Eight years ago my cousin & I were lamenting the fact that most of our family (Dad's side) only saw each other at funerals. A sad fact considering we all live within 20 miles of each other! Our kids are growing up, our parents are aging, we all have busy lives, all the excuses why you don't make time to get together. We took it upon ourselves to organize a gathering for the females in our family. The first year we met at a tea shop. There were about eight of us in attendance that year but we had a nice time. The next year that tea shop had closed so we picked another one. It was a disappointment. We were stuck in a corner of a gift shop, the food was canned or boxed and it was pricey per person. We all love to cook and bake and said that we could do our own tea better. So, for the last six years, the tea has been held in my home on the first Saturday following Thanksgiving weekend. It has grown and this year we had 19 in attendance, ranging in age from my two-year-old great niece to our great aunt who is in her mid-80's.
Everyone brings a savory or sweet (many bring both!) to share. I provide the setting, tea, scones, lemon curd & strawberry jam (all homemade). I also give each guest a jar of pomegranate jelly.We do a "white elephant" type of tea cup exchange. Though it wears me out, I get a lot of joy out of providing a beautiful event for my family. We use the Christmas china, crystal, I rent nice linens and try to come up with a theme that will enchant both young and old. This year's theme was gingerbread.
Now I confess that I get carried away with creating and decorating at times. This was one of those times. For the last three weeks I've been knee-deep in gingerbread. With the help of my hubby, I built six gingerbread houses that became the table centerpieces. My daughter spent a Saturday afternoon with me helping to decorate them. I made a gingerbread garland. I made a mama gingerbread for the centerpiece of the kids' table as well as individual gingerbread girls at each of their place settings. If you are counting, that is 36 cups of flour and 9 cups of molasses! I'm pretty much over gingerbread at the moment.
We had a great day. The kids were well-behaved (their parents are probably not liking me right now because I sent them home with a lot of candy!), we caught up with our lives, laughed, reminisced, helped enhance the family ties and enjoyed good food. Only 365 days until next year's tea!
I'm linking up at a Stroll Through Life.