Cathie's Favorites

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A friend recently shared the greatest surprise of her first Christmas as a bride. No, it wasn't a Lexus with a big bow, but the differences between her family and her groom's when it came to STOCKING STUFFERS! Her large family rejoiced in small gifts like travel size toiletries, sweet treats and small, unusual trinkets-the more creative and personal, the better. His, on the other hand, stuffed stockings with treasures like watches, ipods and gift cards. Needless to say, he was disappointed with the holiday-flavored breath mints in his stocking, but she was thrilled with her new bracelet.
Gift Giving Advice from Cathie: "I say don't sweat the small stuff! Here are my top five favorite stocking stuffers that, while small and affordable, make a big impression."
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Slippers from Sleeps with Dogs. The softest ever, she (or he) will never want to take them off! $14.00.
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If she is getting (or already has) a Nora Fleming serving piece, she'll love a new "mini" in her stocking. Don't feel limited to a Christmas design - summer is closer than you think! $14.95.
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I love my lint roller from Flint. Retractable and refillable, it fits right in a handbag or pocket. Plus, the colors are bright and fun. $7.99
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Salted Caramels by Fort Mill's own Jennifer Hudson! A delicious treat is a hit with EVERYONE! $9.00.
Chip Clips with adorable messages like "You only live once, lick the bowl!" Punch it up by pairing them with a bag of Funky Chunky popcorn. $17.25.

Start Your Heirloom Collection with VIETRI
What makes something worthy of becoming a family heirloom collection? I believe it's made of quality, beautiful items that remind us of times we hold dear. Those special collections are like living, growing parts of our lives. It's NEVER too early to start a collection. My favorite collection is my VIETRI; it's something I can actually use, and at the same time adds beauty to my space.
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Each piece of VIETRI is hand painted by an Italian artisan to create an individual masterpiece.
I started collecting Old St. Nick by VIETRI about five years ago. My first piece was a rectangular tray that I use to serve appetizers, desserts and muffins on during the holidays. When I'm not using it, I leave it propped on a shelf in plain view year round. It's one of my favorite pieces, and one I recommend the most!

VIETRI is such a dear part of our Christmas traditions that I've started collections of place settings in Old St. Nick for both of my daughters. They love receiving it; they know that by the time they have families of their own, they can start their own traditions of bringing out the Santa plates and mugs to herald in the Christmas season.
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This large serving platter in old St. Nick shows beautiful craftsmanship without being too impersonal.
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 Brides should register for Christmas china. Start with dinner plates, then fill in over the years.
One of the reasons I recommend VIETRI is the versatility of the line. They've introduced a new holiday pattern, Lastra Holiday, that is a wonderful compliment to Old St. Nick or stands beautifully on its own.

PRO TIP: Don't be afraid to mix and match. I often mix multiple VIETRI patterns, or put a VIETRI pattern with my mother-in-law's monogrammed formal china. It makes for a beautiful table that represents so many great memories.
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Lastra Holiday compliments Old St. Nick perfectly, but is also beautiful on its own.
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It's rare to find heirloom quality pieces that you feel comfortable using often. I love VIETRI because you can do just that.
Thanksgiving with Cathie
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Cathie Smith, owner of Crossings On Main.

Thanksgiving comes early this year! Cathie shares a few of her style tips and must have's for her family's Thanksgiving together.

Traditional or New?
I like a mix of both--I've started collecting VIETRI dinnerware, which is white and casual. I mix it with my wedding china, which has a black and rust band around it,  and formal china from my husband's grandmother, which has a gold band and is monogrammed with an "S." It all looks beautiful together and is perfect for Thanksgiving.
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Here's my dining room table last evening - I love mixing my formal pieces with the a less dressy Hester & Cook table runner.
Formal place settings or more casual?
I like things to be casual, but I also love to create a beautiful table setting where family and friends feel comfortable and know that this is a special time for us to be together. I love to use the paper place mats and table runners by Hester and Cook along with cloth napkins, silver and a mixture of white dinnerware and china serving pieces.

Favorite Centerpiece?
I love using a large old wooden dough bowl as my center piece. I love plants, so I fill it with ferns and succulents with a few fall pumpkins and acorns scattered about. I have a beautiful leaf garland that I'd like to wind around the dough bowl and along the center of the table. It's important to keep your centerpiece low so everyone can see each other and conversation is easy.
Pro tip: If you use a taller centerpiece, opt for a clear glass or crystal vase to keep a clear view across the table.