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I did not grow up with the tradition of using Christmas china, but my husband’s family definitely did. When I was a newlywed, one of the first gifts that I received was a set of 8 place settings of Spode Christmas Tree china. Through the years, my collection has expanded to 16 place settings, and I also have most of the serving pieces, glasses, napkins, and placemats.
This is what Spode’s Christmas Tree looks like – many of the items in the collection can be seen on Amazon here. This pattern was first sold in 1938, so it is the 75th anniversary this year.
Every year, right after Thanksgiving, I swap out my everyday china for my Spode Christmas china, and use my Christmas china until New Years. In my old house, I had very little storage space, so the Christmas china was packed away in dish storage containers that were placed on a high shelf. It was such a pain to bring the china out and pack it away that there were years when I used the Christmas china well into late January (I never considered skipping this Christmas season tradition, though)!
When we were planning our kitchen, one of my priorities was to have plenty of storage. In particular, I wanted to have an easily accessible but tucked away storage spot for my Christmas china.
When we were designing the island, my kitchen designer noted that I could capture some of the ‘dead space’ in the kitchen island for storage. As soon as she sketched out the design, I knew it would be the ideal place to store my Christmas china, which I want to be tucked away most of the year, but easily accessible when I do pull it out.
Here is how the design works.
On any given day, this is what you will see at my kitchen island – three barstools.
Pull the barstools away, and you would never know that behind these panels are two hidden cabinets – push the cabinet door, and the door opens. It’s the perfect place to store those items that aren’t used on a regular basis, but are easily accessible when the need arises; it’s the perfect place to store the Christmas china.
Here is the view when the cabinets are open. The shelves provide just enough space to accommodate the more casual Spode Christmas tree china, linens, and serving pieces on the left.
On the top two right shelves, I have the new Christmas china pattern that I received for my birthday this year. It is Noritake Holly and Berry – holly is one of my favorite motifs of the season. This pattern is a bit dressier and I will use it for holiday entertaining and special occasions.
Now, pulling out the Christmas china is a three minute process. I simply pull away the barstools, pop open the cabinets, take out the Christmas china and put it in the main dish cabinets. Then, I put the everyday china in this space under the kitchen island until the holiday season is over. It works beautifully!
How many of you have special seasonal plates or china? Maybe it’s a Southern thing? If so, when do you pull the Christmas china out and put it away, and where do you store your holiday dishes off season? What pattern do you have? My family never had a Christmas china tradition, but I must admit that it has become one of my favorite rituals of the holiday season – pulling out the Christmas china and enjoying it all month long. It makes every meal more festive!
Favorite design and architecture books of 2013: http://www.thingsthatinspire.net/2013/12/books-from-2013.html
2013 books on my Christmas list: http://www.thingsthatinspire.net/2013/11/books-for-my-christmas-list-2013.html
2012 books on my Christmas list: http://www.thingsthatinspire.net/2012/11/books-for-my-christmas-list.html
2011 books on my Christmas list: http://www.thingsthatinspire.net/2011/12/my-book-list-christmas-2011.html
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