Dinner for Two

Happy Easter! I hope you had a lovely Easter holiday. I sang with the choir at the Easter Vigil. It is my favorite Mass of the entire year, both for the joyous holiday and for the singing. I love singing Exodus 15, "The Song at the Sea". I love singing the "sprinkling song" about streams of water blessing the Lord. Most of all, the joyous "Alleluia!"

And to whoever decorated the church this year: my eternal thanks. Instead of Easter lilies, to which I am miserably allergic, someone used beautiful hydrangea...pink, blue and white....with only a few lilies. I had only moderate sniffles instead of a full-out sneezing attack. Thank you!

Easter day itself was a day of beauty here, too. The skies were crystal clear blue with a swift, cool breeze. We worked in the garden until noon, then came inside and read until dinner.

With just the two of us, it would be easy to let holidays slip by without a touch of elegance. But I love to set a formal table, and we both enjoy marking the holidays with someone special. I set a formal table even when it is just the two of us. We eat in the dining room, and I set the table with a linen cloth and napkins. We use our formal dishes, a beautiful set of 1930s china emblazoned with white cabbage roses, my husband's grandmother's wedding china. I even pull out the serving platters! I made a leg of lamb, mashed potatoes, and asparagus, and we had coconut cream pie for dessert.

Yes, it is a little more work to set a formal table. My dining room is not next to the kitchen, as it is in many homes. It is down the hallway near the front of the house. It is extra work to wash and iron the linens afterwards, and to hand wash all the special china, crystal and silver.

But wouldn't life be boring without celebrations? Why have beautiful china if you don't use it? Why have an entire dining room just to say you have it...why not use it? Sure, it's just the two of us this year. But that's two people who both love a nice, elegant dinner.

I think if I calculated how much "extra work" it was to dress up for our intimate Easter dinner, to set the table and to make a beautiful meal, it wouldn't add up to much. What did add up was the pleasure we shared in a beautiful table, a relaxed meal, and pleasant surroundings.

A return to elegance isn't just about fashion or timeless values...it's also about celebrating the elegance in our lives. And that includes using the beautiful things you have, whether you're entertaining  many guests or just sharing a meal with your spouse.

IMAGE CREDIT:  Photo by Marco Maru. Used under the Morguefile.com license.