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Secondhand Finds: Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and it’s not even close. It’s the simplest of holidays, asking only that you come together and enjoy all that you have to be grateful for. It brings to a close the most…

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and it’s not even close.

It’s the simplest of holidays, asking only that you come together and enjoy all that you have to be grateful for.

It brings to a close the most glorious season – autumn – at the same time that it kicks off the holiday season ahead.

And it’s a quintessentially American holiday. I like that too.

Johnson Brother Friendly Village dinner plate

The tradition at our house is that we host Thanksgiving dinner for my parents, Tom’s parents, and our out-of-town sisters (one his, one mine) and their families if they’re in town that year.

Dinner happens in the afternoon and in the evening things get kicked up (more than) a notch.

Johnson Brothers Friendly Village Schoolhouse dinner plate vintage

That’s when some combination of the rest of Tom’s family (he’s one of nine) and their spouses, kids, and, in some cases, grandkids, descend on the house, bringing appetizers, desserts, drinks, and lots of activity.

So our Thanksgiving is really two holidays: one a carefully planned traditional dinner, and the second a come-as-you-are free-for-all that takes on a life of its own.

Each is special in its own way.

Johnson Brother Friendly Village Autumn Mist dinner plate vintage

Thanksgiving is such a big deal at our house that in September, when I celebrated a milestone birthday, I decided to give myself something I’ve been thinking about getting for a while: a set of Thanksgiving dishes.

I decided on the vintage Friendly Village pattern by Johnson Brothers and I scoured eBay for dinner plates and salad plates so I’d have a set of each.

Johnson Brothers Friendly Village square salad plates

I love the square shape of the salad plates. And the dinner plates come with lots of different scenes on them so I decided to mix them up. This scene, called The Village Street, is my favorite.

Johnson Brothers Friendly Village The Village Street dinner plate

I cannot wait to see the Thanksgiving table set with these new/old plates.

I also ran across this monogrammed, silverplate gravy boat at an antique mall recently.

It’ll be great for gravy, of course, but for some reason I keep seeing salad dressing in it too.

silver gravy boat

Happy Thanksgiving season! How does your family celebrate?

This post is part of Metamorphosis Monday and The Scoop.

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  1. Love the friendly village pattern. It will look beautiful on your Thanksgiving table. I have special thanksgiving and Christmas China and always look forward to using them each year.

  2. Thanks for the heartwarming post Julie. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
    P.S. I like your choice of dishes and I love silver.

  3. Marilyn in Mt. Vernon, VA says:

    I too have the Friendly Village dishes, and I love them. I use them from the end of Halloween until spring, with the exception of my Christmas china that I use for the two weeks before Christmas. I got mine many years ago at a shop in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Since then, I bought two serving bowls and a platter on-line. Such a delight to use each fall. Thanks for sharing; lovely post.

  4. I love Johnson Brothers. I have my Mothers set with all the serving pieces. I have no family left and friends are pre-occupied so I go to a local diner I love . A movie and shopping . It’s so fun and no mess to clean up. I love shopping on holidays by the end of the day my Xmas shopping is done.

    1. Lexie, I love your attitude! Your Thanksgiving sounds lovely.

  5. My goodness…..we must have the same tastes! I also have these Friendly Village
    dishes! I’m still aquiring pieces, but I have all the dinner plate scenes, and a few
    serving bowls & Platter. They are my winter dishes, although some of the scenes
    definately are spring & summer:) Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Twila

    1. I think those dishes could work for many times of the year. Happy Thanksgiving to you too. 🙂

  6. So many memories of eating Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandmother’s on those dishes. They were passed down to my mom and she used them for Thanksgiving, too. Both those wonderful women and cooks are gone and I will keep their memories alive by cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year for 15. But the dishes, are they boxed up in my basement? I’m going to go look!

    1. Oh I so hope they are there! Happy Thanksgiving!

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