I'm so not kidding.
But back to contentment. Frankly, I'm going to try to focus on that whole "contentment" theme...because in spite of the beauty of my table...I was still having some serious "table envy" with what I was witnessing. The wonderful thing...is that most of these women are gracious enough to pull back the curtain - so to speak - so that it is possible to see exactly how they were able to make the presentation that they did. Upside down cake pedestals, placemats and ribbon to make a pretty chair accent, the use of fresh greenery and even a quick trip to the Dollar Tree all made each table unique and special. Some were classic...and others took what they had around the house, threw them together, and came out with a masterpiece of burlap, gold lame, and towering camels. Or reindeer. Or twigs. Or Pinterest. Or whatever.
You get the point.
The food could not have been more delectable. I realize that some people love to cook for family...and others prefer cooking in a more industrial setting...feeding the masses and all. It takes a particular kind of cook who doesn't tire making thirty breakfast casseroles and about a gazillion sausage balls. So, hats off to those ladies...especially you, Frances Carr, who totally hit a home run with the menu and the execution.
Execution is such an icky word...but you know what I meant. Too lazy to hunt down the thesaurus.
We arrived - actually - the day before...to set up the tables and to begin admiring the handiwork of the others. I use the term "we" this year...because I had the help of my first "special apple" - Erin - and was one table over from my second "special apple" - Amanda. Amanda went full blown into her own table this year...and pulled it off beautifully. Here is her table...
Pretty, isn't it? She used candy canes with her napkins, live mums, and a splash of color with the runners and the ornaments in the center. Someone was paying attention in Apples of Gold. :)
Erin and I put together our table using my Spode Christmas Tree china (like several others did), the same runners from La Tree eau Dollar (did that sound fancier?) that Amanda found and a poinsettia that an office friend gave me the day after Thanksgiving when they were on sale for .97. Yes. That is exactly how I roll. Here's our table:
Yes, we were pretty much in the "Great Minds Think Alike" Department with Amanda...but they were different enough, right? The finishing touch of the ribbons to tie the napkins and the candy canes was contributed by Erin as well as help in placement and general encouragement. I think we pulled it off pretty well.
Before I go any further, I absolutely must post the food and station photos...because they totally rocked. Commentary will be under the photos. Here goes...
|Cute little blueberry lemon muffins. There were also pecan pie muffins. Can we just say that the pecan pie muffins were so good that they almost made me cry? Because they were.|
|A lovely presentation that any Southern lady would be pleased to offer her guests.|
|Here's both of the muffins...in their respective festively adorned baskets.|
|The lovely table. Or as I referred to it "The Table of Delight and Massive Caloric Intake."|
|Just imagine juice in these. Because it was so there.|
After going down the line...which included cheese grits, breakfast casserole and the delights that I've already shown you (minus the sausage balls...that was supposed to be a secret) and some fruit...we settled into the various tables. Of course, before that, we had some visiting time. Here's some of that just so you can feel all festive-like.
|Just the general crowd...|
|The perspective from my table...|
|Betty Henry and Susan Fisher (Women's Ministry Leader) before the brunch. I had the pleasure of having Betty and her friends at my table. They totally rocked, by the way. Susan is just amazing too!|
|Well, let me just tell you...this reindeer table totally rocked. What you may be missing is the beautiful reindeer that were also on the napkins. I was as green with envy over this particular table as the rims around her dinnerware. Beautiful job.|
|Loved this use of red on a burlap table. Burlap is seriously "in" right now and it is paired beautifully with red as shown here. Lovely centerpiece that is simple yet elegant.|
|Look at this beautiful centerpiece! Closer shot below...|
|This table was lovely...and the combination of flowers, ornaments and the cute Christmas tree napkin rings placed on the side of the plate. Loved that.|
|Check out the bottles with the white and red arrangement, red napkins and cute snowmen on the plates. Just so you know...those cupcakes were edible Gigi's cupcakes. Also...burlap!|
|Closeup of the snowman cupcake from Gigi's Cupcakes.|
|Another great use of Spode china...with matching Spode napkins and mugs...as well as a gold Christmas tree to set off the chargers.|
|Loved the natural centerpiece and the pretty napkin rings. Great use of the "Grinch green" that Erin likes.|
|Isn't this centerpiece lovely with the sliced limes in water and the natural greenery with candles? Yes. Yes it is.|
|Here's my "special apple 2" - Amanda - decorating her table. She did a beautiful job!|
|Yes. Just yes. Look at the plates with "Love" "Joy" and other words on them! Beautiful table with pretty red ribbon and there it is again..."Grinch green" touches!|
|So lovely! The placecards added a special touch to this table!|
|Confession time: I ate one of the kisses off of this table while I was photographing. SO cute and tempting, too!|
|LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this red and white theme with the red ornaments and gifts. White plates with beautiful centerpiece. Lovely!|
|Same as above but with the entire centerpiece visible.|
|Look at the pretty lantern in the middle of the table with greenery. The napkins were placed between the plate and the charger. Charming!|
|Another clever use of lanterns and greenery with burlap in the middle. This one used green chargers and white napkins to match the plates and lanterns. Beautiful!|
|Lovely! (Dear Santa: Please bring me these plates. Love, Karen)|
|One of our table fairies putting the final touches on her beautiful table (below).|
|Lovely setting with beautiful china! Love the use of the red overcloth under the china.|
|Classically beautiful with lovely octagonal china and ornaments scattered about the arrangement.|
|A beautiful mirrored centerpiece with crystal pieces and live greenery. Love the red chargers!|
|Pretty plaid ribbon around a lovely candle with ornaments and greenery. Love the use of|
|A very beautiful blue and gold table among all of the red and green! Loved the use of the ornaments on candlestick holders and the lovely china! Stunning!|
|Pretty table with roses and lovely red touches with the greenery. Loved the china on this table!|
|With a nod to Saint Nicholas...this table had candles and crystal with red and green touches. Such a lovely presentation!|
|Loved the olive green with the red and the pretty crosses at each place setting. Beautiful table.|
|This was Elizabeth's beautiful table. Yes, folks, those are bird's nests on the plates...and this photo doesn't do the centerpiece justice. One of my favorite tables. Gorgeous!|
|A beautiful arrangement with antlers and apples that matched the border of the plates. Very natural and set off by matching greenery on the napkin rings. This is the close up photo of the centerpiece. The table is shown below.|
|Very pretty table! Loved the centerpiece.|
|Here's a closeup of Donna's table that I couldn't find earlier. I love, love, love this table. I have camel envy. Big time.|
|One final picture of the table that sweet Erin and I did. Check out those awesome Pier One looking trees that we had on the table. Those also came from The Dollar Tree. Yes. They. Did.|
|Phil Easter gave us a presentation on decorating for Christmas. Great presentation!|