Monday, May 20, 2019

A Relaxed Memorial Day Table

Lots of folks have weekend-long Memorial Day celebrations, but that hasn't been our style. We have occasionally been invited to a large party at friends' houses, and we've even hosted a small intimate party at the lake. But generally speaking we have a pretty low-key Memorial Day.

This weekend I think I'll re-create the relaxed table I set last May but never got around to posting on the blog.
It will just be the three of us, or perhaps a fourth if Miss J invites one of her friends. As a base I used simple red placemats underneath the centerpiece as well as the plates. These were topped by bright white dinner plates (Noritake 'Ranier') and deep blue star-shaped plates for the watermelon/fruit salad. Although the star plates are paper, they shine as though they're fine porcelain!

Stars are repeated in paper napkins. (Because they're easy and steaks and corn on the cob cooked on the grill -- not to mention watermelon -- can get messy, requiring lots of napkins, lol!) The care-free acrylic pitcher and glasses can easily move outside if the weather permits.

I gathered white carnations woven with a red and blue garland in a vintage aluminum bowl. Sparklers set in faux candles are tied with vibrant striped bows. Together they make a centerpiece that follows the rule-of-three.

The effect is festive and casual,

Simple and patriotic.

I used flowers to honor the beginnings of Memorial Day in 1868. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was a somber day of remembrance of those who fought and died in the Civil War.

"The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land." 
General John A. Logan

After World War I, the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars. The name changed to Memorial Day but continued to be celebrated on May 30. Over time, the holiday came to celebrate the beginning of summer as well. In 1971, Memorial Day became a federal holiday and was established as the last Monday in May.

A similarly relaxed table can be found at A Casual Fourth of July. However you celebrate, I hope you find inspiration to create an enjoyable Memorial Day and take a moment for remembrance.

Sharing with
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Home Matters   


  1. Beautiful decoration. I admire your patriotism,gorgeous tribute!

    1. Thanks! Summer holidays are fun to decorate for!

  2. Sandra, what a gorgeous and patriotic table for Memorial Day! I always love a red, white, and blue table!

    1. Thanks, Pam. I love the strong primary colors in summer -- they really stand up to the heat. And our Memorial Day weekend is sweltering this year!

  3. What a festive table, Sandra! Perfect for patriotic holidays! Hope you'll be joining us for Tuesday Turn About tomorrow at 3pm PST. ;-)

    1. Thanks Julie! And thanks for stopping by.

  4. Love this tablescape so much, Sandra!!! I am glad you shared it last week so I can feature your post again! :) Love firecrackers ~ very festive! Yes, this would be lovely on your table for your family.

    Happy summer hugs,
    Barb :)

    1. Barb, thanks, so much for the surprise! I'm honored that you featured my post. I hope that you had an enjoyable holiday weekend. Hugs,

  5. Sandra,
    Love your festive tablescape. Congrats, you are being featured on Thursday Favorite Things. Hope you stop by.

    1. Bev, I'm thrilled to be featured! Thanks so much! Hope you had a great holiday

  6. Your post is well-titled. Everything is perfect for relaxing, and also has a very patriotic bend. I really like those red placemats. My son has a birthday on May 29th, so there have been many celebrations at our house over the years on Memorial Day, when everyone is off work, and they could attend his birthday party. Kudos for being so prepared. I haven't even begun thinking about Memorial Day yet. Now you are inspiring me!

    1. Thanks, Maria, I'm glad I could help provide something to look forward to! If ever a holiday called for minimal effort it's Memorial Day.

  7. I love the mix of red white and blue to use all summer. Beautiful table and enjoy it for the holiday and beyond. #HomeMattersParty

    1. Thanks, Donna! Red, white and blue colors really do say 'summer'!


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