Proper Dinner Etiquette and Tablescaping

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I got sucked into looking at dinner ware this week with all the after Thanksgiving sales. I’ve always wanted something pretty and festive like my mom’s china, that we only use for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas – similar to this (affiliate link->) Lenox Gold Banded Ivory China Dinner Plate. So that got me thinking about how I’d love to better teach the kids how to properly set a table and be polite when eating.

See my Nana was an amazing grandma, mother, and proper lady. Despite her living on a farm. Just this summer as we got together with my mom’s family, I recall my uncle telling us how no matter where he goes to eat dinner, he’ll be comfortable because he knows which spoon/fork/cup/plate to be using. She made sure her kids knew proper table manners.

I recall my mom teaching us the correct way to set a table as a kid as well, and now it is my turn to teach my kids.  Mark and I have often talked about having a periodic Etiquette dinner, with different courses, all the silverware, and fancy dishes. While doing these dinners, we’ll pick an area of etiquette to stress with the kids. These would be things like

  • How to properly set a table
  • Sit up straight
  • Which fork is a salad fork
  • What spoon is used for soup
  • Remember please and thank you
  • The direction we pass food, and the best way to place food on the table. 
  • How to properly hold your silverware
And the list will go on. I am really excited for these nights, and fingers crossed the kids will be too. We may go so far and let them dress up fancy for our etiquette nights as well!
Along with our etiquette nights, I am going to play around with tablescaping! This is a fairly new word I’ve heard, but I love it. It’s the art of layering your table so it is pleasing to look at. There is even a book all about it- Tablescapes: Setting the Table with Style by Kimberly Whitman!

Currently I have a very simple Christmas tablescape, but one I enjoy every day. I made a reversible table runner a few years ago. The green is my favorite side, but the opposite has candy cane stripes that make for a fun party. My blocks I made during a Relief Society Super Saturday (women in my church get together and craft all Saturday long), and help remind me the reason we celebrate this season. The gold vases I picked up at Ikea. I love that I don’t have to put anything in them for them to still add a simple beauty to the table. Then I tossed on the Christmas tree for more of a bright and contrasting color.

Will you be having any fancy dinners this Holiday season, or do you keep it casual?

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