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Holly Jolly Holiday Table

FRANKLIN LIVING—

Throughout the long summer days of picnics and cookout and into a crisp autumn of tailgates and bonfires, it can be easy to turn to paper and plastic disposal products for any party or gathering. But in the months of November and December, as guests come by brining holiday cheer and the joy of the season, might be the time to pull out all the stops for a truly cheerful table that will elicit oohs and ahhs of admiration.

“Having a pretty table is a good way to be festive for the holidays,” said Katernia Cole-Coffey, Franklin County Extension director and professed lover of “pretty things.” “It makes you feel welcomed – that somebody put forth some effort for me. Whether it’s tablecloths or table toppers or placemats, you know they put in some effort instead of just putting a plate on a table.”

“It makes you feel full, grateful, enthusiastic – it peps you up,” her sister Patshenia Cole added.

Cole-Coffey and her sister share a love of fine place settings. In their family, all the women own sets of the same china pattern, allowing them to share amongst themselves to lay out beautiful tablescapes for each special gathering.

Whether it’s a formal Thanksgiving dinner for 15 or a small Christmas eve dinner for four, a well-laid table brings an extra note of holiday spirit to the occasion. Cole-Coffey and Cole recommend incorporating what you have combined with fresh greenery from the outdoors, bargain finds and little extra touches to spruce up your table – whether that’s a favorite candy dish, small knick-knacks or tchotchkes or a full set of candlesticks. “It’s best to go ahead and enjoy this stuff,” Cole-Coffey said. “Whatever you have, you need to enjoy it.”