My son had an away hockey tournament this Thanksgiving weekend. With hockey tournaments,  you don’t know the schedule of games until just a few days before, so it’s a challenge to plan anything in advance. Because we didn’t know how the team would play, we weren’t sure if they would advance to the semi-finals on Sunday morning. This meant we weren’t sure on Saturday afternoon if we needed a hotel that night!

I don’t mind a bit of spontaneity, but I had invited my parents and aunt and uncle over for Thanksgiving lunch on Monday. I knew I’d have to pick up the fresh turkey on Sunday, brine it overnight, and start baking desserts and prepping for lunch. A few years ago, I’d find this last-minute preparation extremely stressful. But I’ve learned to go with the flow… the more you fuss and worry about things, it causes unnecessary stress.

Stuffing a turkey, making some side dishes and baking a cake doesn’t take that long… in fact, I was so happy to host a small gathering that I did something I hadn’t done before.

I took out the fine china and crystal. Yep, 10 years in this house and I haven’t used my fine china and crystal for any occasion. Why? Because I don’t have a formal dining room.

This silly open-concept of new builds gave me a strange layout and my living-dining area is really only big enough for a sitting area. I inherited some formal living room furniture where my dining room would normally be. So I’m left with a large kitchen eating area, which is more country-style than fine dining.

So the lovely Wedgewood set my parents bought for our wedding gift, was sitting all packaged in plastic in my kitchen buffet and crystal on display in the hutch, collecting dust.

Then is dawned on me – what the heck am I waiting for? Why am I saving these things to enjoy “in my dream home”? Why not enjoy it now?  The more difficult question I asked myself – what if that “perfect” setting I had in my mind for long, doesn’t come?

I carefully washed my never-used bone china plates and crystal wine glasses. I busted out the fine cutlery. I took the time to iron out the unused tablecloth, and set the table as I had always wanted to do in my fancy dining room – although I didn’t have proper 100% linen napkins (on my next shopping list). No worries about washing the linens and getting out stains with OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover which is oxygen-based, chlorine free and colour safe.

While the set-up wasn’t my dream dining room, I could – and should – still enjoy hosting a Thanksgiving luncheon. So what if my wobbly kitchen table could barely hold up the eight of us. Nobody could see the scratches on the table top. thanks to the tablecloth, or the marker drawings underneath the table.

Had I killed the goal of having the dining room I’d always wanted? Did this mean I wouldn’t get my dream home? No. I was being silly. This simply meant that I was living for today, and enjoying things for right now.

Have you ever saved something for use later? Why not enjoy it now?

What Are You Saving the Fine China For?


Since I’m a Church & Dwight ambassador, I often acknowledge their products and/or write about them.


Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.


  1. So true, great reminder for everyone! When we first got married I told myself that I wouldn’t be that person who only used the china on special occasions, I would use it any time we had company over. And I do! although now with kids we don’t as much, but for those first 5 years before kids any time someone came over we would use them, pizza, bring out the china! Sandwiches for lunch? Bring out the china, it was great, and I could admire the china that I fell in love with when registering for it!

  2. We have huge Christamases and a few years ago decided dragging out the fine china was ruining our family time. We spent so much time washing dishes afterwards instead of enjoying our company. We just use paper now!

  3. I know my Mom saves the china because she is obsessed with keeping it perfect! Her china pattern is discontinued, so if it breaks…there’s no replacing it. But I agree with you, china should be used as much as possible 🙂

  4. Love this – partially bc I love anything you post, and partially bc this is exactly what happened to me this year. We got a beautiful dish set as housewarming gift from my inlaws 5 years ago, and I thought what am I waiting for – and decide to do a formal setting this year. This article really resonated with me!

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