Lighting For Exposed Ceilings
A Special Celebration
This year I’m going to do something different. Because our family always gathers from hither and yon for this holiday and everyone stays in their respective homes for Christmas, I’m going to combine my Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration with a festive table.
If many of you are in the same situation, where you see your family now and not later, perhaps you’ll think about doing the same thing. It’s always nice to set a table with family heirlooms if you have them. I also like to take out everything good: silver, chinaware, glass gobletseven if half the guest list is under five years old.
Improvising a Table
If your table isn’t large enough to seat, everyone, it’s easy to extend it with a four- by eight-foot piece of plywood placed on top of the existing table. Then cover the board with a thin piece of cotton quilt batting stapled to the underside. This will pad the table and soften the edges. Felt or flannel would work just as well. The next trick is to find a tablecloth large enough to cover the board. A plain white sheet works just fine as an undercloth over which you might put your great-grandmother’s crocheted tablecloth, an old quilt, or a few yards of fabric. If you have a lovely old tablecloth packed away, use it. Don’t worry about food or wine stains. Anything can be removed. (Quick trick: If wine is spilled on the cloth, immediately pour salt on the spot. After dinner place it over an upside-down colander and pour boiling water through the cloth from an arm’s length height. Run through the washing machine on delicate.)
Create a table where everything is white, off white, silver, and gold. Napkins should be crisp white damask tied with gold ribbons. For a festive family gathering such as this, use family photographs for place cards. Insert each picture into a pinecone.