The Christmas Train

Welcome to the 585th Tablescape Thursday!

Everywhere I look, there are reminders of how special Thanksgiving was this year. The last time my son, daughter-in-love and grandchildren were here for Thanksgiving, one grandson was still just a twinkle in his parent’s eyes and the one that was here was very small, too small to really understand where he was or what was going on.

This time was so different, they understood everything. It was so much fun watching them explore the house and seeing their joy in discovering and playing with all their’s Dad’s old toys I had brought up from the basement.

When my son was young, he loved eating gumdrops from this little gumdrop tree. Two little boys worked it over pretty good the four days they were here. 🙂

Gumdrop Tree, Almost Picked Clean


I brought in the little tree I had out on the screened porch to use it as the centerpiece for this week’s table.

Christmas Table Setting, 2020


The tree in the background is covered with ornaments collected over the years, many handmade like the little cross-stitched ornament I made for my son for his first Christmas.

Christmas Table Setting with Sentimental Handmade Ornaments


I love how the trees reflect in the French door that leads out to the screened porch. It makes it feel like there are three trees.

Christmas Tablescape with Better Homes & Gardens Train Christmas Plates


If I were dining here with family or friends, when we sat down to eat I would move the tree centerpiece to the kitchen counter. I love a tall centerpiece and it’s easy to just move them to a sideboard or counter when you and your dinner guests sit down to eat.

Christmas Table Setting, Better Homes & Gardens Train Christmas Plates


This morning I snapped a few photos with the shutters thrown back. I love how a table looks in natural lighting, shadows and all.

Christmas Tablescape, 2020


Love this Better Homes and Garden Christmas dinnerware! The plaid chargers I’m using are currently on sale here: Plaid Chargers. The twig/woven chargers are from Crate and Barrel (I think) many years ago. I caught them on sale for a very low price. I rarely use them because they are so big, most dinner plates look lost on them. They work great and create a nice contrast underneath plaid/tartan chargers.

Better Home & Gardens Christmas China, Train Pattern


This is one of B & G’s new patterns for this year. I love trains so had to pick up a few of these. If you don’t live near a Walmart, you can buy this pattern online here: Better Homes and Gardens Heritage Dinnerware.

This year’s 12-piece set depicts 4 different scenes on the salad plates: a reindeer, a snow-covered tree with a bunny nearby and the two new patterns which are two horses and a fox near a stream and the Christmas train that I’m using in today’s table. You can see all the patterns at that link above. I hope B & G never stop making new patterns for this dinnerware. I love seeing what they come out with each year.

Better Homes and Gardens Christmas China, Christmas Train


Since I was going for a woodsy feel with today’s table, I pulled out my twig flatware. I love this silly flatware so much! I’ve been asked if it’s comfortable to use/hold and the answer is yes. It quite comfortable and I love using it.

Twig Flatware in Christmas Table Setting


I layered a velvet-edged linen napkin atop a paisley napkin and the napkin ring holding them together is actually an ornament I purchased many years ago in Wal-mart. I purchased several of these antler ornaments which are composed of two faux antlers held together with jute yarn. To use as napkin rings, I wrapped them around the napkins and then around each other to hold them in place.

Tip: The ornament department is always a great place to find unique pieces that work well as place card holders or napkin rings.

Antler Napkin Holders in Christmas Table Setting


You may remember when I used these sleigh ornaments as place card holders for a Christmas tablescape several years back. These were also a find in the ornament department in Wally World. They would make a sweet gift for dinner guests to take home, as well.


Hope you enjoyed this table as much as I loved putting it together!

Better Home & Gardens Christmas China, Train Pattern


Merry Christmas to you!

Christmas Tablescape with Better Homes & Gardens Train Christmas Plates



Looking forward to all the beautiful tables linked for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

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  1. Glad to hear you had a nice Thanksgiving! Your table looks amazing with that fabulous tree as the centerpiece – love it! Thanks for hosting and enjoy your weekend!

  2. I remember when you recommended the twig flaware. I purchased 24 place settings and love it in gold. The porch looks fabulous! Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We did too.

    • Oh, the gold is sooo pretty! I have it in the bronze and the silver but would also love a set in the gold, too! Amazing how great it looks with so many settings. So happy to hear your Thanksgiving was wonderful, Jacqueline!

  3. I love using ornaments for napkin rings. Been doing this for yesrs.
    Your table is gorgeous.

  4. Susan, your Thanksgiving sounds perfect. I love your table with the BH&G plates and all of your beautiful details! As always, thank you for hosting and have a beautiful day!

  5. What a pretty table you’ve set! I may just think about starting to decorate. . .

  6. The gum drop tree–what a long forgotten memory! We had one as kids, but I don’t remember my mom using gum drops. She hung very small, delicate ornaments on it. I hadn’t thought of that in decades. Thanks

  7. Isn’t it so wonderful to have things that bring back so many lovely memories!? That’s one of the best parts of the holidays for me. Thanks for sharing yours! And I so love those tartan chargers – I’ve wanted some for a long time, and this might be the year! 🙂 Thanks as always for the party, and Happy Holidays!

    • This was def a Thanksgiving for memories! My heart was so full I thought it would burst! Hope you had a wonderful one, Barbara! Merry Christmas to you!

  8. Susan, I very rarely leave a comment on blogs, but I want you to know that I love reading your blog. It is my favorite! I love all your creative ideas! They inspire me to think of how I might incorporate them in my home, and to look at things in new ways I haven’t thought of before. Sort of like having a visit with a like-minded friend, when good ideas and encouraging words are exchanged. Thank you for that! Also, I want to wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas season! Have fun in Ohio! 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Dianne! That means so much to hear that and I truly appreciate your sweet words! It always feels like I’m talking to a good friend with each post I write. So glad to hear that it feels that way for you and hopefully others who stop by to read. Love that!
      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  9. I love memory Christmas trees. It’s the only kind I’ve ever had. Each ornament brings back such fun memories. Thanks for sharing yours.

  10. Biodynamic Barb says

    Daughter-in-LOVE! I love it! Need to use that with my mother-in-love.

    I’m also in awe that you’ve created so many tablescapes. I can barely pull together 3 or 4 in one year and you do it every week.

    Kudos to you!

    • Thanks so much, Barb! I can’t believe how fast the years have flown by! I guess I’ll be 85 one day and still creating tables…at least I hope so! 🙂

  11. I love it all Susan, the tree with the meaningful ornaments is beautiful. One year my kids had a little friend visit who had only had theme trees and she wanted one like ours. Love the table and place settings. I just came from Walmart and forgot to look for the plates! I usually shop at Target because it’s closer. I’m sure you had a wonderful time sharing it all with your little grandsons (I have 2 so I can relate) and your son and DIL and creating a new memories!

  12. Hi Susan! Forgive me if this has already been addressed, but when I clicked your link: Better Homes and Gardens Heritage Dinnerware, it came up as an “error page.”

    I have a “train hog” and I know he’ll love these plates, but now I can’t find them.

    Thanks Susan, your blog is awesome!

    Wendy in Suwanee

    • Thanks, Wendy! Unfortunately my cable is out, it’s out in the whole metro Atlanta area, so I can’t go in and check the link. I’m writing this on my phone. As soon as the cable comes back, I will check that link and see if I can correct whatever is going on. Thanks for letting me know about it!

    • Wendy, I changed the link again and it still didn’t work. I think Walmart is having an issue. Just Google for “Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Dinnerware Walmart” and it should pop up for you.

      • Thank you Susan! I know you’re going to think I’m a goof, but I’ve found every plate Better Homes and Gardens makes at Christmas for Walmart: doe in snow w/ cardinal, Christmas car, Christmas red truck — but not the train. Any help would be awesome, if you have the time. If you’re swamped no worries. I’m going to get my son the train pillow from PB. Thank you for everything!

  13. Susan, I too, love trains and had to have this plate! I have most of the other Better Homes and Gardens plates for Christmas. They are just charming, I think. Your table is beautiful and really puts me in the spirit!
    BTW, I got in touch with Mel and got my 2020 agenda calendar like the one we had last year.

    • Thanks, Martha! I contacted her as well and purchased 20/20. I went ahead and put all of them into my agenda and took out the old ones except for November and December since I was still using those. I was so happy to see that this year she offered them with the week starting on Sunday and not Monday. I could never get used to it’s starting on Monday and was forever writing things on the wrong date. Did you notice that you could order them with the week starting on Sunday? I’m so glad she was accommodating and made them like she did last year

  14. I know you loved having your grands at your house, celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas! Your table is classic Christmas, looks beautiful!

  15. Cecilia from Georgia says

    When I saw your title I was hoping to see how you used trains! I love the china but my 4yo grandson wants to put a train under the tree…guess he’s been looking on Pinterest!! I also thought you might be referring to the Pink Pig that was a magical time in Downtown Atlanta many years ago! Oh, the lighting of the tree at Rich’s…such wonderful memories! Your house is so lovely and beautifully decorated in Christmas splendor!!

  16. Susan a lovely setting as always. Because of you I am happy to have twig flatware and some of the BH&G plates. Mine all depict the sleigh ride scene.

    I loved seeing your tree full of handmade and sentimental ornaments. The full-size, live tree in my family room serves the same purpose. Not a magazine cover worthy or designer tree, but the one full of the most happy memories.

  17. I love this table, Susan! If something like the plaid chargers or twig flatware work and look so good, I say use them repeatedly! Love those BH&G plates too. I have several, but have resisted so far this year……so far.
    Our tree is in front of windows that give that same illusion of another tree in the reflection. I love that!

  18. I have been to my WalMart three times to check but they don’t have that train plate so far! And online it says “in store only” – I don’t need the whole set, as I have most of the other salad plates already. I’ll keep looking, I’d really like to have 1-2 of these. Your table is lovely and I’m glad you had such a good time with your grands at Thanksgiving.

  19. So many wonderful details in your table, Susan! The tiny sleigh filled with cute trinkets, those plaid plates, the velvet trim paired up with the pretty paisley and the tip on ornaments to use at each place setting. I always feel as though I’m entertaining a enchanted land when I view one of your tablescapes!
    I haven’t seen the plates at Walmart 🙁 – but they did have the plastic plaid plates and I picked up those for tablescapes and decor for next Christmas!

    Take care,

  20. I just wonder how long it will be before you take those two grandsons on a train adventure! I have grandsons and have been trying to do that for several years.

  21. The minute I saw that gumdrop tree, I had to Google it and find it. I found it, but the reviews say that it’s very fragile plastic and breaks easily. If you still have yours after all these years, it must be a better version of what they are selling today. Isn’t that how it is nowadays? I’ve never seen one before, and it’s so cute!!

    • All the ones I’ve ever seen were made of plastic. It’s pretty sturdy, though. They are so inexpensive, even if it broke, you wouldn’t be out much. When I first pulled this one this year, out of curiosity I googled to see if anyone was making a stainless Gumdrop tree and didn’t see any. I’m not sure why they’ve always been made of plastic. But this one has held up very well and is going on 30 years old now.

  22. Wow those are a nice addition to the patterns BH&G have been producing! They look great with the Williams Sonoma dinner plates. Love your tree centerpiece. Great to look at anytime!

  23. I enjoy reading your posts so much. I had completely forgotten about the gumdrop tree. My mother had one, too, and she put gumdrops on it in December. I like those BH & G dishes, too, and have bought some every year although I do not need any more Christmas dishes. I have not seen them in our local store this year, just unbreakable ones.

  24. Simply gorgeous. I love everything. Those train plates are adorable. How cute is that tree with the gumdrop lights!?
    Merry Christmas

  25. Jeanette Zienert says

    I purchased the salad plates with the train a few weeks ago, I agree they are just so cute. Thank you for the information on them. I know they will go fast.
    Gorgeous tablescape and lovely trees.

  26. Laura Tieri says

    I love the little tree! It’s so cute! I already got my new plates! At first I couldn’t find the new ones but after sorting through the stacks I found them! I have a candy tradition that I’m still doing after many, many years. I have what I call a felt candy counter. You take off a piece of candy every night & when you get down to the bell it will be Christmas day.I have used Brach’s Royals on it every year since I was little! I sure hope they never stop making those candies!

  27. I have one of those gumdrop trees that I didn’t use for a long, long time. But in the spirit of “Waste not; want not.” I sprayed it gold and now use it to display my collection of Christmas pins.

  28. How lovely Susan. Glad you had such a good time with the family visiting.
    I went all over my ‘newly remodeled’ Wally World last night and there was no sign of Christmas plates. In years past, you were lucky to see one or two and they were chipped. Ugh.
    Haven’t thought of the gumdrop tree in years. Memories.

  29. Cyndi Raines says

    This table is so “delightful”, totally speaks of Christmas and I love it! My aunt had a gum drop tree and we loved picking it clean, haha. My favorite were the red, but I also remember getting a spice one now and then. Good, sweet memories! Thanks Susan, and I’m so happy for you that you will see or be with your family again in a few weeks.

  30. I am sure your grandsons made lifelong memories of their Thanksgiving at grandma’s house. The ornaments from my children’s childhood have become my favorites. I’m also finding myself filling my tree with more and more photographs.

  31. Lovely! I’m so glad you had a great time with your son, daughter-in-law, and grandson’s. My bonus daughter, fiancé, and my bonus grandson are coming today for a long weekend. I can’t wait!

  32. Linda Page Gurganus says

    Unfortunately Walmart had sold out of the two new designs before I got there so I will look online. I need to send a picture of my table for the baby shower I am having for a friend today. I am using these Christmas dishes. I have added to the ones you gave me. I got a beautiful pie plate this year. Going to send some pictures to you of a candlelight tour we did last night. You should come visit me next year and we can tour the houses in Jefferson and Marshall.

  33. The train plates are hard to find-I bought the last 4 in the Scottsdale Walmart. Thank you for showcasing them!

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