From 2013 to 2016,  Williams Sonoma gave us this classic combination of rich red berries and winter greenery, Botanical Wreath.

I must have been asleep at the switch because it completely passed me by at the time. But when a couple of plates in the pattern swam into view last year on eBay, I began to search it out in earnest. I registered a search for Botanical Wreath salad and dinner plates and waited to see what turned up. First, dribs and drabs of one or two plates appeared, but finally, I could snag a dozen salad plates and eleven dinner plates from a couple of sellers. Bingo.

All the plates are touched with a subtle old gold rim, providing a visual container for the exuberant flora.

Glenn’s birthday is in early November, but we were still in Cape Cod. So by the time the family got together to celebrate, it was well into the “Christmas china zone”. Himself is the most tolerant of spouses—his only concern was what was being served for dinner—prime rib with Yorkshire puddings. So a Christmas table was just fine with him.

I’ve had these little houses for years; you’d think they’d been designed with this pattern in mind.

I have five green cut glass open salts, picked up on Chirp years ago.

The botanical napkin rings are from Pier 1 and hold burgundy “faux silk” (read polyester) napkins I had made by Chintz & Co. in Vancouver more than a decade ago. They wash like a dream and have adorned many a holiday table.

Two branch and berry garlands from Etsy twined their way down a cream linen runner from Pottery Barn. The runner is exceptionally wide – at least 18″. It miraculously survived dinner with four children under eleven, at which lashings of gravy was served, cascading over Yorkshire puddings. I was amazed to find nary a spot on the runner the following day. My mother would be proud!

For dessert, Glenn requested Carrot Cake. Perfect. The cream cheese frosting is a lovely blank canvas. I dug around a bit on Pinterest and came up with garnishes to complement the table.

The dried orange slices are a snap to make—sliced thinly with a mandoline and patted dry with paper towels; they take about two hours to dry in a 250°F oven. Simples.

We are two weeks from Christmas. It snowed here overnight, so we have a few inches on the ground, and the trees have a beautiful dusting of snow—not so thick as to weigh down the boughs but enough to coat them in a magical white powder. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

This afternoon, all the girls are heading to see A Christmas Carol at the local theatre, and we have Beef Stew Braised with Guinness ready for dinner afterwards. When preparing the stew this time, I decided to omit the potatoes and serve mashed potatoes and steamed Brussels sprouts on the side. If I have time today, I’ll make a Doughnut Hole Croquembouche for dessert (stay tuned). If not, it’ll be two-bite brownies from the grocery store. 🙂

One more look a the table.

Have a great day, all.