This is my most favorite time of the year! People are more kind, selfless and just plain happy. The generosity of spirit that abounds this time of year is undeniably wonderful. True, most of us are busier as well, but through it all there is a palpable sense of joy and excited anticipation in the air.

For me, the holidays are about family, friends, traditions and memories. On the morning of December 24th, we always read the little book, A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg.  I am not sure if it is even still in print, but for me it defines, in a very simple way, the Christmas spirit and what is truly important.  It offers a wonderful perspective and never fails to set my priorities in order - especially on a day of gift giving and consumption.

By four in the afternoon, the first champagne cork is popped and our door is open for friends to stop by and share some Christmas cheer.  I have many favorite Arte pieces in my collection, however one of my best presentations is several bottles of champagne on ice in the Arte Italica Romana Basin Bowl on top of the Peltro charger.  Also, always a great presentation, I serve oysters on the half shell in a bed of salt on our Tuscan Oval Tray with handles.

After all of our friends leave to go to their own festivities, it is time for our family dinner.  Since I was a little girl, we have had Dungeness crab on Christmas Eve. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, fishermen will catch that morning the crabs we will eat that evening.  Needless to say, nothing compares to the rich, sweet flavor of the fresh crabmeat that will be devoured on the eve of Christmas.  We eat so much crab, that the only other things on the table will be a green salad and sour dough bread.  This year, I plan to set the table with Pelto chargers, Riverbero dinner plates and Tesoro salad plates. This dinner is one of the things our family looks forward to most of all.

With each Christmas, we build on tradition and create new memories.  What always remains the same is the love of family and friends.  With our first grandchild on the way, next Christmas I hope to pass on all of the spirit and wonder that makes this time of year the best.

To you and yours, I wish the best for this holiday season and throughout the New Year!


       Romana Basin Bowl                      Tuscan Oval Tray                           Peltro Charger


Riverbero Dinner Plate         Tesoro Salad/Dessert Plate