Estate Sales Make Holiday Events Unique On A Budget

An article by guest author Dan Jordan, Again L.A. Estate Sales

Having been an estate liquidator for more years than I can remember- I have learned a great deal from our always amazing buyers! Estate sales are a great resource for the holidays in so many ways… from the ever present collections of holiday and tree trimming ornaments and decor to the not always thought of entertaining supplies. Now is the time to start buying!

A formal dining room is a fixture in most traditional estates…we have all seen the ubiquitous china hutch and matching server and dining room table that seats 6-8 people. These sets are great for those who are furnishing their homes and want quality hardwood furnishings to a add a vintage flair and complete the formal dining room in their homes. But what about the contents of those drawers and hutches? Those items are what can take your holiday event from great to spectacular…and save you money aw well!

Older estates date from a time when entertaining at home was the norm – not just a special celebration a few times a year! In these estates you will find a treasure trove of fine cotton damask and lace tablecloths and serving linens at a fraction of the cost of new! Granted, they may be a bit yellowed from being stored for decades – but quick soaking and hot water wash with bleach and a good detergent will return them to the dazzling white of new! (you can do an old school rinse starching then steam press or spray starch if you prefer.)

Silver plate platters, bowls, coffee and tea services, salts and peppers, creamers and sugars and other fantastic serving pieces can be found at sales as well – many liquidators polish them – others will sell unpolished and price accordingly. The thin cheap silver plate we have now pales in comparison to the ornate work and heavy quality of yesteryear! With a little elbow grease, and the utilization of paper doilies for cookies or romaine lettuce leaves as an underline for cold cuts, cheeses, and fruits you can create spectacular party trays! Silver plate and other baskets can be simply lined with a fresh starched linen tea towel (that you picked up for a buck or so) and serve fresh breads and pastry!

Another entertaining basic that can be found at a significant savings is crystal. Cut crystal and pressed glass platters, bowls, pitchers, vases, stemware, dessert/cocktail plates, knife rests and so much more are readily available at most estates! Accent your tables with traditional silver plate candelabra candlesticks – and watch how the silver and crystal twinkle and gleam… Again…those candleholders area available at many estate sales.

China! China! China! We have buyers who snap up basic simple china and mix and match sets for their entertaining events. Traditional wedding band china in silver or gold rims on white or cream were entertaining basics for decades in the twentieth century and are readily available at an extremely reasonable price at most estate sales. The great thing about this pattern is that it can be mixed with patterned china quite easily to expand a service to handle a great number of guests!

So if you are called upon to host the family holiday party…hit your local estate sale ads and find that home loaded in entertaining supplies. Grab a few boxes of old glass ornaments to accent your table or fill a crystal bowl, snag that vintage Santa for the entry table…but be sure and hit the linens, crystal, and silver plate…and be assured that you will be establishing a unique holiday tradition by having a formal holiday spread that will blow your guests away!