Do You Use Your Good China?

Not long ago, Tim and I were going through the cabinets in our bar and had to decide what we wanted to do with the set of china that was passed down to him from his grandma and mom.

As we were inventorying what we had so we could buy quilted storage containers for the china, we wondered if we’d ever use it. It’s actually a pattern I like and it would go great with our decor, as it’s white, black and gray. And I like the design too.

Picture from

As part of the inventorying process, I noted which pieces were chipped or missing. I found the pattern at and was able to replace them at a reasonable price. If we’re going to keep it, we might as well have a complete, usable set, right?

We talked about when we might use it. Clearly, we’d have to consciously decide to use it as opposed to waiting for the “right” occasion. We haven’t talked about it yet, but maybe we’ll use it this year for Thanksgiving. What are we waiting for?

More china

We also have a set of Spode Christmas Tree that’s used at Christmas time. We actually use it as our everyday dishes in December, so they are getting used despite the fact they are only appropriate one month of the year. We also have cute serving pieces to go with the place settings.

Further complicating this, I have a set of china from my first marriage. Until we moved, it was stored in a china cabinet in my living room. I used it once when I had more people coming over for Mother’s Day than I had place settings of my everyday dishes. It was fun using it and I remember thinking, I need to use these dishes more often!!

When we moved, I put it in quilted storage and packed it away. (Today, the china cabinet is used for Tim’s sports memorabilia. One of the compromises you make when you get married and move into a new house.)

I love my china too. I’m not usually into the color blue but I loved other aspects of this pattern when I picked it out. I liked that the pattern extended a little bit into the plate. And I liked the grays mixed in with the blue. I also picked out blue goblets to go with it. (Not sure about that choice!!)

Noritake Concert 12" Oval Serving Platter
Picture from

Later, however, I decided I wanted different stemware, so I have a set of Mikasa glasses – water, wine, and flutes. Unlike the china, I actually use the stemware for special occasions, especially the flutes.

What’s happening these days?

Brides today are not registering for china. They register at Target. Why have we become less formal? I wrote about how we’ve become more casual in general in a prior post.

People don’t have dining rooms, let alone dining tables. And we want fast and easy. So wedding registries, if they include any dinnerware at all, include more casual options.

I always thought I shouldn’t put my china in the dishwasher, but I’ve read that china made since the 1970s is fine for the dishwasher. Guess I can’t use that excuse reason for keeping the china in the tubs downstairs.

I don’t know if that would apply to the set Tim has, however. But you know what? What’s the big deal about washing dishes by hand once in a while?

For those that are registering for china today (about 45-50% of couples, according to an article from the Washington Post that’s no longer available to link to, and higher than I expected), here are a couple of the popular patterns they’re choosing. As you can see, they are very plain, often described as “classic”.

I guess that’s true, but I prefer our two patterns. They aren’t colorful but they’re more interesting than these two.

Opal Innocence by Lenox
Waterford Kilbarry Platinum

Do you use your good china?

So, back to the original question – do you use your good china? Do you even have good china? Do you have multiple sets of china, probably your own and then something you inherited? What should we be doing with it?

This isn’t just something we’ll deal with today. As noted in my sentimental post, I doubt there will be anyone who’ll care about my possessions when I’m gone. So what will happen to our china?

Maybe we’ll end up selling it to a place like when we reach the point where we know we no longer want it. I’m realistic enough to realize it won’t have a lot of value. But then we won’t be selling it for the money. We’re talking about finding a new home for it.

Who knows? Like a lot of things, maybe china will become “cool” again and everyone will be scrambling for these treasures!!

I’m going to make sure we use our china over the next year. We don’t entertain that much but we’ll have opportunities if I don’t quickly dismiss them. I can’t let a little laziness keep me from enjoying something so beautiful, right? Dig yours out and use it too.

17 thoughts on “Do You Use Your Good China?”

  1. Nice to meet you, Linda, I am visiting your site from Marty’s blog. A great post making me rethink my china. Christmas is coming, so I might consider it “cool” again. I have subscribed to your blog and I look forward to reading more. Erica

    1. Thanks for checking out my site, Erica. It was nice of Marty to mention me. It’s always interesting to see the impact of these references. I wondered why this post was suddenly getting traffic!! I hope you can find more to like on my site. Thanks for following.

      1. You are welcome, Linda. A fun way to meet kindred spirits and read thought-provoking posts. I have browsed through some of your stories, which is why I used the term”kindred.” 🙂

        1. Funny how we all tend to deal with the same types of things in our lives. I love following my fellow bloggers.

  2. Well, I’m old and have two sets of good (fine) china. One was wedding gifts from my first marriage and the other was from my Grandmother. I’ve used both over the years but my favorite is the set from my grandmother. It’s the set my kids remember always using on special occasions – and we still do that. It wouldn’t be a ‘special occasion’ with the ‘special’ good china – not at my house anyway.

    I have two granddaughters, one will inherit the set from my first marriage (her Dad was from that marriage) and the other will inherit the set from my grandmother.

    I’d like to think they’ll continue using them – especially since that’s always what they sat down to over the years at my house. But, there are no strings attached.
    Grace & Peace,Iris

    1. We will definitely start exposing the grandkids to the good china so they’ll learn to appreciate it. I haven’t done much entertaining over the years because I was single and I spent the holidays at my mom’s or my sister’s. I will have a few more opportunities now and I intend to capitalize on that. Thanks Iris.

      1. I’m glad you’ll start using the ‘good stuff’ with your grandkids. I remember one year at Thanksgiving, I didn’t feel well and decided I’d just use the everday dinner ware. One of my grandsons found me setting the table and was appalled. I told him it all had to be washed by hand and I just did not feel like doing it. He immediately told me “he would wash every piece plus the sterling silverware”. And he did. I’ve never tried to not use the good china since then – whether there are just a couple of us or a houseful.

  3. Hi Linda! I sold (to Replacements) the china from my 1st marriage many years ago but kept the water goblets. Then before our move to Colorado, I sold (to a consignment store) the set my husband had bought when stationed in Okinawa…barely got anything for it. We have a lot of glassware (various sizes of wine, schnapps and aperitif glasses), gifts from Hans’ German relatives after we married and moved over there w the Air Force…but never use it…give me a cold beer any day!

    1. I’m not at the point where I’m ready to sell anything yet. But I can see that happening eventually. It will be to simply get rid of it and not to make any money. Or maybe I’ll be surprised and someone in my family will want it. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  4. My first wife kept the china we had. It wasn’t offered, and I suppose she correctly deduced that I wouldn’t have wanted it. My suspicion is she’s probably sold it. I never followed up on that. 😉

    When my new wife and I got married, we started completely over with brand new everything. And, you guessed it, we have no formal china. I had always admired Fiesta, so probably as a gesture to me she eagerly agreed to get some. I have a hunch we’ll swap it out someday for something more along the lines of what Janis uses: plain white but still informal.

    1. Fiesta is great. I love the bright colors. We have two sets of everyday dishes that we swap out a couple of times a year. The variety is nice. I suppose I will have to get rid of my flowery dishes at some point but I still love them.

      I should mention that I never offered the china to my first husband either. I feel pretty confident he didn’t care about it. 😊

  5. I think there are a lot of us who have a similar dilemma. I inherited a whole set of Spode china (not the Christmas pattern) from my grandmother, which I never liked. It was way too fancy for my taste. It was still boxed up at my parents’ house, which we were getting it ready to put on the market after they passed away. Someone broke into the house and stole a few boxes of stuff we had stored there… including the china. I hated that we were robbed, but I was also secretly relieved that I no longer had to deal with it. Problem solved (although not the way I would have liked).

    I also own a set of Russel Wright, passed down from my mother. It is much more to my taste – very mid-century. But, do I use it? No. I was just thinking the other day that I should find it a new home.

    I like plain white dishes on my table, which I can dress up with napkins and placemats.

    1. I think people these days are like you and opting for the white dishes because they can be used with any napkins, placemats, or tablecloths. I can understand that. I’m not into fancy either. Too bad about your robbery. Not the way to get rid of something. I assume you also lost things you valued as well.

  6. I love using our china but hate washing it by hand. I vowed to use it more frequently, and it’s kind of funny to see Mike’s panicked reaction when i pull it out.

    1. Maybe you don’t need to wash it by hand? I’m glad you’re using it though. You might start seeing mine at book club!! 🤐

  7. I have good china but have considered selling it. We use it at holidays, but basically it takes up a lot of room. I’ll tell you what I end up doing

    1. Hey, you’re back!!

      Well, at least you’re using your china during the holidays. That’s better than me!!

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