Do you use real dishes for family dinners?


For the past million years, all holidays have been at our house. First just us and mom and siblings, then as years went by add kids plus others. So we were up to 10. Over the years, we lost my mom and sister but we’ve added more to the table. Last Christmas we had 18 and I’ve decided I’m getting old.

It not so much the cooking ,but all the clean up, So this year, starting with Thanksgiving, we are giving up the “fancy” china (brought at a grocery store early in our marriage LOL) and going to “nice” disposable plates and cups. I will use real flatware. Having a plastic fork snap in half while stabbing at the turkey, just takes away from the meal.

It’s sort of sad to give up the real dishes. I always set the tables (yes 2 tables) a few days before and admired the setting. Then in a matter of mins, it’s time to clean.

So what’s it like at your house?


I am looking forward to the future we were promised where meals were in pill form.

We have never used fancy china for meals (that is not to say we don’t have any…my grandmother painted china so I have about a dozen full sets to pick from — and I am not kidding), we just use our normal daily dishes. This was normal for all meals but over the past few years we have drifted to using paper plates when we have “parties”. For holidays we still use the daily dishes and nice platters. I can totally see going with paper plates that would be a real time saver.

Can’t see using plasticware for the reasons you stated.

In our house, I have gone from annoying everyone to hero! A few years ago I started insisting that we set the food out buffet style in the kitchen and not on the table. I really got tired of the crowded table and people constantly asking things to be passed. Also, it is easier to keep warm things warm and cool things cool in the kitchen…the exercise of getting up and going to the kitchen was also needed :wink: The other benefit of doing it this way is when we have a larger group we can split people between tables without having to split food up for those tables which creates more dishes. Works great at parties as people can also move around from table to table if they want (we are in FL so we have the kitchen table, dining room table, lania). We have had people eat their whole meal standing in the kitchen at the pass-through bar.


I’ve hosted Thanksgiving every other year for easily 20+ years with about 30-35 people attending. Because of the amount of people, we do set up on our kitchen island buffet style, but I still use all my China. That being said, seeing I do all the work preparing and cooking, everyone takes over with the cleaning. So JoJo, even if you do change over to throw away plates, etc. still have everyone else do the cleaning!!! You deserve it!


You have dishes for 30-35 people? I guess I do too if I used every single dish in the house…dinner plates, luncheon plates, dessert plates, toddler plates…

How do you manage with the amount of food? Do you have second fridge? Double oven?


Yes, every type of plate used!:smile: I inherited the China from hubbys Aunt. She had stacks and stacks of the stuff. Actually a little sad as we just downsized and moved to Michigan. Had no choice but to sell my dining room table seeing the house is half the size and has no dining room. So now the China is sitting in a box (don’t have the heart to get rid of it yet).
As far as food, we always start with a 32lb turkey and just use every inch of the stove, stovetop and microwave. Kind of like a well choreographed dance.


Growing up, we always used china and we would typically have 12 to 16 for dinner. Right after, “the men” (my father, great uncle and myself) would head to the kitchen and start washing dishes. The most I have entertained was 12, but a dishwasher takes care of all of the problems. To me, it jst would not be the holidays without the china.


We use real dishes with both my family and my inlaws. However, we never have more than 8-12 people at either meal so it’s not too bad. We use my mom’s good dishes for holiday meals with my family and every day dishes with Mike’s family.

I have China I got when we got married and it’s still in the boxes it came in. We never host holiday meals so there’s no need to get it out.


Yes, I agree, but aside from DH and brother who are both older than me, there is my son and son in law. The last two I wouldn’t trust with my dishes. I’d trust them with my computer, but not my dishes.’

Plus right now we have 5 kids, age 5 and under. Once they are let loose from the table…

It just seem when I grandkids come to visit,it seems I’m either cooking, cleaning up or starting to get the next meal. By the time they leave, I’ve been busy, but I’ve hardly seen them.


I hate to ask but how do you handle people that use china (or mugs) they bring from other houses? I am tempted to show up at Jo-Jo’s with my china and fill up the plate.


I don’t have that issue. My DDIL sometimes brings a Filipino dish but it’s in a pot. I use my own serving bowls.

I’ve had people offer to bring something, but then they come over to the house and ask for cutting board, knife, bowl, etc. 1/2 hr before dinner, I don’t want to go hunting for things and the counters are all ready fill, I’m not clearing a space for you so you can “help” by bringing a salad.

Or…where are the rolls…Peggy has them in her car…Peggy where are the rolls, …I thought Tom had them.

I don’t ask for food brought that is important to the meal.


Oh my word JoJo, that has happened exactly to me, both the making of their food right when dinner is ready, and the rolls being forgotten! I do everything now myself as far as dinner. If people insist on bringing something, I tell them to bring dessert. Can never have enough dessert!!!


Glad it’s not just my family. My ex sister in law used to show up with the one item she was asked to bring and set it on the counter in the bag it came in from the grocery store. One time she was asked to bring a veggie tray and we got a grocery bag of just purchased vegetables and jars of pickles and olives set on the counter. She just left it there for someone else to clean, cut up, and put on a tray she didn’t bring.