Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Eve Tablescape - A Night to Remember Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh

The table is now set for this year's
 Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve at Purple Chocolat Home is formal.
Formal table, formal food, formal dress and it
has been that way since our family was created.

Three gifts are mentioned that were given to the Christ

Gold - representing royalty
Frankincense - representing priesthood
Myrrh - representing death and ultimately resurrection

Our table is always set in gold on Christmas Eve.
The formality of the gold and the attire make it a special
and awe inspiring night.  A time to welcome
the King of Kings.

Even Mother Nature was preparing for Christmas too.
It certainly began to look a lot like Christmas here
this morning as
the back balcony got decked out in Christmas cheer.

Quite a way to prepare for Christmas, and with carols
ringing through the house it was fun setting the table
so it would be all ready for Christmas Eve.

The linens are the underpinning for the decor.  Muted gold sets
the mood.  Beautiful servers, heavily carved are laid out ready
to be used.  These were finds this year on ebay.  They said
they were sterling, but appear to be brass, either way, they
look lovely on the table.

Gold is layered upon gold, in muted and polished tones with
textural variety.

Arte Italica Vetro Gold stemware,
the large heavy goblets
were purchased 16 years ago while I was resigned
to bed during a pregnancy from Horchow catalogue.

Horchow still sells them and I just saw that they are
up to $85 each.  Even I was shocked at that price!
My daughter's comment was, "And
you let grandchildren use them?"  Well, maybe not
anymore.  The almost matching smaller goblets
were found years ago at TJ Maxx for significantly
less.  They will be good for the little ones.

Sheer muted gold napkins are layered and finished
off with a gold and crystal tassel napkin ring.

Beaded gold placemats layered with gold leaf ceramic chargers,
then topped by heavy rustic gold rimmed glass plates,
elegant scrolled gold edged china (also purchased while
bed ridden 16 years ago from Horchow - even if you can't
 get to a store, you can shop!),
then gold beaded clear glass salad plates
and finally bowls out of the same heavy rustic gold rimmed

The beautiful muted gold goblets are now a treasure
and a memory of when I needed to sacrifice to bring
a baby into the world.

Who knew they would increase so much in value?

Even the dining room chairs get dressed up for
the holidays.  An inexpensive mesh gold fabric is
simply tied in the back and a silk poinsettia
is tucked in.

Here you get a close up view.  This is very inexpensive and
yet really dresses up the chairs for the holidays.

The muted gold patterned tablecloth was a new
purchase last year from a furniture store in town.

Certainly a festive table all dressed in gold for everyone
to enjoy.

(My little six year old granddaughter is so taken with
decorating and tablescaping and the other day she
came running into the room and announced, "I am
a blogger!"   I am very flattered.  She has also
decided to call me "Christmas Queen" - of course
that melts my heart!)

The centerpiece is a gathering of gold and
glass items from around the house.

It is anchored by extremely wide gold scrolled ribbon.

Little cherub spreaders join in the fun in their beaded

The whimsical touch of a gold and feather
tree makes the table not seem too serious.

It adds a contemporary touch.

A gold mercury glass finial sparkles.

And look who snuck in from the kitchen to
join in the celebration.

A little more sparkle is added with a jeweled ball.

A view from above by the chandelier.

Now we need food that fits the tablesetting.

Christmas Eve Menu

Steamed Artichokes with lemon butter
King Crab Legs
Served with melted butter & lemon and lime wedges
Herb Crusted Prime Rib
Rustic Sourdough loaves hand torn
Arugula Salad dressed with Lime Vinaigrette
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
Hand dipped Chocolates & Toffee
Almond Orange Punch

Even the butter warmers can get dressed up in a little gold.

Light the candles, turn on the carols, seat everyone
and bring out the food.

Christmas Eve has always held the most magic for me.
I had an aunt that never married.  My grandparents on
my father's side had passed away and my grandparents
on my mother's side lived half way across the nation.
This aunt set formal tables, sometimes up to four
in her two bedroom apartment and prepared the entire
Christmas Eve dinner.  When the girls became teenagers
they were asked to come and assist in preparing
the tables and food, one lucky niece at a time. 
It was such a priviledge to be asked to help and it
took all day.

Everyone arrived at 6:30 dressed in their new
church clothes. Appetizers and punch were served.

Then everyone was called to the table.  She usually
served about 30 to 35 people.  Each table was set
with china, goblets and silver.  Of course
the adult table had the best.  I had the opportunity to
sit at that table once after I was married.
We feasted on meats
and vegetables and breads.

Then after dinner, THE MEN retired to the kitchen to
do the dishes!  Of course my aunt carefully oversaw this
so that things didn't get broken.  We had the good sense
one year to videotape the entire event.  Aunt Ionia, our
Christmas Angel has since passed away,
but she continued this into her eighties.

Finally, we gathered around the tree to receive a present
from this loving aunt who acted as grandparent to 17 nieces
and nephews.  She never had more than a humble factory job
at Ray-O-Vac, working on the line, but she sacrificed for all
of us to create a most magical Christmas Eve.

Finally, trays of cookies and candy that she had been creating
for weeks came out before tired little children
 were driven home to bed, sometimes in a snow storm.

Such were the Christmas Eves of my childhood,
 magical and wonderful
 and my favorite part of Christmas.

This is the magic that I try to recreate on Christmas Eve for my
family, still dressing in our holiday best to show respect for the
awe of this holy night, and still receiving one gift to remember
my dear aunt.

I hoped you enjoyed peeking into one of our Christmas
traditions.  I certainly enjoyed sharing it with you.

I will be sharing my Christmas memories with

Gold leaf chargers and rustic gold rimmed plates and bowls - Target years ago
Large gold goblets - Horchow
Small gold goblets - TJ Maxx
Gold Flatware - Best
Gold rimmed china - Horchow
Gold beaded placemats - (I don't remember)
Feather tree - TJ Maxx
Elf - gift
Finial and crystal ball - Tai Pan
Tablecloth - Four Chairs
Napkins and napkin rings - (I don't remember)
Carved brass serving pieces - ebay


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. Beautiful table and beautiful memories and traditions. All I want to know is where you live so I can come walk in that GORGEOUS snow... May the Love flow through your holidays!

  2. Jacqueline this is one of the most gorgeous and elegant table decor I have ever seen! You treasures from Horchow are stunning!

    Come and enter my Giveaway from My Sparrow, you will love it!

    Art by Karena

  3. Your photos are too beautiful for words! What a special New Year's it will be for your family and friends. GORGEOUS! xox

  4. Just beautiful Jacqueline, such a special way to celebrate! The snow looks great too! They say we might get some flurries, that would be fun!
    I'm wishing you, Christmas Queen, a wonderful Christmas and all the best in 2011-enjoy:@)

  5. Oh Jacqueline, this is simply exquisite. Everything is so beautiful from the table inside to the snow-topped table outside. I just want to say that your blog has given me so much inspiration this year....Have a beautiful,blessed Christmas with your loved ones.♥
    Shel x

  6. I can't imagine a more beautiful table.Are you a movie star?:)You must be famous:)

    Loved the Rayovac part..that is so sweet ..

    I am certain you will have a lovely evening.. the care you have put into the preparations shows so much caring~

  7. Oh I love reading about your Christmas traditions -- what wonderful memories your Aunt provided you all -- truly a gift in itself. I think your granddaughter is right...You ARE a Christmas queen...your table is certainly fit for royalty! Merry Christmas!

  8. Beautiful, beautiful table and I think I know where you inherited your decorating talent now :) I knew you were in California but now I'm guessing is must be northern California with that snow!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Christmas Queen!

  9. Jacqueline, you thrill us with your beautiful decorations and sprinkle it with your memories that are dearer than any gold on Earth. How I enjoy coming to visit each time. I too had an Aunt who passed along so many traditions, I'm named after her and that is one of the reasons I love Christmas so very much. I have chosen something special with the Macy's gift card...come over and see!

  10. This is magnificent. I loved your heartwarming story about your aunt. It's wonderful that you are creating the same reverence for your children. Your table is absolutely gorgeous! I fell in love with the tablecloth. it's absolutely exquisite. Merry Christmas!

  11. What an extraordinary golden table setting. You have thought of every little detail. I know your guests will fill like royalty at that table. Crab legs are my favorite food in the world. What time shall I be there?! Thanks so much for joining my party. Have a very Merry Christmas!

  12. Between you and Joni, I sure get the picture of how special your aunt Ionia was! We just took an evening(Christmas decorated) tour of Hearst Castle Monday night, and your Christmas Eve table setting would fit right in! Our Christmas Eve tradition is quite the opposite-pizza! :)

  13. Your table is MAGICAL!!!!!!!!!! It is overwhelming how beautiful! And I loved that you shared the story of your aunt. How very special she was. Truly a Christmas Angel with you still today. For you have continued her story. Have a magical Christmas & thank you for sharing. I just LOVE your blog. I found you through Jain & have listed you on my sidebar so I don't miss a thing you post about. Merry Christmas! Charlene

  14. What a stunning setting Jacqueline! Elegant with just a touch of whimsy.

    I hope you and your family have a truly blessed Christmas!

    ~ Tracy

  15. Jacqueline (or should I say Christmas Queen?-- which by the way I agree with Kylie). I loved the table -- it is just beautiful! Those gold goblets are something special! I loved the memories that we share about our beloved Aunt Ionia and the special Christmas memories that she gave us. I watched the DVD that Kirk made of Christmas Eve. It always makes me cry...sometimes I watch it twice just to get some extra tears to come out! LOL! Hopefully we can meet up later today. Need to see your Christmas home in person. Love, Joni

  16. Your setting looks so ethereal! Aunt Ionia sounds like a true Christmas angel in your lives. It is so wonderful that you are keeping her spirit alive. Enjoy your evening with your family. Merry Christmas!


  17. How absolutely gorgeous!!! I especially love the chair covers!

  18. Wow! Jacqueline, you have outdone yourself on this one. This is so luxurious, fit for a king for sure. The servers are amazing and all the other table accessories are gorgeous....Christine

  19. Wow--I am so impressed by all the work you put into decorating, especially the mesh gold fabric on the chairs! I love that you go all out and do formal dress for that dinner. That makes it so much fun. For years, our New Years party with friends has been a formal dress event, and it makes it very exciting and special.

  20. Oh, I've never seen such beauty and magic. Everything is just breathtaking.
    Our Christmas Eve is so different. A severely informal night. :) With 18 to 20 people, mostly teens now but they were all little at the same time, we have always used paper plates, red solo cups, but REAL flatware. Hahaaa
    We are sooo redneck out here in West Texas...and I can HARDLY WAIT for the 24th. Such fun, laughter, love...isn't this a wonderful time of the year.
    hugs, bj

  21. Your table is wonderful! Love all of the golden touches! I also love your little Christmas elf. Such a special time to be had, may the joy and magic of Christmas be yours! Have a very Merry Christmas!

  22. What a fantastic table, fit for a Christmas Queen! I so enjoyed hearing about your aunt's Christmas Eve traditions. Thanks for sharing this magical table & post. Merry Christmas to your & your family :-)

  23. What a fantastic table, fit for a Christmas Queen! I so enjoyed hearing about your aunt's Christmas Eve traditions. Thanks for sharing this magical table & post. Merry Christmas to your & your family :-)

  24. Absolutely stunning. I have told so many people about your blog. You share so much and inspire me.

    Thank you.

  25. I love your pictures. The one with the candle is fun. Did you add to it? The snow was so magical. I can't believe how much you had at your house. I can't wait to eat that delicious Christmas Eve menu you have planned! Thanks for always making the holidays so magical!

  26. I love how beautiful your table is. You really do an amazing job though of putting it together in such a way that it is gorgeous. Love the traditions and the special moments of your family. That is the best part!

  27. You are definitely the Christmas Queen! :) That is a beautiful table for a beautiful tradition. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed new year!

  28. Hi, Jacqueline! I am literally cheering out loud for you and this table! Girl...you hit it out of the ballpark! Fabulous! You are my hero for continuing the tradition of a formal Christmas Eve fete. It's kind of like church: you dress up in honor of the celebration. ALL of your pieces are so pretty, and you KNOW I am just salivating over those service pieces you picked up on Ebay! Those are too fabulous for words. TOO fabulous!!! I hope you and your family have the very, very, very best Christmas ever! Further, I hope that your family continues the formal tradition for generations to come...it is a GREAT tradition! P.S. - Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! You're right...you could have given me a TON of snow for those pails. It looks like you guys got about 8 inches or so? Yikes!!!

  29. Jacqueline, I really enjoyed reading about your wonderful aunt and her gracious Christmas Eve dinners. It sounds so wonderful.

    And this table is just stunning. I love every part of it. Those chair covers are the icing on the cake.

    Merry Christmas and thanks for always delighting me with your creativity.

  30. I love your table, your own family traditions, and the memories of your aunt and her Christmas eve gatherings. It all sounds so lovely. Thank you for sharing

    A very Merry Christmas to you and your family! Looking forward to your 2011 tables!


  31. Oh WOW ! You have it so perfect ! You are such an inspiration and i love your ideas and symbols ! Merry Christmas to you too and thank you for being so talented.
    I enjoy Utah's snow very much. I am crossing fingers to get lots of snow on Christmas :)

  32. What a beautiful table you have made. I loved all your memories too. So sweet. Have a Merry Christmas.

  33. Jacqueline, your table is stunning!
    Merry Christmas...

  34. Jacqueline, thank you for sharing your Christmas Eve memories and your family tradition. The table with all its gold glory is GLORIOUS! Makes me want to add some more gold to our cupboard for future tables. Each detail is exquisite. And the menu looks to be spectacular. We'll have prime rib here as well.
    Merry, Merry! ~ Sarah

  35. ok you don't even have to fix me one of your beautiful place settings, just had me a paper plate and i'll even just stand in the corner out of the way. just seeing your beautiful home and the food your and your daughter are fixing for dinner i'd be in heaven! Count me in! :)
    Thanks for stopping by and visiting me.
    Merry Christmas and many blessings,

  36. Jacqueline, what an absolutely gorgeous table and the menu sounds like it has the same touch of elegance. Is all that snow really outside your window? It couldn't be more perfect. Happy holidays.

  37. Jacqueline, What an amazing table. It is so elegant and inviting, your story with your precious memory is priceless. From our home to yours a Very Merry Christmas!
    hugs ~lynne~

  38. I so enjoyed reading your beautiful story this evening, and I hope that it was all you wanted it to be! Thanks for sharing.

  39. Jacqueline, what an incredibly beautiful memory you've shared...as well as your gorgeous table. I've missed checking in here and hope to be able to more now. I'm still not "settled" ~ as in there are still a few boxes and LOTS to do as far as placing the furniture as I'd like it and the decorating. I've had a marvelous holiday with family and friends though and that's what it's all about ~ as well as honoring the birth of Jesus.

    Thank you for the beauty you share! I look forward to more in the new year. Wishing you the very best ~

  40. Elegant, meet Whimsical. Whimsical, meet Gorgeous. Gorgeous, meet Brilliant Design. Okay, now you can all be seated at this magnificent tablescape. Thank you for sharing your Christmas table with us. Happy New Year! Cherry Kay

  41. I am traveling around your blog and had to see your Christmas, as I go ALL OUT for Christmas as well!!!! This is gorgeous and I especially LOVED hearing the story of your Aunt. I, too, had a wonderful Aunt who lived with us. I ahve so many beautiful memories of her too. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us! It brought back beautiful memories for me! XO, Pinky

  42. i loved your christmas eve story and pictures! thank you! tears silently rolled down my cheeks when you spoke of the sacrifices made by your aunt to create a magical and holy night for the family. she must have been an amazing, resourceful woman. i am enjoying your blog, especially the christmas decorations! thank you again and merry christmas!

  43. Yesterday I feel in love with your kitchen, today that Christmas eve table. Reminds me of my late mother. In the south, we love glitz.


Your comments are the highlight of my day! Leave a comment and then I can come and visit your blog. Have a wonderful day! Unfortunately I have had to block anonymous comments, hope you understand.

Follow me on Instagram