mice.




I love mixing pottery. The Ironstone sugar bowl and creamer fit perfectly in this faux-Majolica serving dish.


Let's take a closer look at Santa (Publix) and the napkin rings ("20th Century Baroque" by Godinger)

Here's a peek at an unusual Santa--a "coral" Santa. I saw him two years ago in the Horchow catalog and waited for the after Christmas sale.


Now I'm off to check out the wonderful tablescapes at Between Naps on the Porch. See you there!


62 comments:

  1. HI GOLLUM,

    THIS IS STUNNING! I REALLY LOVE YOUR GOBLETS AND WINE GLASSES. I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED A TWISTED STEM.
    ~SO PRETTY!
    PRECIOUS PLACEMATS AS WELL.
    GREAT TT POST!
    THANKS FOR THE INSPIRATION.

    HAVE A WONDERFUL AND BLESSED HOLIDAY!
    ~MELISSA :)

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  2. Once again...a beautiful tablescape! I love the chocolate Santas at the place settings! You are right about the coral Santa...he is very unusual. Your centerpiece is so pretty. I really like the idea of using the cranberries. And...I am happy to see that Dr. Gollum's mice have come back home! They were causing quite a stir in Blogland! Merry Christmas to you and your dear family!...Debbie

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  3. Mrs G - I aspire to your talent. You make it look so easy. I absolutely love that you are able to combine so many combinations and styles, and yet they look as if each piece is part of one common theme. You know what my fave is - the combination of the Kmart placemats with Lennox. That my friend is what I respect of you. I wish you and Dr Gollum and your beloved family a Merry, Blessed Chistmas. Barb

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  4. This was a very beautiful tablescape. I love the greenery & roses as well as the red glassware. I also love the mix & matching of dishes. Very Pretty.
    Debbie

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  5. Can I come for Christmas
    Eve dinner Gollum :) I will bring eggnog and of course I am expert at pulling crackers!. Everything looks perfect, love the placemats, the glass, your dishes, flatware and napkin rings. The centerpiece is awesome, such attention to detail and a chocolate Santa and holly cake! Yum, I am all for eating dessert first, it all looks so warm and inviting, I hope you and your family have a truly wonderful Christmas Gollum, hugs, Kathy. Happy the little goats are up and about.

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  6. Ugh Can't sleep~~perhaps it's because I realize I have less than 2 days to do what I generally do in 2 weeks! I feeling slightly overwhelmed with Christmas this year;( But I came over here and I am so cheered up now;) Love the crackers the mirror with the punch bowl and of course that coral santa is to DIE for~~~I think you hit this one out of the park;) French

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  7. This is one of the most beautiful blogs I visit!

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  8. Merry, merry, indeed! Just lovely, Gollum. The punch bowl on the mirror for a centerpiece is just genius, and the flowers are beautiful! I love the whimsy of the crackers and the little chocolate santas, and that coral santa is absolutely fabulous!! Your china is, as always, stunning - and everything always looks so enchanting in candlelight. Yum, yum!
    Hugs! Isa

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  9. Wow! So beautiful and fun! Love the chocolate Santa's and mice. Love the china and the candles. Oh! the beautiful centerpiece, amazing how you put it together. I love it all! Have a Merry Christmas! Deb

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  10. I am sorry i just ate one of those Santa's. I couldn't help myself.. Lovely table setting by the way.

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  11. You are very talented and the feelings you conveyed are exactly those that I feel when decorating anything really. It is magic.

    I too loved the wine glasses.

    This was a great post and I am sure you are going to really enjoy the festive season. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

    I look forward to seeing more of your tablescapes.

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  12. Another outstanding entry for Tablescape Tuesday from you Gollum. The glow in your gorgeous dining room feels so welcoming... and that centerpiece is perfection. Your dinner guests will certainly appreciate being seated at your awesome table. I know I would...
    Merry Christmas, ;-) Bo

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  13. My Dear Gollum...your blog and the looks into your beautiful home are my "calm place" in my hectic, complicated world. I visit so often but rarely leave a comment because Google doesn't like me much. But please know how much I enjoy viewing and visiting here. You are truly one of the beautiful people of the world. Merry Christmas, hon.
    PS-- the stories I could tell about Avery Island -- such a wonderful place.

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  14. Oh my goodness~~I think this is one of the most beautiful talblescapes I have ever seen! I love EVERYTHING!! I kept trying to pick a "favorite" but every pic is equally as beautiful as the next. Well okay, I must admit the little sugar/creamer serving tray and the Santa bring me a little pain they're so pretty! Have a wonderful day! :-) L~

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  15. just so beautiful...everything is absolutely perfect!
    xo bj

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  16. Gollum this in enchanting. I love the use of your bowl and cranberries on top the old mirror..The ironstone sugar bowl and creamer on top the faux majolica stole my heart. I must put red goblets and wine glasses on the list.. that color I don't have..I'm off to finish some "last' minute shopping.. hummmm I'd wondering if I might run into any of these fine treasures out there? From our home to yours Happy Holidays!!
    hugs ~lynne~

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  17. Gollum... this is gorgeous! Loved all of your special touches, and I didn't see those Santas in Publix. Will have to go back and check that out! You just outdid yourself, and it's so lovely!

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  18. Beautiful Gollum, as always! I don't know where you find the time to keep brining us these great posts - but don't stop! :) I hope you have a lovely Christmas!

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  19. Morning, Dear Gollum, I am just speechless - your tablescape is truly elegantly beautiful! Can I have a piece of chocolate, please? lol
    Be a sweetie,
    shelia :)

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  20. It looks so beautiful! Anyone who is lucky enough to come will feel privileged indeed!

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  21. Another wonderful tablescape ala Gollum... You always do a gorgeous setting and I love them.... My friend you do have the flair for entertaining... Loved it... Have a great day...

    (((HUGS)))
    Donna

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  22. How incredibly lovely ... the punch bowl filled with cranberries is my favorite. Down to the 23rd and everything begins in earnest. My grandson announced to me last evening that "he thought" he should open gifts on Christmas Eve - afternoon! Well, that won't happen. Have a blessed Christmas, dear Gollum. You have provided inspiration, guidance, support and so much more this year for all of us in blogland.

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  23. Another lovely tablescape! Love the cranberries in the bowl on that ornate mirror. The coral Santa is so wonderful (I think I need one of those!). A chocolate Santa and a cracker at each place setting is such a nice touch. Have a wonderful Christmas. laurie

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  24. It's gorgeous! I love the coral Santa. The centerpiece is beautiful. Great idea, the chocolate Santa and Crackers. Fabulous tablescape!

    Merry Christmas!

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  25. That centerpiece is amazing! I love it!

    And the chocolate Santas were a great touch also!

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  26. UHHHH..... Can you say GORGEOUS? STUNNING?
    SOOOO Lovely!

    ~Liz

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  27. hello Gollum,
    Your room and table are so enchanting!! Love every detail. The centerpiece really is a work of art. I like how you put it all together. May your Christmas celebrations be filled with Joy!!

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  28. Oh it's absolutely beautiful Gollum! What a great idea for the center piece too...gotta steal that idea! I can't believe you have eaten those mice yet, such will power! lol! :)

    Buffie

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  29. for a girl that claims no gift to tablescape...it looks pretty darned great to me!
    I love the new background too.
    I missed the mice post and will have to go looking for it...as I have seen many references to it...I may not as I am not a good mouse person...real or otherwise! lol
    As I was reading the Crackers part...I was giggling...in my desperation for a crown...lol...we always used the crackers and I don't think I have ever even found a crown in my cracker in all the years! lol (is that a sign?)
    Take care and have a safe and Merry Christmas with your family.

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  30. Thank you all for stopping by and leaving a comment on this uber busy day--I deeply appreciate it.
    I am rushing around like mad today!
    Note to self: breathe.

    Magpie, the Santas were in the Christmas section, with the chocolate bark, etc. In our Publix, it's right when you walk into the store. One thing about Publix, if they don't have it, they will get it--but I hope your store has these Santas. They also have teeny snowmen.

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  31. oh how fabulous is this! i love to learn things and the mirror with the giant shark tank filled with berries is a terrific idea! i have citrus trees and very often use lemons, but in conventional vases, i love your out of the box thinking~

    crackers were always a family tradition growing up, with only 3 of us, i didn't get the box of eight...

    the flowers are gorgeous, i love the red goblets too. i used to have a red dr when we built this house, years ago i changed it all to green to match the views out the window and to feel more calming. i still love the warmth of a red d/r.

    i can't do candles... cats+fire=homeless... i will spare you xmas tree massacre stories as is, but fire is out of my league~

    i have to say that wreath cake is wonderful! you make me feel like baking, but i have retired for the season after all those cookies. the mice are an excellent addtion~

    i am impressed that you share all your sources, i am so new to tt, is that proper etiquette? so we can all rush out and shop too? because i will you know... even without your help i am always finding things, she says with her head hung low, shuffling her feet...

    coral santa is wonderful~ 50% off is even better!

    i am sure all you savvy net shoppers know, you can always call for price adjustments if your items are reduced after you bot them in a week. i ordered the 12 days of xmas from william sonoma and before they even arrived they were half price, one quick call and money should have gone back in pocket, but no, i added an acorn pan i had been admiring that was just reduced that day~

    i am thrilled you popped in my blog and enjoyed that recipe, i am serving that for our casual xmas dinner. well, it is red and green... i am a gardener at heart, but in winter i like play in the kitchen, google is my best friend for recipes and i am always trying new things so stop by anytime. are you familiar with foodgawkers and tastespotting? wonderful way to have scads of food dance before you eyes~ and even more fun to try and get selected there if you enjoy taking pics of your food...

    thanks for welcoming us into your home, it was a gorgeous visit~ she says with a garbled mouth full of wreath cake...

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  32. hahahhhhaaa...i laughed so hard at your name for the goblets, i had to go back and add a note on my posting today...loved McGlassware!!

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  33. Stunning...absolutely stunning.... and your attention to all the details is amazing....

    I don't feel my tablescapes are worthy enough to be listed along with yours!(sigh)

    I guess I need A LOT more practice...and more "stuff" to work with!!

    Have a Merry Christmas!

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  34. Love your gorgeous table.... and blog banner--is so creative! and thanks for stopping by the house in the roses to smell the roses...

    Merry Christmas and warm wishes from our house to yours.

    Cielo

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  35. You have become my husband's favorite blog, for good reason! When he is home, we have fun stealing your ideas and trying to make them work in our own humble home. You should charge us for the therapy! LOL!

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  36. I love your table all set gloriously for the upcoming Christmas dinner! It is in my favorite color scheme and I will take tips for my table next year.....or maybe I can tweak mine before Thursday comes! Oh, and by the way, I love your yorkie! We have two - one a year and a half and one new puppy just 4 months old.
    Merry Christmas!
    Rochelle

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  37. Gollum, what a festive and fantastic tablescape you set! I echo all of the others in their compliments, you know how to set the mood!
    I love to decorate, but don't enjoy the cooking part too much, so when I have company over for lunch or dinner, I tell them to "eat" with their eyes, cuz I can't guarantee that the food will taste as good as the decor!
    Happy Christmas!

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  38. I don't know Gollum. It doesn't look like you set enough place settings for all of us! lol. Lovely and inspired as usual. And we all know the ambiance makes the food taste so much better!
    LIsa & Alfie

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  39. Hi Michael...what a beautiful Christmas table! Love your amazing centerpiece...you are soooo creative...it's beautiful!!! Your family is going to love this when they all sit down to dinner. I haven't bought the crackers in years but a neighbor brought some to me when I had the cookie party. Looking forward to popping them open with family at dinner on Christmas day to see what magic they hold. :-) Thanks for another wonderful tablescape! Susan

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  40. Lovely...your centerpiece is gorgeous!!
    Merry Christmas!

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  41. I love the edge detail on your table. and the swirled stemware...so many wonderful textures. But you blew me away with that centerpiece...STUNNING!

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  42. Your table scape it beautiful! I love the little something for each person, what a great idea. I am loving it all. So pretty. Thank you for sharing with us. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

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  43. Your Santa is gorgeous! And your table is absolutely lovely! Merry Christmas!

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  44. BRAVO!! Once again you out did your self Gollum...that centerpiece is amazing and I loved the Ole World Santa with the red..this is just stunning Gollum..can I move in? I will take take of the Yorkies for you and even do gathering of the eggs..hope you and your family have a safe and blessed Christmas dear friend...hugs and smiles Gloria

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  45. This is so enchanting! I'm inspired to dig out my crystal punch bowl to use for a centerpiece. Thanks and Merry Christmas. Sally

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  46. Hi,
    Congratulations....Your posting is very interesting...Keep writing.. Welcome to my blog...
    Wishing you "A Merry X'Mas and A Happy New Year''

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  47. Wonderful and stunning, I love the childhood touches, just adds that sweet punch to the elegance!
    Enjoy!
    Linda

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  48. Pure magic, Gollum! This is so wonderful, you could serve KFC and no one would mind! I love your centerpiece and your mama did great on that Mikasa set. Just beautiful. Have a wonderful Christmas and please put your feet up!
    love, Carol

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  49. Wow! I love your blog and I love this tablescape. I must see more and read your whole blog! Merry Christmas and I look forward to visiting your blogsite again:-)

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  50. Fabulous, Fabulous, Fabulous! So warm, elegant and inviting! I'll be right over :)

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  51. *** S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G once again... just the setting ALONE is too fabulous!!!... But ohhhhh, the centerpiece you created is GENIUS, GG! And the sec I saw the majolica I thought it was a fine, olllld piece (certainly not "faux"), AND how I ADORE the Santa w/ coral from Horchow (I got the "western-type" Santa from them at last year's sale, too!~~~ the one w/ some "turquoise"!). Everything you do "SHOULD/COULD" give you cause to have a "big head", but golllllyyyy-geeee, you see to have it well under control!!! Again, "...and how do you DOOO that", too??? Big smiles, warmest of hugs n' thanks~~~ Love, "Gomer Pyle"

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  52. Love your table, especially the creative centerpiece! Wishing you and your family a wonderful, loving Christmas!

    BTW, I was always having trouble posting comments here, but I figurred out to right click on the link and then it opens for me. I don't know why that is, but at least I can say something now!

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  53. Simply beautiful...and elegant! I love the centerpiece you put together! The candleabra...is that an heirloom piece? It's magnificent! It's all so lovely!
    Merry Christmas!

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  54. Such a beautiful tablescape. I'm loving the centerpiece with cranberries in the punchbowl. We always do the Santa's at each place setting too , but we hold off on the crackers until New Year's Eve. Jacob (remember he's 14) always gets a kick out of the stuff inside like the folding scissors that look like a stork, or the tangle toy brain teasers. This year we bought some from the fireworks store across the border in Wisconsin (where they are legal) that are supposed to have more "bang" - as you can see (if you only could) by the look on my face - I can hardly wait for that. ~ Robyn

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  55. Dear Gollum...Just stopping by to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! It has been such a wonderful pleasure to get to know you!...hug...Debbie

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  56. Gosh! ... ADOPT ME ! :)
    Wow...SIMPLY WOW :)
    I am totally enamored....how lovely!

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  57. I am busy trying to catch up on all your posts, I have missed so much with my computer being down. Your Christmas table is just stunning!

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  58. I could have sworn they were Buttercup! They look really similiar :)

    Your Christmas tablescape was GORGEOUS! Love that Santa too :)

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  59. Wow! Gorgeous! I love every single detail especially the centerpiece. Great idea on the santa chocolates, oh how I miss Publix! Have a fun Christmas gathering, Michael!...Christine

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  60. Gorgeous!! Merrie Christmas Gollum!! I first found your blog about 1 1/2 ago when I stumbled upon it because you had posted a pic from RMS. Although it was so long ago: THANK YOU for posting my pic!

    I've started to blog now too, and am also a follower of yours. Beautiful photos and delicious recipies I am INSPIRED to try and enJOY!


    Warm Wishes from Sunny Florida,
    :D Lynda (aka: NYCLQ)

    Visit my blog: http://nyclq-focalpoint.blogspot.com/

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  61. Unbeliveably beautiful, I can feel the Spirit of Christmas all around the table!

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  62. Beautiful table, ML..I am trying to catch up..no time before Christmas!
    So busy!

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