Monday, December 25, 2017

The Gift of Friendship

I had the privilege of hosting the Christmas dinner
for my group of girlfriends who have been 
in a dinner group for over thirty years.

The table was set with festive cranberry colored dishes
and sprinkled with golden glitter. 

The cranberry chargers are Italian by Bitossi.
Dinner plates are Queen's Rooster for Neiman Marcus.
Comfort cups are Winter Frolic by Juliska.
Sterling flatware is Sir Christopher by Wallace.
Antique napkin rings are French.

Kate Spade ornaments dangled from above
to set the mood of Fa ~ la ~ la ~la ~ la.

Fragrant winter greens mixed with winter berries, lilies, peonies,  hydrangeas, and an exotic bloom filled my cherished 
MacKenzie-Childs Piece de Resistance tureen.

Festive glass Christmas balls served as party favors
and place name holders for each guest.

Some with golden polka dots, 
some with golden stripes.

Others with golden words of Fl La La or Merry.
All echoed the Kate Spade ornaments from above.

Dinner was prepared by "The Chef".

We served Beef Bourguignon 
and a side salad.

 Dessert was served from the buffet with a choice of
home baked pound cake and a variety of Tiny Pies
cherry, apple, pecan, or chocolate.
The delicious pound cake was a gift from my cousin.
The recipe, Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cake
is found on page 208 in Ina Garten's Cooking for Jeffrey.

The cute Jingle mug with its golden antler 
reindeer stirrer is new this year, 
but the Winter Frolic party plates have served 
us well for the past several years.

Dapper Santa figures dressed in tuxedos
are by folk artist, Nancy Thomas.
The "sleigh" of Santa figures are vintage from the 1950s.
All the Courtly Check is available at MacKenzie-Childs.

It was a Merry Christmas evening!
Sadie and I wish each of you a very festive 
Merry Christmas!

The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. You are blessed to have longtime friends, Sarah. My husband gets together with friends he's known from elementary school through law school. I've been lucky to spend time with them as well-and their wives are some of my very best friends. Moving to my husband's area, and having a family right away, hampered my getting together with my own circle, and we have drifted away. How I'd love to have sustained friendships other than by cards and email.

    Anyway-Ha! Your table looks absolutely lovely. I am definitely going to do what you did with your Kate Spade ornaments, never thought of that. Your dishes and place settings are gorgeous, of course. Your chef should be complimented, the stew looks delish! Serving it in teacups is so very elegant. Your dessert table is very so beautifully set up. I'd love to have the recipe for the pound cake, but that is the one and only book by Ina that I don't have.

    Sending love to you on this very early Christmas morning. Brunch has been moved back to noon so my kids can spend the morning with their kids! I'm going to sleep in a bit!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, and your sweet little Sadie!

    Jane x

  2. What a wonderful way to celebrate with friends, the table setting I'd delightful and I know that your guests will have enjoyed the Chef's signature bb very much.
    Sending love and best wishes to you both & Miz Sadie too.
    Joyeux Noel from Normandy!

  3. I hope you and your family are having a wonderful holiday full of good food and good cheer.
    Have a very Merry Christmas, and we wish you all the best in the New Year, too!

  4. Merry Christmas to you, Sadie and 'The Chef', Sarah. What a treat it would be to join you at your festive table! I adore your Christmas decorations and trimmings from the dangling ornaments to Santas and Courtly Check. Wishing you the Merriest of Christmases and a wonderful holiday full of peace, love and licks.♥

  5. Merry Christmas,Sarah, Sadie ,and The Chef! What a wonderful dinner it must have been!

  6. Merry Christmas dear Sarah. What a lovely dinner party and your own chef did an amazing job on the food. bravo! Your table is lovely with so many wonderful details. I am in awe of your gorgeous MKC pieces. May your Christmas be blessed. Sadie looks so cute. Paul and I were thrilled to travel to NYC to meet you and the other ladies. looking forward to our next adventure. xo

  7. Wonderful post, as always, dear Sarah. I hope that you and your handsome chef have a wonderful Christmas and happy, healthy new year. xx

  8. How beautiful, Sarah! Your collections are so wonderful. I love that Juliska Winter Frolic, and the new mug with reindeer. Dinner looked amazing and how special for your chef to host your friends. Merry Christmas!

  9. I love thos cups and that the meal was served in them w/ the salad..just right:)
    And I can tell M is your chef..look at all his tools hanging:)
    Indeed everything is adorable and yes I think you are very very have soo many friends..but I thik more than luck is involved;) I think we nurture friendships..or we don't..and cearly you are a nurterer♥

  10. How wonderful to enjoy this group of friends for so many years. You hosted them very well and I'm sure all your special Christmas touches were appreciated along with the delicious food. Blessings!

  11. It's just beautiful and so festive! I love the fa la la la la theme! A belated Merry Christmas to you, Sarah!

  12. Oh Sarah, everything looks gorgeous!! I know your friends were filled with warm hearts after dining in your beautiful home and surrounded by your pretties! The menu sounds divine too! I hope you are having a Merry holiday! The fa la la things are my favorite!!

  13. Sarah, you know how to set the stage for a lovely party. I love all your decor, especially the French napkin rings and Yves Delorme napkins. I love red, and I love how you've mixed it with gold and Courtly Check!

    Merry Christmas! Give Sadie a Christmas hug from me!

    Ricki Jill

  14. What a wonderful party you had for your longtime girlfriends, Sarah! Your home and table looked so festive and of course your Chef served a scrumptious feast. Thank you for sharing the festivities with us. Merry Belated Christmas to you and your Chef, and a most Happy 2018!

  15. Sarah, your table is so beautiful! You and your friends are blessed!! I have had some of my friends for that long too and there's nothing like it.

  16. Sarah,
    Beautiful table... What a wonderful tradition to celebrate dinner with friends in a small group setting. One day we shall dine at the same table, dear friend.

    Merry Christmas,

  17. Wow, I need a "Chef" - how cute is he at the stove too! Glad to see him.
    What a wonderful meal and table and how blessed you are to have girlfriends that you have kept getting together with for so many,many years! We all need that!
    Of course I am adoring all of the MC - I got a couple of pieces this year - I justified them in that just my airplane ticket would have cost that much - haha! Mrs. Claus thought I needed some!

  18. How beautiful it all looks
    I made the Beef Bourguignon Julia Child's recipe in her old cookbook
    Your decoration and china is the prettiest I have seen

  19. Sarah, what a beautiful table that must have brought oh's and ah's from your girlfriends. Such a wonderful tradition. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and will enjoy a Happy New Year also..Judy p.s. my compliments to "the chef". Looks really good!

  20. Sarah, everything looks amazing and how lucky you are to have a chef!! Fabulous...and Happy New York!

  21. Long time friends are cherished! I know they love for you to be the hostess. Looks like a lovely meal and time of friendship.
    Your decorations are lovely.
    How nice to have your own private in home "chef" to delight your friends. I have a live in chef, too!

  22. Your table is stunning as usial, Sarah! How fun to host dinner on a special holiday! I miss hosting in Natchez. Anyway, thanks for well wishes for my mom. She is home now and has recovered... Christine

  23. You always set the most elegant but welcoming table. I'm sure your group enjoyed the evening. Wishing you all the best in the New Year.

  24. Dearest Sarah,
    Lovely setting and to me those napkins look like Le Jacquard Français... my favorite table linen brand!
    We had a quiet Christmas dinner à deux in our kingsize bedroom suite from Hyatt Place in Ft. Lauderdale. After midnight Mass at the Basilica in Jacksonville, FL and one night at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront I drove south. Since I do all the solo driving, my Pieter was the Chef for preparing in the suite's full kitchen our Christmas dinner. We had brought our filet mignon from home, frozen and stored it in the hotel's fridge and cool box. Worked well. We have so much for being grateful for after Pieter's grave condition end of October. We now have another cardiologist and he got him stabilized thanks to a change of meds!
    Sending you hugs,

  25. PS Pieter's condition was the reason I started writing our travel stories... Important for him to relive the good years; while he still can! He's enjoying it and that's all that counts, that was the reason I posted them now.

  26. Now that's a wonderful Christmas celebration, the friendship of 30 years is something to treasure. Your table looks inviting and your menu delicious. What a fabulous hostess for a very merry Christmas gathering! All the best to you in the New year!

  27. Friends for over 30 years is something to celebrate, indeed! Everything looks beautiful, and the food looks divine!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  28. Hi! Your table is very lovely .. and also the food looks fabulous!
    Whishing you and yours a Happy New Year 2018!!
    Roberta (La Sportina)

  29. Wonderful to see your beautiful table settings and decorations. Best Wishes and a Happy 2018 New Year.

  30. Quite an elegant, beautiful table! Perfect for a wonderful celebration.
    Sandra @ Dinner at Eight


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