Recommended Enrichment Reading: Come To The Table, by Doris Christopher, enchants the reader with ideas for togetherness around the family table. This elusive goal for many of us becomes a reality with Christopher's rich and realistic approach to this modern challenge.





Recommended Quilting Project: Not Your Grandmother's Dresden Plate by Overlook Quilts. This modern interpretation of the popular classic is a beauty! Overlook quilts has dazzled us with a bold and contemporary pattern. Hang it on your wall, drape it over your table, or take it for a picnic, at a 52" x 60" size, you will find many uses for this wonderful quilt! Easy Dresden tool included.

Celebration: Come To The Table

By Mary Jo Saavedra

Many cultures have a tradition of setting an extra place at the table for an unexpected guest. At holiday time in my family when I was growing up, this philosophy was very much alive. I am the youngest of five children, so our home, always seemed to me to be teaming with family, extended family, neighbors, friends and the occasional stranger. Everyone seemed to end up at our dinner table on those special holidays to enjoy my mom's cooking.

Now that I'm the mom of the house, the holidays have presented me with a challenge in trying to capture that same wonderful feeling I had as a child, but with a simpler approach for today's lifestyle. Well, through trial and error I believe I have figured out how to create these same wonderful memories for my own family.

Each year my family has a number of holidays for which we end up staying in town. Once I know this, I put the word out to our extended family and friends that we are staying put and that they are welcome to join us. We usually have a few out-of-town guests attending together with our local friends who are staying in town. Sometimes our friends have people visiting them and they will come too. We typically end up with 20 or more guests and the mix is never the same. Sounds intimidating? Not at all! What I do is provide the main entrée, like the turkey or lasagna and set up card tables throughout the house and set out all the china and dishes I can find. No paper plates for us, but paper plates are always an option! I also plan a few activities for the kids. Nothing too complicated. Maybe an egg hunt or Christmas caroling. Then, as each family R.S.V.P.s, I let them know of 2 or 3 food items they can bring. We even have one family who loves to make-up a mixer game for everyone to participate in so all the guests get to know each other. When the blessings have been shared and the merriment is over, everyone helps clean up and usually there are leftovers for everyone to take home.

Each holiday, as I look around me and realize just how blessed we all are, I confirm that my efforts to recapture and remake these special memories, are very much worth the struggle to find new ways of celebrating. The kids are happy and have their own memories to carry forward and the adults relax and enjoy the group effort for a peace filled holiday.

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