As it did last year at Thanksgiving, an orange table felt like the way to go this Christmas morning. Each of our four married Christmases so far, I've decorated our Christmas breakfast table in a different color--aqua in 2011, pink in 2012, a creamy yellow last year, and now orange too--and setting the table in it has become one of my favorite Christmastime tasks. It is the last thing I do before collapsing into bed Christmas Eve. I set it up while our cinnamon rolls for morning's breakfast are baking and after Mike has gone to bed. It is quiet and calming and soothing to me, transforming a bare surface and a pile of set-aside-this-year's-color-items into a cozy and inviting table for us. Christmas morning, Mike makes an egg casserole to go with my cinnamon rolls.
I decided on orange on Tuesday and looked around the apartment to see what I had on-hand that would work. A felted bird that had been hanging in the window was pulled down for a table decoration, pieces of orange gingham fabric were ultimately taped together to show up under the white lace snowflake tablecloth, an orange cup worked as Mike's juice glass (I'm not a juice fan and didn't need one), a pumpkin-scented candle and an apple-scented one from Mom were deemed orange enough to fit the bill, orange star sprinkles and glitter were set aside for table decorations and cinnamon roll toppings, and an orange paper lantern that usually hangs in the kitchen ended up being temporarily taped to the ceiling above our dining table.
I arranged a few cream and white village houses, snowflake ornaments, and trees around the table to fill in the bare spots a bit.
An orange gingham gift bag from the drugstore was cut up and became two place-mats, and the two strips of it that were left after place-mat-making became what looked like a trivet for the cinnamon rolls but were actually just a couple two-inch-wide strips of gingham bag/paper stuck under the edges of the pan on two sides. :)
Two fifty-cent orange-striped candies from the grocery store served as table decorations this morning and became Christmas tree ornaments when the table was cleared. ♥
A tiny white plastic container that Mike's mom has sent a leftover pickled egg home to him in at Thanksgiving was transformed, with the help of the gift bag's orange ribbon and a small circle of the gingham bag itself glued into its lid, into a butter dish. The snowflake spreader was a drugstore clearance item years ago.
Stuffed, Stuffed, Stuffed. ♥ I love his round head and his cheek-fluff and his half-black-half-white face and his paw lines. He is such a sweetheart, just so dear. You can see behind him that the orange gingham fabric under the lace tablecloth is really just scraps of fabric that barely cover the top; There is no "drop" or overhang with it, no. :) But from above! From above, it looked good. ;)
What is it about gingham that is so charming? I love it in any color. Dots don't do it for me, although I like them too, especially tiny dotted Swiss. Stripes rarely make me swoon. Plaids are pretty, but I've never smiled over one. But gingham! ♥ And orange gingham this morning! Just looking at the pictures makes me happy.
The village houses were both gifts from Mom and Aunt Laurie previous Christmases. The tablecloth was a gift from my younger brother years ago. The tree candles and trees were from Mom. Mom also made the pillows on the chairs. Some of the pots and pans were from my brothers and sisters-in-law. Others belonged to my grandparents. The table itself was a housewarming present from my parents for my first all-to-myself apartment back in 2002. The drinking glasses were given to us by my in-laws. Oh, this room--this whole apartment--is filled with so much love! There are tokens of loved ones' hopes for us everywhere we turn, and setting the Christmas breakfast table always reminds me of that.
We are blessed.
It was a sweet morning.
The snowflakes and paper lantern I taped to the ceiling never crashed down on to the lit candles during breakfast either. A cup of fire-dousing water and a smothering quilt were at-the-ready just in case, reported the Lady of the House in her most-nonchalant-now-that-the-meal-has-passed-without-incident manner.
I hope your own holidays are bright and beautiful.
I know many are hurting over losses and transitions and that this can be a heartbreaking time of year. My dad has been known to declare that "Better days will come," and I concur. To be hurting during the holidays makes one feel freakishly lonely and lowly. I have been there, as we all probably will have been at least once in our time here, and it makes these holidays that are filled with orange gingham and snowflake spreader glee all the more deeply appreciated.
Love to you all, and the brightest of days ahead for you. ♥