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Old 10-24-2005, 08:01 AM   #1
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Wisdom from those who aren't so young about entertaining

My wife likes to cook and have people over and such stuff, I could go back to the farm and as long as I had a dog and a good garden i'd be happy.

But this is the question, if you had to do it over again, would you have tried to get all the beautiful crystal and china and so on so forth that you have collected as you have gone through life, earlier on, and enjoyed it with your kids and friends as you went through life?

On one hand I think about my kids breaking stuff, but as i reminded myself last night when i came in and saw my perfect beaker in the dishwasher, I can buy new stuff...

On the other hand when i think about my cast iron, my Pro 6 and other such stuff, each child can take some CI with them to college, if I have a girl she can have the white KA pieces, I haven't even had kids yet and I am thinking about them...

But back to the basic question, would try to get that entertainiing stuff early on?

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Old 10-24-2005, 08:58 AM   #2
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My wife and I got all our stuff like that for wedding gifts so I would consider that early on. We have our china and crystal and I am glad we have it now. I want my kids to grow up using it so that they have memories of it when it becomes theirs.
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Old 10-24-2005, 09:52 AM   #3
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I got a lot of crystal, silverware and china as wedding presents, and luckily the patterns are all still current, so I have been able to add to them all through the years.

We ALWAYS use the 'good' stuff on Sundays, when entertaining and on other special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Hogmanay etc. Some pieces have been broken over the years, but one piece of china at a time isn't too expensive to replace.

It has meant my children grew up appreciating the stuff, and being CAREFUL with it!

I think there is nothing so sad as, in the case of one of my Grandmas.... we all got pieces of her prized china and crystal - most of which were never used in her lifetime, but were in display cases and washed and dusted religiously.... Now I have some of it, it is too oldfashioned for my taste and so it STILL sits, gathering dust
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Old 10-24-2005, 11:02 AM   #4
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well, i can say from a young 24-year-old perspective that i am very, very glad that i got all of my crystal and all-clad and williams-sonoma products like napkins and kitchenaid mixer (more for decoration than anything) and so on and so forth early on. now i don't have much left to buy and can concentrate on other things. i started buying all of this stuff at about 22 so that i'd have what i needed and wanted for when i leave here. it's taken awhile, but i am so glad i did. i want to have a pretty kitchen for my guests to enjoy.
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Old 10-24-2005, 11:26 AM   #5
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I inherited my grandmothers Lennox china. When I had it appraised for the insurance, it turned out to be worth almost $4,000. I just can't bring myself to use it.
I have Spode china and Fostoria crystal, but they are in my top cabinets, and I never get them out. Same with 2 sets of silverware and assorted silver bowls and trays.
I use my Fiesta for special occasions...it is more fitting to our casual lifestyle...and bistro white for everyday.
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Old 10-24-2005, 05:21 PM   #6
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My dad is a retired military sergeant with four daughters. In other words, not much money growing up. Mom bought crystal and china in Germany at a factory seconds shop ... and always used it. Other families had all the china and crystal, and never used it. Most Sundays we stayed in our church clothes and had a "fancy" dinner. For those too young to drink wine, cream soda filled our champagne glasses. The flatwear was set correctly, and we used it correctly. It gave us lessons that have been invaluable in our adult lives. Hubby and I have china, crystal, and silver, and use it. Don't leave it in the china cabinet the way some do. Here my freinds often have heirlooms ... and use it. Don't save it for your kids and grandkids. What for ... so they can save it for theirs, and no one ever learn to enjoy the table? I don't use it for every day any more (we used to, though!), but it gets trotted out any time we have less than a half dozen coming over for dinner. I have a 4-year-old neighbor who loves to light the chandalier and sip from the crystal. If she breaks a plate, who cares? This isn't a museum, it's a home. Of course, mine isn't worth that Spode set! And, yes, it has taken hits. I quit using the sterling every day because I was finding that I (not my guests, not my neices and nephews, ME) was tossing them into the garbage can when I scraped the plates! At a minimum of $40 a pop per piece, I bought some stainless for everyday, and when the party is over after using it, we don't take the trash out until we cound the silver! Thank heavens for Replacements, Ltd!
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Old 10-24-2005, 05:50 PM   #7
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Oh, Constance - give it a GO, all that wonderful china, as ornaments! it is so much nicer to eat from a fine china plate or drink tea from a china cup.... I wouldn't even like to price my silverware or Royal Doulton china.....! It would make me too nervous to use it, or the Waterford crystal

I have a cheaper, Japanese (?Noritake, but I haven't looked underneath the plates for ages!) china that I use for everyday. I don't like to eat from earthenware plates.

I don't want my children to be left lots and lots of 'heirlooms' - I want them to remember all the fun times around our dining room table, eating off good bone china and using sterling silver cutlery... what they do with it when I'm dead, is up to them!
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Old 10-24-2005, 06:44 PM   #8
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I've never collected expensive china, silver or crystal. We were very young when we married (I was 17, he was 19). We chose to have large sets of what we had since we've always had lots of family and friends for all meals. I have several sets of dishes and use each for a while and switch off to another set now and again. I enjoy entertaining and do everything I can ahead of time. It makes the visits so much more enjoyable.
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Old 10-24-2005, 06:45 PM   #9
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My grandmother was a fine hostess, and she entertained a lot. Her tables were always beautiful, with perfectly ironed linens, candles and fresh flowers.
My mother was a teacher, and not as into cooking or entertaining, but our Sundays were like yours, Claire. I was responsible for setting the table, and derived a special satisfaction from laying out all the gleaming silver and china. Boyfriends were very impressed when they were invited to dine with us.
When my girls were little, I didn't have a very nice house, and no dining room. There's something about eating in the kitchen with all the stacked up pots and pans that makes a fancy table setting look out of place, and I guess I just quit caring. My ex-husband and his family were not appreciative anyway.
After my parents were gone, I gave my grown daughter my mother's china and crystal, and she has it stored away in a box because I told her she probably shouldn't put it in the dishwasher.
I have decided that I agree with you ladies completely. What am I saving it for? It will probably all be sold at auction when I'm gone anyway.
I'm having Thanksgiving at my house this year, and I vow to get down the Spode and get out my good tablecloth! Guess I'd better put silver polish on the shopping list.
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Old 10-24-2005, 06:46 PM   #10
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Absolutely! I'd enjoy every bit of it, including bits of the chipped china, LOL with my kids and friends. I've learned that material things come and go but the memories last forever. Enjoy your expensive china and crystal and all the fancy stuff while you can.
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