Growing up in the South, it always felt like Christmas when my mom pulled her Spode Christmas tree dishes out of the china cabinet and set up our holiday table for Christmas dinner. I know we weren't the only family who celebrated this way. Just looking at the pattern brings back warm recollections of Christmases from my childhood, and I know my mom feels the same since they were passed down from my grandma. No holiday home decor is complete without the distinctive charm brought by these dinner plates (or the whole piece set if you're feeling fancy).
The Spode ceramics are some of the oldest in the world. The company was actually founded in 1770 by Josiah Spode in a little town in England by the name of Stoke-on-Trent. After gaining worldwide notoriety by the 1790s for their china, 150 years later, the world needed some Spode Christmas dishes.
Launched in 1938, the Spode Christmas tree set was a huge success. According to the Spode History blog, Harold Holdway, one of the Spode designers, was the man who actually created the design, per the request of Sydney Thompson, the U.S. sales agent for Spode. After going through various other holiday designs that didn't feel right, they settled on the Christmas tree as the perfect pattern. Though the company is well known for their Blue Italian pattern, the Christmas tree collection has stood the test of time and even helped the company maintain sales amid some tough financial times over the years.
The blog also says that there is a factory legend to explain where there is a Santa on top of the tree instead of an angel or a star. Apparently, Holdway had no clue what to put up there on top of the tree and though Santa would be nice and Christmasy. Definitely a unique choice!
Despite its European origins, these dishes have become an American staple, especially in the South. Though a bit of an investment (that will last for generations to come) you can get your own Spode Christmas set that could include the standard dinnerware set as well as cereal bowls and salt and pepper set.
Use this link to get your own 12-piece dinnerware set for 4.