08 December, 2015

For the Love of Plates...

 ... and bowls, and cups, and saucers, and platters and sugar bowls! Okay, you get the picture, I love dishes! There was a time in my life when I considered Christmas dishes a worthless and unnecessay extravagance; I'll admit that I turned up my nose at plates with holly leaves and bowls with Christmas trees... "why would anyone want to commit space and resources to dishes that can used for such a limited period of time" I thought. And then I saw Villeroy & Boch's Naif Christmas pattern. I remember the exact moment that these dishes spoke to me. We were living overseas, in Geneva, and I was downtown in the Globus department store browsing through the china aisles when my eyes fell upon these. It was immediate... I knew then that I needed them. Maybe it was the charming folk-art scenes, or perhaps it was the lovely, delicate, cranberry-hued edging, but the thing that reeled me in then, and still does, is this nativity platter. 
You can read the story here of how I came to acquire this set of dishes; but, please, read on. Over the years I have developed the custom of getting these dishes out in early December and keeping them in the cabinet clear through January so that my husband and I can fully enjoy them over a period of weeks with their precious winter scenes. They have become all the more special to me now; as I place the stacks of plates, bowls and mugs in the cabinet, I am reminded of the number of dear friends and family who have gathered with us at Christmastime and been served off of these plates. I am truly thankful for them and for the gallons of tea and coffee, over the years, that has been poured from pot to cup... from heart to heart. These dishes have come to represent such abundant blessings in my life; looking back, maybe it was no coinicidence that I wandered into the china department of Globus on that day so long ago. God changed my heart to one of welcoming hospitality and opened my eyes to the treat that awaits if one looks beyond the ordinary and unnecessary to what might just be considered something of true and lasting value. That's a lot to ask of any plate, but I can happily confirm that these dishes have delivered all of that... and much, much more!
Life is Good!

5 comments:

robi brath said...

Thanks for giving me something, some justification I suppose, to say to M-I-L the next time she says, 'you really love plates' in a not so nice, judgmental tone. Every time she's in my home, at some point she says it! Never mind that she & my late F-I-L had many a meal from those plates! Ok, I'm getting a little defensive. Anyway, thank you for putting my thoughts into words. For me, there is something important about owning & enjoying things that we can use to serve others. But there is some selfishness in it too. I really love vintage pieces that used to belong to someone, someone else who cooked with or set a table with these pieces. I love preserving the history, hence my other passion, vintage linens (some of which you restored for me!). That's our little secret though :-)

45th Parallel Quilter said...

Imagine my surprise when I logged in to read your blog and saw all MY dishes in your cabinet! LOL I have had the full set of these for years ... I love them so much that I have the "everyday" ones (as well as the Christmas) set. Without exception everyone who comes to our home remarks about how unusual they are. I started collecting the everyday ones when I saw a few at a garage sale YEARS ago ... I added to them from various sources and now have more than I can use! I smile at certain ones because my nieces and nephew would come to dinner and change the plates around, wanting a particular scene to dine upon. Yes, the memories are deep, strong and loving. What a great post ... thanks for sharing ;-) Linda

Cathy Burk said...

They are lovely! I just read the story of how they came to be. What a delightful story! You must have been so surprised when you returned to find your dining table filled with your dream dishes! Thank you for sharing this.

em's scrapbag said...

The only thing better to collect than plates is fabric.

Glenda in Florida said...

I enjoyed your story about your dishes, and wanted to share a story with you. They were not my dishes--I was an innocent bystander, and sometimes shopping companion. In the last 1970's we lived in northern Italy where my husband was in the US Army. One of his fellow officers became engaged to a female officer in one of the other units on post. We lived about an hour and a half from the town of Nove, and the wives would often go shop for ceramics there. Well, the engaged couple made a trip to one of the larger pottery houses, and wanted to order a set of twelve for their everyday dishes. They chose a white background, with rings of pastel stripes on the edges. So...when they returned to pick up their dishes, there was indeed a set of twelve--OF EVERYTHING! Twelve plates, bowls, cups, saucers, serving bowls, butter dishes, covered cake plates, coffee pots, tea pots, cookie jars... Well, you get the idea! They negotiated, and agreed to purchase two or three of each of the accessory pieces. For the next year, whenever one shopped at Nove, we saw the excess serving pieces on the factory shelves.