HMMM How About Formal Dinnerware

 I was recently walking through the antique store, and I saw a beautiful display of vintage dishes. Many of
us have fond memories of Thanksgiving dinner at our Grandparents house. Sometimes there were so
many people at the gathering that multiple tables were used, and a “kiddie table” was set up where the
younger ones would sit and eat together. It was always more fun at the kiddie table, as no one was
pressuring you to use table manners, and there was always laughing and goofing off amongst the kids.
Yes, the kiddie table was fun until the child became a pre-teen, then it was not cool to sit with the
“babies” anymore, and the teenager would then beg to sit at the “adult table”.
With the invention of the television and TV dinners, families began eating dinner in the living room using
TV tray tables. The large dining room table was reserved for holidays or special occasions, and the
formal dinnerware collected dust awaiting a special day. Holiday dinners, celebrations, and special
events were a time where family and friends came together, sat around the dining table, and enjoyed a
fabulous meal. These special occasions meant that the best China and serving dishes were brought out.
The table was usually set with the finest items from linens, candleholders, and drinkware to the special
salt and pepper shakers. Family would gather around the table and usually say grace then serving dishes
full of delicious food would be passed around. One would take what they wanted out of the dish and put
it on their plate then pass the dish, or simply pass the dish if they didn’t want the food it contained. In
between the special occasions, China cabinets or hutches held these items on display and the dishware
became a beautiful decoration to the kitchen or dining room. Most often families had two sets of
dinnerware, the formal set, and the everyday dishes.
As the decades passed, it seems that so had the necessity for formal dinnerware. Disposable dinnerware
known for its convenience had taken over. After seeing the beautiful dinnerware in the antique store, I
am inspired to start making family gatherings a grand event once again. I get inspired when watching
vintage movies that contain scenes of parties. The people attending the party would use beautiful plates
to hold their food while walking around and socializing. Beverages were served in actual glassware or
stemware, and often there was a decorative punchbowl with decorative punch glasses set out for guests
to help themselves. In the background, someone is choosing a record to put on the turntable, as the
music would surely set the mood. These vintage scenes seem so glamorous, and so different from
parties today. Antique stores have a variety of dinnerware for sale like pastel colored depression glass,
delicate florals, geometric patterns, country scenes, birds, and more. The dishware can be extremely
delicate like bone China, or heavier like ironstone. When you are planning the next party, think about
getting some vintage barware, dishes, or serving plates, as it will help your party be the best and most
memorable social event!


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