Today is Special: Reasons to Use the China

We were unpacking boxes after my grandparents moved from their home they had lived in for over 40 years. My grandmother was moving into an assisted living facility, and my grandfather moved in with my parents. As I pulled a plate from a box, my grandfather said, “Nadine’s parents gave us that china for our wedding, I don’t think we ever used it.”

My heart sank.

They were married 50 plus years, and they had never used the china. Why?

Today is Special Why to Use the China

It Was Too Good

You don’t pull out your china and crystal because it’s Tuesday, you never wipe your hands on the guest bathroom towels, and for heaven’s sake, wear your grungiest clothes if you’re not leaving the house.

Where does this belief come from?  A cultural self-esteem issue, the emergence of a middle class that could afford a few beautiful things, or maybe it’s just merely an attempt to keep up with the Joneses.

My Own Issues

A few Christmases later, my husband gave me a beautiful watch. He has this habit of buying me much more beautiful things that I would ever buy myself. My first reaction was that it was too nice and therefore, I would never be able to wear it.  I’m just a stay-at-home mom who was up to her elbows in diapers at that point.

Then I remembered the china.

I wear that watch every day, no matter where I am going or what I am doing.  It needs a battery at the moment; I’ve got to take care of that.

Enjoy Every Day

I drink grocery store wine from my Waterford crystal.  I serve myself Costco coffee in a Polish stoneware mug.  I get dressed (most days) in clothes I wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear in public, and I don’t even own “guest” towels.


This may be my large family mom attempt at minimalism, but if I own something I want to use it. Storing my crystal somewhere hidden away for 50 years until someday my children pull it out and wonder why they never saw it is a complete waste.  I would rather my kids look at the crystal and say, “Mom always drank her wine from these glasses.” With that kind of memory, they may want to keep them. Mystery glasses unearthed after I’m gone will quickly go to the Goodwill.

Life is too short.  If I was gone tomorrow, I’m not sure anyone would appreciate my ability to keep pristine crystal.

So pull out your china and use it today.  If you’re a rebel, you can even throw it in the dishwasher (just turn off the heated dry).

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About Bethany Ishee

Bethany is the mom of six, always-homeschooled children, who one day realized she'd lost herself in the process, probably under a pile of laundry. Her eclectic style of homeschooling draws upon Classical to Unschooling and everything in between.  While homeschooling her children and writing about learning outside of school, she tries to find time to read a book, drink coffee, and pay the bills.

One thought on “Today is Special: Reasons to Use the China

  1. Both of my grandmothers and my mom had china that we never ate off of. Two of this ladies had crystal that never say the light of day. I remember coming home from school one day to find our dining room table set to the nines. I thought we were having guests. Nope, mom just wanted to see what her table would look like set with the good stuff. She took a picture and packed it all away. After she died, we got it out one Thanksgiving. The silverware was still hermetically sealed, we had to cut each piece out. After the meal, we hand washed it and divided it up amongst the sisters. None of us have used our share. (I think it’s the hand washing.) Personally, my mother’s was not my taste. I inherited one grandmother’s mix and match China. When she traveled, if she say a set of china she liked, she bought one dish. I had my favorites in the stack. Some hang in my kitchen. The rest are brought out every holiday and birthday. My husband and I chose the good stuff for our everyday silverware and we wanted sturdy crystal, not the stuff you could sneeze at and break. Hopefully one of our 6 kids will like my mom’s and be used to create family memories, just as my Nana’s has graced my table along with the new stuff my husband and I have added.

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