The Special Red Plate

Years ago, before I was even married or had kids, an item came out on the market called The Red Plate. The history behind this tradition is that in early American times, when someone had a special day, they were served dinner on a red plate.

That custom was brought to more modern times with the words You Are Special Today written right on the plate, announcing to everyone that this person was special.

Being a lover of all things Early American, I picked one up right away. I was going to make it a tradition in my family too. It even came with a special pen that you could write on the back of the plate each time you used it and for what occasion. I was so excited to make this a part of my family’s memories.

But alas, my Red Plate lay virtually unused through the years as birthday tables were set with paper plates adorned with sentiments like “Look Who’s Two” and superheroes and princesses designed to match the bakery-bought decorated cakes. Pokemon and Snow White were much more appealing to my kids than a decades-old tradition that seemed boring in comparison.

Granted, we could have used it for my husband’s birthday; or for mine. And I think we did use it a few times throughout the years. But it never had the place of prominence that I had hoped. It got buried and forgotten under everyday dishes. But perhaps it’s not too late.

Now that the kids have moved out, and would be mortified at the sight of a cartoon character under their dinner anyway, I’m hoping to start a tradition that I had hoped for so long ago. Today is my husband’s birthday, and while he’s special everyday, today I’m reminding him of that.

At first I was tempted to go out and buy some birthday plates like I have for years, but with the struggling economy, I thought this would be a perfect time to get this tradition going again.

If you love the idea and want to buy one right away, here’s the link to the official website. They also have some really cool stories on their too. However, I have seen them from time to time at yard sales and thrift stores. I’ve even seen a blue one made by The Pampered Chef that says This Is Your Day CELEBRATE on it. I’m pretty sure you can pick that up on eBay or such. As of this writing, they’re both running about $25.00 plus shipping, so if you’re out thrifting, keep an eye peeled for one.

And of course you could start your own tradition with any kind of unique plate too. Perhaps just a simple red plate from the dollar store would suffice. Or an old plate from your grandmother’s house would be a special heirloom that everyone could enjoy.

Whatever you decide, keep in mind that no matter what stage you are in your life, like me, it’s never too late to start a wonderful new tradition!

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