I have a very large family and we get together often. But they’re almost all informal and involve food that doesn’t require utensils and paper plates. But for the holidays, we like to get a little fancier. The problem is that collectively, we have enough plates, silverware and cloth napkins for everyone. But alone, we come up short. So for each holiday there is a parade of items that travels from one house to the host house for use. I’ve pillaged my mom’s supplies for so many years of Thanksgiving’s and Easter’s, I don’t even need a list of what I need to borrow and she usually just has it all out for me. 10 plates, the spare silverware, serving pieces, bake ware, a table-cloth or two and always the really pretty folding chairs all make their way to our house. It’s not that I don’t have these items myself, it’s that I don’t have enough for 18 people and 5 kids.
This Christmas is no exception. The folding chairs are in the back of the car already. Linen napkins too. My pretty silver shell dish is awaiting shrimp cocktail for Christmas morning and a spare “giant” table-cloth (we describe the length of the various table cloths that my mom and I own not in feet, but by the length of the table. I.E. “with one leaf in or with all three leafs in”. We have really big tables) is ready to go. And so the parade of items makes its way back across town. It just wouldn’t feel like the holidays if someone wasn’t walking in with chairs under one arm.