Napkin rings are interesting to me.  I don't quite understand them, and yet I am extremely drawn to them.  They aren't something that are used on a regular basis unless you are in the State Dining Room at the White House.  I can't remember the last time I used any.  They really aren't needed when you buy 500 count white paper napkins from the Dollar Store.

I have a drawer in my hall linen cabinet that contains all things table topping related.  Items such as; tablecloths, table runners, cloth napkins, center place mats, and a box of four silver plated Christmas napkin rings from Pier One, which I have never used and desperately need to be polished.  One of the tablecloths is still in its original packaging as I have never used it either.  I absolutely love my seven-foot hammered top dining room table.  It's the showcase of that room, and I really don't desire to cover it up with a table cloth.  Now decorating with napkin rings and linen napkins would make that dark wood pop indeed!  Am I going for a look though or practicality?  What would Martha Stewart say!

My mom uses tablecloths pretty much all the time.  She has them for every occasion, every season and in just about every fabric or vinyl material you can dream of.  On my daughter and I's annual Christmas cookie making day, I drape the end of my seven-foot dining room table with a vinyl table cloth that is mint green and probably 25 years old.  Atop the vinyl tacky table cloth is wax paper where warm cookies cool from trays out of the oven awaiting mounds of icing and sprinkles.  I also use that vinyl tablecloth when the grand kids want to do markers, crayons and glue at the table.  It's a safety precaution in that instance, not a decorating table item!

Cloth napkins always disturb me slightly.  I wear lipstick liberally.  Wiping my mouth of a crumb or dribble of food creates a smear of lipstick across the napkin.  I don't want to have to wipe off my lipstick on a Kleenex previous to eating for fear of "dirtying" the napkin designed to be used for wiping!  My face or hands, presently wiped clean on the cloth napkin, have now created dirt on something else that will have to be soaked and washed.  That is merely transference.  It's illogical in so many ways.

When we have completed a holiday meal at my parent's house, and begin the clean-up, my mom will say, "Just roll that table cloth up and put it on the washer.  I will soak it and wash it later."  I haven't found a great many products that get ketchup, wine, coffee, cranberry salad or Thanksgiving gravy off cream colored napkins and a linen tablecloth.  None-the-less, I will peruse the napkin ring section of World Market, Pier One or Bed Bath & Beyond as they are to me like diamonds are to other women.

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