I did not grow up with place cards. I think, as my sister, Joy, has said about me, my proclivity toward them may be due to me using old movies, as my guide to how life should be. Nevertheless, when serving a sit down dinner, of a more formal nature, place cards are one of the last touches, I add to my table.
Many of my guest take the place cards with them, as a memento of the evening; I so understand their choice, as I would do the same. However, those place cards left behind, are not discarded; not only do I reuse the cards when my guest returns, but I also keep them as memento’s myself!
When I am getting ready to set a new table, I do linger a moment or two, on the cards. I reflect on the two Charlottes represented in front of me; I am happy I used Char, Kate’s mother’s preferred name, for her place card, when she joined us for Thanksgiving in Maine; and fondly remember when our former neighbor, Charlotte, who is now gone, had Thanksgiving with us, in Florida, with the Barros-Jardine’s, for what was their first Thanksgiving.
There are so many people and place cards gone, but I hope, if you sat at my table, and your place card is no longer in my possession, that you took it home with you, and remember a lovely experience.
I want to wish you each a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are spending the day with those you love, and are able to enjoy a delicious meal, which reflects and reminds you of all you have to be grateful for today.
My favorite place card – “Jilly”! My Mother hated nicknames. She often said she gave me and sisters names which could not be altered.
Yet, among the place cards I have taken from special meals, this one is my favorite. My Mother had excellent and distinctive penmanship, obviously someone asked her to fill in people’s names, on handmade place cards, for Thanksgiving dinner; and of all things, she chose to alter Jill.
The only time she ever called me Jilly was many years after she had written this place card; it was when she was in the hospital, shortly before her untimely death. I miss her very much.
One of my most memorable Thanksgivings, was “The Early Thanksgiving” held in mid-August, so that Peter could celebrate his first Thanksgiving.
When my Mother could no longer travel south we put the house in Florida, on the market, it did not sale; after my Mother passed away, we drove our car back to the very empty house, leaving our life, in storage, in Maine.
It happened that August that we were granted the opportunity to bring a piece of our world together, to give thanks and break bread. If you read these pages, you know how much I love holidays, and that I love to decorate. But I literally had nothing in Florida, to entertain with, much less to mark special occasions, like Peter’s first Thanksgiving. We went to work like crazy people, trying to create the festive atmosphere, which the moment deserved.
It was an incredibly successful Thanksgiving; place cards and all!