Do you have a set of "fine china" and a different set of "everyday china"?

Bignuf Bignuf
Okay, so in "my generation", everyone used to register for, and get a set of "fine china" for entertaining, when they got married. I suspect most people over 50 have a set sitting in a closet, collecting dust or on display in a "china cabinet", but almost never used. I just heard an NPR radio snippet discussing changing trends in marriage (and gift giving) and it seems that most people, married or not, 35 and under, do not have a different "good" set of china for entertaining. Is it a "dying" concept?

Do you have a different set of china for everyday use and one for celebrations?

Feel free to comment on your thoughts.
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
Bignuf , Wicked Wahine , Oriental husband and wife , Anne , Kipperanne , Sir , Castielskitten
7
edeneve , SaucyxGirl , That Man from Mars , Akira , RebelSentry , tiny princey
6
Wicked Wahine , js250 , ScorpioCurves , Taylor , uneunsae
5
Total votes: 18 (17 voters)
Poll is open
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edeneve edeneve
I never have gotten a set of china. really never wanted to. I've had a set of very nice stoneware with all the extras - soup tureen, 2 platters, etc. I've had it 32 years & it's help up very well. have lost a few pieces, but the whole set is still complete enough to use all the time.
May 16, 11:07 am
Bignuf Bignuf
Quote:
Originally posted by edeneve
I never have gotten a set of china. really never wanted to. I've had a set of very nice stoneware with all the extras - soup tureen, 2 platters, etc. I've had it 32 years & it's help up very well. have lost a few pieces, but the ... More
Serving sets and pieces are always good to have. No doubt about that. It's that whole "fine bone china" thing that is apparently not part of younger peoples thought process. Kind of like very few people make a big deal about having a "formal living room" anymore (they just want a family room). Even formal dining rooms seem to be a non-issue in many new homes. People just want a BIG gourmet kitchen with a large eat in area. That is where their entertaining happens. I know it does for us.
May 16, 4:40 pm
dv8 dv8
I don't have "fine China" but I have a few sets of colorful plating for entertaining.
May 16, 11:19 pm
SaucyxGirl SaucyxGirl
Nope just have everyday plates. We currently are looking to buy a house and I have said that a dining room is a must. I hate not having one right now, it makes entertaining next to impossible.
May 17, 1:10 am
HouseWench HouseWench
-I- am perfectly happy using china as everyday tableware. Since it's fancy we both want to keep it in good shape, so it's good motivation to do the dishes. We got it at an estate sale though.
May 17, 7:38 pm
Bignuf Bignuf
Quote:
Originally posted by SaucyxGirl
Nope just have everyday plates. We currently are looking to buy a house and I have said that a dining room is a must. I hate not having one right now, it makes entertaining next to impossible.
We have a formal dining room table with twelve spots (long table)and it sits in a huge dining room, with a china cabinet, serving pantry..etc. We have used it once, in the fifteen years we have been in this house. Even then, people sat, ate and then got up and went back to the place people always seem to gather, the kitchen. I know we are not moving again, but if I had it to do over, I would have a HUGE eat in kitchen. With a nice serving area between the cooking area and eating area, such a place could service both formal and informal entertaining. As it is, our formal living room (a 40 x 50 foot monster room that no one goes into but our three dogs, and the housekeeper, to vacuum dog hair every week, and the large dining room are totally wasted spaces in my book, and they take up a heck of a chunk of the house that could have been used for other, more "living" spaces.
May 18, 11:30 am
Wicked Wahine Wicked Wahine
(I am 46, for the record)

I had to choose 'other' because I am and always have been single *sob* But I have and I love my fine china! I have lots of different styles, some more full than others, but not a complete set of one type as you'd try to get when married (I will get some of my parents' eventually). I know my sister didn't choose fine china for her wedding pattern, but chose a stoneware pattern which she uses as their everyday plates.

I use my stuff myself because I love it and love looking at it. I have done like HouseWench and gotten some excellent deals through estate sales! I also use crystal for my everyday drinking as well and why not? Why not use what you have and enjoy it? It makes me happy and I also like to have other things out where I can see and enjoy them every day, such as some jewelry pieces, figurines, vases with flowers, etc. I am home alone almost all the time, rarely able to leave the house, so it's important to me to not save things for company or for some hope that I will entertain when those things may rarely, or never happen.

I agree with you, Bignuf, the trends have really changed, but I specifically wanted a formal living room and dining room when I chose this house, and at my parents' house (where my siblings and I grew up), we used the formal rooms for special occasions and entertaining (and we/they still do), about every week, but they are in their 70's, so it's a different group of people who are used to this type of entertaining. I think people today are less formal about guests vs host, so they come into the kitchen and don't stay off in a living room while the host is dashing in and out bringing things from the kitchen. It's nice because then the host/ess gets to enjoy their company, too! I enjoy both types of entertaining though. I really like that today it's not like all the work falls on the host/ess to juggle while the rest stay chatting and relaxing and s/he is a glorified caterer.

This makes me think of something else that seems to have fallen by the wayside...a host/ess' gift! Does anyone here always bring something as a hostess/host gift when they go to someone else's house for a gathering?

I never go without one and yet I have had some odd reactions more recently from people I thought should know better, or at least be gracious about accepting them. I recently met a hostess in a nice neighborhood where we were having a progressive party, so, not personally knowing anyone there, I brought pretty guest soaps for each house we went to. I had the hostess at the first house stare at me, not reach out to accept it and tell me dismissively and really quite snottily, "We don't do that." It was so rude and tactless, I almost was snotty back, but simply stayed smiling and said, "Well I do (said with a shrug, as if she hadn't just shot me down in front of everyone). You are gracious enough to let all of us into your lovely home and I wanted to bring something. Please, enjoy it, or I guess you could re-gift it if you don't want it (said with a laugh to try and lighten the atmosphere)."

Anyway, I always ask the host/ess beforehand if there is something I can bring: food, dessert, wine, etc. I guess this might be a dying trend? What do others think or have experience with this sort of thing?
May 18, 1:07 pm
charmedtomeetyou charmedtomeetyou
Quote:
Originally posted by Wicked Wahine
(I am 46, for the record)

I had to choose 'other' because I am and always have been single *sob* But I have and I love my fine china! I have lots of different styles, some more full than others, but not a complete set of one type as ... More
I still bring hostess gifts as well. Even for very close friends, if we're headed over there for dinner I ask what I can bring in advance and will sometimes call before we leave home to make sure I can't stop and get something they might need last minute. They will nearly always say no, but the offer is always put out there. A nice bottle of wine or some chocolates if you're invited over can't be a bad idea, in my opinion.

To the original question: We have china, but don't use it that often. Right now, the kids are little, and china wouldn't be a very good idea. We aren't prone to keeping areas fancy, kid-proofed and unused and we actually live in our living room....so right now things are pretty casual around here.
May 19, 5:36 pm
js250 js250
Bignuf--
Yes, I did have a set of china for entertaining. I gave it to my daughter for her wedding present and now she uses it for company dinners. I use my misc. pieces of it that my hubby bought for me on special occasions now, and my basic plates when I have or will have dinners in the future.

WickedWahine--
I always get a host/hostess gift when invited to other peoples house for dinner, BBQ. etc. And I also bring a dish, dessert or snack as well.
May 19, 5:45 pm
Oriental husband and wife Oriental husband and wife
When we lived near our relatives we would usually bring out the fancy sets. Since moving few hours away, we'll yet to take them out of the China cabinet.
May 19, 9:43 pm
ScorpioCurves ScorpioCurves
I'm 23 (the generation who apparently hates using china) and I own Chinaware. I think the reason why it's partially irrelevant in this day & age is because most people my age can't afford the proper housing required to "formally entertain" people (blame student loan debt, capitalism, & the economy.) I was gifted my set of China after the death of my grandmother, so I didn't obtain it in the traditional way either. I don't think I'll ever use it mainly because I don't like having the responsibility of cooking for a bunch of people, but also because (like I said) it's irrelevant to my current living circumstance. Imagine trying to have a fancy dinner with all your guests in a small apartment that's full of nagging/angry neighbors. You see my point?
May 20, 5:57 am
Wicked Wahine Wicked Wahine
Quote:
Originally posted by charmedtomeetyou
I still bring hostess gifts as well. Even for very close friends, if we're headed over there for dinner I ask what I can bring in advance and will sometimes call before we leave home to make sure I can't stop and get something they might need ... More
@charmedtomeetyou AND js250: It sure is nice to hear others still are doing this and I do the exact same thing, charmed, with the calling before leaving and I agree charmed, it how can it be a bad thing? Really, why anyone would say, "We don't drink that" if given wine, or "We don't...fill in the blank" in the face of a gift, dismissing your gift as a bother to them? I was so stunned by this woman snapping at me like that. I find this "say whatever you think the second you think it without any filter" is more and more common. Whatever happened to having manners? My take is that so many people are so full of themselves and are so uncouth, that they think they are entitled to say whatever the hell they want and screw whomever it hurts or how it sounds. Interestingly, I also find those to be the first people to take umbrage at even the slightest whiff of having it "dished right back at them". Aren't the worst offenders always the most sensitive about their own feelings? I think it's often that way! We have a large amount of narcissists these days.
May 20, 5:58 am
dv8 dv8
Quote:
Originally posted by Wicked Wahine
(I am 46, for the record)

I had to choose 'other' because I am and always have been single *sob* But I have and I love my fine china! I have lots of different styles, some more full than others, but not a complete set of one type as ... More
Dying trend? The casual get-togethers I attend involve people bringing a little something, usually beverages or chocolates.
May 20, 8:36 am
HouseWench HouseWench
Quote:
Originally posted by Wicked Wahine
(I am 46, for the record)

I had to choose 'other' because I am and always have been single *sob* But I have and I love my fine china! I have lots of different styles, some more full than others, but not a complete set of one type as ... More
I don't always bring a hostess gift for a party, but I always do if we're staying overnight.
May 20, 1:14 pm
Bignuf Bignuf
Quote:
Originally posted by ScorpioCurves
I'm 23 (the generation who apparently hates using china) and I own Chinaware. I think the reason why it's partially irrelevant in this day & age is because most people my age can't afford the proper housing required to "formally ... More
Very good points. We were "young and poor" once too, and we lived in a tiny (insanely tiny) apartment too. However, our wedding guests made sure we had a full set for 12! We have, decades later, rarely even taken it out of the boxes. If we go to eat fancy, it is out..not at home. If we entertain, it is always a casual affair or "fun" party and either way, no "fine china" is coming out.
May 20, 9:08 pm
Bignuf Bignuf
Quote:
Originally posted by dv8
Dying trend? The casual get-togethers I attend involve people bringing a little something, usually beverages or chocolates.
We ALWAYS bring something to a party or get together. I don't even do "store bought". I will bake something or make hand made candy. I just enjoy being creative in the kitchen, so for me it's fun. Once in a while we will take a nice bottle of wine or some good chocolates, but that is for specific occasions.
May 20, 9:10 pm
Taylor Taylor
I'm 27 and I have 2 sets of china That I got after relatives died. I have never used them and I know I probably never will because they are not dishwasher safe and for me after entertaining there is always enough to clean up anyway without having to hand wash dishes. If I get married I will definitely not be asking for a set of china
May 20, 9:26 pm
Oriental husband and wife Oriental husband and wife
Quote:
Originally posted by js250
Bignuf--
Yes, I did have a set of china for entertaining. I gave it to my daughter for her wedding present and now she uses it for company dinners. I use my misc. pieces of it that my hubby bought for me on special occasions now, and my basic ... More
Bignuf, you registered and got a fine set of China ? You mean as a wedding gift ? Boy I guess we missed out.

WW,
My wife always insist we bring something over. We always bring something. That way it's for sure there will be something I like. LOL !
May 20, 10:27 pm
That Man from Mars That Man from Mars
Nah. I've heard of that old method, but haven't seen anything like that in my day (I'm late 20s). I think the economy has a lot to do with it; these days people seem to be given things that are useful, like kitchen appliance sets or prepaid debit cards.
May 21, 3:06 pm
uneunsae uneunsae
Why not use the beautiful stuff everyday? That's what I do. Life is too short for it to collect dust.
May 21, 3:24 pm
RonLee RonLee
My late spouse bought a set of "fine china" which I thought was an absolutely ridiculous purchase, but I held my tongue. I've recently married again and I'm quite pleased that my bride is far more practical about such things.
May 23, 8:52 am
Sir Sir
I'm very much into service and etiquette. We have both. If you entertain guests frequently, or even infrequently, it is nice to have a different set for special occasions such as holidays or even anniversaries.

It is not a dying concept, however, most people would prefer to have other things on their gift registries that pertain to their relationship and home, such as a kitchenaid (a must have), or a blender, a crockpot, perhaps some DVDs or bluray videos, maybe a new television. It depends on the couple, really.
May 31, 5:17 pm
dv8 dv8
Quote:
Originally posted by Bignuf
Serving sets and pieces are always good to have. No doubt about that. It's that whole "fine bone china" thing that is apparently not part of younger peoples thought process. Kind of like very few people make a big deal about having a ... More
Dining in the kitchen? What next- high tea in the butler's pantry? How uncouth.
Jun 1, 7:03 am
Castielskitten Castielskitten
We do have an entire set, but of course it's mixed up and we only use what we need. As for fine china, my mother actually has mine as I have no where to put it, I'm actually considering selling it to her, though she has yet agree to buy it but thinks it's hers. >.> hmmmmmm.
Jun 2, 5:49 am
RonLee RonLee
Quote:
Originally posted by Castielskitten
We do have an entire set, but of course it's mixed up and we only use what we need. As for fine china, my mother actually has mine as I have no where to put it, I'm actually considering selling it to her, though she has yet agree to buy it ... More
Prepare yourself for the "buy it? I thought you'd given it to me!" discusion.
Jun 2, 3:32 pm
Total posts: 26
Unique posters: 16