Don’t save something for a special occasion. Every day of your life is a special occasion.” – Thomas S. Monson

During the holiday season, we all want to make our homes look and feel extra special. But for the most part, big ticket items just aren’t in our budgets in the month of December, where holiday gifts may trump other expenses. And, that’s ok – because the truth is, you don’t need fancy rugs and a designer sofa set to make your guests feel welcome. In fact, you don’t need to go shopping at all; you can just bring out the treasured goods and family heirlooms you’ve stored away for safekeeping.

Cloth Napkins to the Rescue

You can add charm to any meal by simply using cloth napkins and napkin ring holders. By using them every day, you ensure every single meal feels special. The bonus? You’re also cutting back on paper napkins, which Mother Nature will appreciate.

Your Royally Awesome Sterling Silver

Most people who’ve inherited sterling silver cutlery never use it. The thought of trying to figure out how to clean it is just too daunting. But here’s a stress-free and eco-friendly recipe to clean your treasures and bring back their shine:

  • Mix ½ cup of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda in an empty sink. Add the cutlery and soak for 2 – 3 hours. Rinse with cold water and dry thoroughly. Ta da! Time to bring out the main course!

Everything Tastes Better on a Porcelain Plate

Just like your sterling silver forks and knives, cleaning porcelain can be intimidating. Now that you’ve decided to (rightfully) flaunt them, here are some cleaning and storage tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t place dishes, cups, saucers or serving bowls in the dishwasher, as the heat will damage the glaze.
  • Avoid washing dishes directly in the sink because they may bang against the sink’s metal and chip. Instead, place a plastic bin in your sink and fill it with warm water and mild detergent. Wash with a soft microfibre cloth, and drip dry or gently hand dry.
  • When putting plates away, separate each plate with a paper towel or paper plate to avoid them scraping together.
  • Never microwave porcelain. The ones with gold trim will create a spark show, and even those that don’t have gold trim could get cracked or damaged.

At the end of the day, with or without the fancy stuff, setting the table for a special occasion requires nothing but imagination and your tender loving care. Something as simple as having your children design personalized place mats and place cards for guests adds delight, and will give everyone a little special memento to take home.