Celebrate every day as it should be!
In France, we use the words “dresser la table” to say “setting the table” and it is usually an expression used mainly for important occasions such as chic dinner parties, holidays, birthdays…
But on regular days, we simply say “mettre la table”. Funny how the French always have several ways to say more or less the same thing, and yet, there is a subtle difference.
In the first case, we use our nicest china and make an effort to make the table look a little more polished, with silver cutlery and a beautiful centerpiece. In the second case, we use a more simple kind of tableware, which is perfect for everyday use (and which can be put in the washing-machine). There is nothing new to that though. Every busy person or family does the same.
Yet, I wish we would sometimes think about doing things differently. Such as adding a little bit of colour in our life after a long day at work. And really, it doesn’t take that much more time to set a nice table.
It shouldn’t even be a burden. Add some colorful glasses or a few branches found in your garden or at your local florist (they are usually not expensive) or one or two candles (even if it is not a romantic dinner!). Or simply add anything with pattern (napkins, plates, a pretty salad bowl…). It doesn’t have to be extravagant. It can be simple, cute and still be a much appreciated “petit plaisir”.
“Sometimes, the simple things are more fun and meaningful than all the banquets in the world …”
Also try to have your pretty tableware close to where you eat. It could be in the kitchen or the living/dining room but still at reach so you can be tempted to use it everyday.
For instance, I bought a vintage cupboard two months ago from an antique shop and it really changed the way I use all the plates and dishes that I had accumulated over the years. Most of them were stored (or should I say hidden) in my flat and hardly saw the light of day. Now, I can see them on the shelves, which is not only pleasant for the eyes but helps a lot when I want to quickly set the table. And I don’t have to wait for an important event to set a colorful table and enjoy a nice lunch or dinner.
Of course, I do not have the time to set a nice table everyday. But I try to do it as often as possible. I’m quite lucky to be able to pick flowers and make small bouquets quite easily from different places and it really makes the table more poetic.
And most importantly, keep in mind that you should not always wait for important occasions to make you environnement exactly the way you dream it to be.