Most grocery stores here have dishes for special promotions. I bought a china dinner plate and a cup and saucer set when I moved here last August. That plate is white with green ivy leaves around the edge. Then, when it was early December and my mother was taking the bus up for a weekend visit, I bought another dinner plate and a mug. That pattern has small pine branches, mainly needles with a few pine cones nestled close. At least all the dishes are white with green decoration. I splurged and bought a red candle, one of those pillar ones, that smelled like spices when it burned. That was our centerpiece.
When I was nine, the grocery store down the block did something different. One Saturday Mom brought home the first two volumes of an encyclopedia. The first was only ninety-nine cents but the second was $3.99. After that, she bought a volume when she could, but we never did get the full set.