Post # 1
So, about 3 years ago my grandmother gave me the huge set of china my dad had gifted her back in the late 1970s-early 80s that he had purchased for her while in South Korea. Pretty cool right? After being in boxes for those 3 years and locked away in a china cabinet never being used (that I’m aware of) for 30-odd years before that, I’m finally living in a house and have the room to unpack them. I love them. They look incredibly modern despite being so old.
Here’s the conundrum. They are gorgeous. They’ve never been used. And I want to use them. We don’t have kids right now and won’t for a few years. We don’t host all the time and travel for holidays, so not a lot of occassions to “break out the china.” China was always confusing to me because, while I understand you don’t want to beat it up and you want to be careful with it, I never understood why you’d lock something beautiful away to never touch. What’s the point in having it in that case? Aren’t things meant to be enjoyed? I thought it would be nice to use them weekly, maybe monthly. And this is where you come in:
What would you do?
How often do you use your china?
Do you feel like something like that should be enjoyed or locked away?
Just to give you an idea of what they look like 🙂
Post # 3
My aunt offered to give us her beautiful china and crystal stemware as well. While they are gorgeous I would do the same thing and store it away without use simply because it is so fragile and tedious to clean.
I certainly think china should be enjoyed more often than just when the Queen comes to dinner. It would be lovely to have the time and enegry to use it and then clean and store it properly but that just isn’t realistic in our household. For now the Corelware will have to do (FI can’t break it, yet).
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
That’s a beautiful set- very cool that it’s modern yet vintage. My advice? USE it! There’s no reason it can’t be your every day dinnerware if you want. Yes, you might break a few pieces over the years, but if you love it and it makes you happy using it, do it! If it needs to be handwashed, you might want to save it just for weekends or dinners, but that’s too pretty to be stuck in a cabinet. 🙂
Post # 5
@claireos: Sunday dinner, family brunch or anytime I want a glass of champagne.
Post # 6
@rebwana: I am a little concerned about breaking a piece here and there. Luckily there are like 12 of each piece, which makes me more inclined to risk it. 🙂
@Soladylike: I had the same thought. When I was considering using them semi-regularly I thought using them for Sunday dinner would be really nice.
@Treejewel19: Well…my mom’s family is British. Who knows. Maybe they have the royal hookup and I just never knew. 🙂 We have Corelware. Didn’t trust myself for years, but it’s been FOREVER since I’ve broken a plate so I think I may have graduated into adult delicate dining. 🙂
Post # 7
I always used mine for Sunday dinners and all holidays, and then I got sick of the pattern (too color and style specific) so packed it away. I wish I’d have listened when my Mom told me to get something plain and more usable if my taste changed (she was right).
I’d use it all the time if I were you. No reason not to, but it may not be conducive to the microwave and or dishwasher since it’s older. That might be the only reason you may find it inconvenient to use. (I used to polish my silver pieces a few times a year too, but it went the way of my china after many years too.)
Post # 8
We use ours at least once a week, but ours isn’t an antique/hand-me-down. It came from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, so maybe we’re a little more cavalier with it because it seems like it’d be easier to replace if we broke something.
However, in general, I’m not a fan of having nice things that you can’t use for fear of damaging them. What’s the point of that? I say break them out whenever you feel like having a “special” meal – weekends, holidays, celebrations, or even just a night when you’ve cooked something really awesome.
Post # 9
Wow! Your story reminds me so much of mine!!! Thanks so much for sharing it!
My father was in the USAF in Korea while he was engaged to my mother, and he sent back two sets of beautiful china — one for my grandmother, and one for my mother. My mother loved the set that my dad sent to my grandmother, so my grandmother gave that set to my mother and took the other set, with the purpose in mind of never using it but instead keeping it for the daughter she hoped my dad would one day have. And I am that daughter!
My grandmother died when I was a young teen, and the china was stored in its original boxes — never used — in my parents’ attic until I purchased my first home. Since then, I’ve had it in a beautiful sideboard, and I’ve used it a total of one time. However, I’ve often displayed some of the place settings on my formal dining room table, the same way place settings are often displayed in model homes. Of course, that means I have to dust it occasionally when I do that, but it’s a very nice way to be able to see your china! If I ever have a larger home and have the space for a china cabinet, I would love to display this china in that cabinet.
By the way, when DH and I became engaged, I still registered for china, even though I already had this set. Because the set I inherited has a gorgeous pattern in the same colors I have long loved and had chosen for my new house (I find that amazing, by the way!), I decided to register for a very elegant and simple set of Lenox that is white with a silver rim, similar to yours. I’ve used that set twice so far for holiday dinners. I should note that I absolutely love china and also have three casual sets that can go into the dishwasher, one of which I just recently purchased a few weeks ago as a back-up to my everyday china, since so many of my everyday plates have chipped now that I’m married and have stepchildren.
Post # 10
I am of the opinion that beautiful objects should be enjoyed and used, even if just every now and then. Life is short, enjoy beautiful things as much as possible!
Post # 11
@KT808: Life is short, enjoy beautiful things as much as possible! I like that. 🙂
@Brielle: That’s crazy. My dad was in the USAF while he was in Korea too. 🙂
@Bubu82: I think we’re going to try to use them weekly, or at least monthly. We have friends that never touch their china, and like you, I just don’t get it. I get being careful with something that is delicate but if you’re never going to touch it then why did you get it? We’re big into cooking so I think new recipes will be a great excuse to whip out the china.
Post # 12
- Wedding: November 2011 - Palma Sola Botanical Park
We use ours! We didn’t have alternate plates — mine sucked and his were nonexistent (he used paper plates all the time). We have my grandma’s “fancy” china (which looks a lot like yours), which are our everyday plates. Yeah, we’ve broken and chipped a few, but there are TONS (I think there are like 12 place settings or something, and plates for everything under the sun). We have a set of way fancier and potentially collectible china socked away, but it’s also not really my style. It’s really pretty though — maybe someday it’ll be our “special occasion” china, but for now, we use the same plates for holidays as we do for every day.
Post # 13
Those are lovely! I say use them! We grew up using my mother’s wedding china. We used them for dinners all the time. She would even let us use a tea set that had been passed down through generations for our tea parties. Yes, we chipped a few things, but she was always of the opinion that what’s the point in having something that sits in a box? I can’t wait to do the same with my own kids.
Post # 14
special occasions 🙂 I use mine sparingly and only when we have guests that I know won’t be rough on them! … no kids that’s for sure!
Post # 15
I’d say use them! I always use my crystal when I’m having an evening beverage. It is made to be used and not sit away. Yes I have broken a couple of the wine glasses, but it is not the end of the world. Why spend all that money to have it sit and look nice.
If I had nice china I may not use it every night because handwashing everything may get tedious, but I would use it a couple times a week.
Post # 16
I use my grandma’s china, particulalry the serving bowls and smaller plates the most. I was a little worried about lead, so I would just caution you about not putting acidic foods on the plates, and obviously no mircowave and I hand wash.
I rarely do the full plated setting, but using individual pieces are fun. My shallow salad bowls work great for chips, and my bird really likes to take a bath in one if I fill it with water ;0 (she has a special one I have saved out for her so no one has to eat on it).