Friday, December 19, 2014

Sing a Joyful Noise!

The children came as Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds, and wisemen,
but the little ones as animals delighted my heart.
They did their own thing with a smile on their face.
It is the spirit of Christmas,
the children's delights
at the awesomeness
of singing
just telling the story.
The songs they did sing,
What Child is This?
and rocked the house with
Children, Go Where I Send Thee,
ending with Oh Holy Night.
How the faces smiled
and delighted in 
the spirit of Christmas.

Find the delight and savor the smiles
of children at Christmas
and a story well said.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lily and Me

Lily has given me permission to share her college application essay with you.  Thanks, Lily!
The photo is of Lily and me having our first tea time together when Lily was four.

Christmas Traditions

Tea.  Not very synonymous with young children, which probably explains why I was throwing a fit under the table. It was one of those moments when mortified parents just want to melt into the floor rather than discipline their child in public. It just so happened that we were in a fancy tea room, the Heathman, and it just so happened that it was the Christmas holidays. My parents were trying to start one of those family traditions that lasts throughout the years and it seemed like the Heathman just was not a great option at that time. Fortunately for us my mom had a friend, Marilyn, who adored the art of tea parties and all of the wonderful times that go with them. The very next year they planned one of these affairs and it went over much more smoothly than the first time around. I don't specifically remember the happenings of my first Christmas tea party with Marilyn or much of what would eventually create much of the foundation for traditions in the years to come. 

Every year since that fatal year at the Heathman, my close family has joined together at Marilyn's house at Christmastime and shared our year's progress. As my taste for tea has grown so has my appreciation for these family gatherings and the meaningful conversations that have come out of them. Now not only do I look forward to the little sandwiches and the artfully decorated cookies; but also the loud, and not always obnoxious, laugh of my uncle and the warm embrace of my grandma. Those moments of laughter and togetherness are not easy to forget and often remind me how much a family tradition can grow from something small to an annual event that brings such joy and community. Through each passing year my mom has kept a photo journal of pictures that show how my family has changed. From the progressive aging of my brother and I, to the lack of my grandfather who passed away when I was four. Although my family has changed and evolved we have stayed together through this tradition and recognize that change is not always such a bad thing.

Like that very first time at the Heathman all traditions come to a close at some point, and these tea parties are no different. Regretfully we have decided that this year will be our last official tea party with me heading off to college next year.   Although I will miss the time spent in that little North Portland home, I know that with the end of one tradition there will be an opportunity for growth. During times of change in life there is always room for nostalgia and reminiscence, but also that possibility that you will stumble upon something truly wonderful.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lily's Christmas Tea

Lily and her family started having tea with me each Christmas
when she was 4 years old.
This year Lily is 17.
What an adventure it has been to see Lily walk in my door
each year and grow into a beautiful young woman.
This year was our final tea as Lily will be off to college
and I am getting older.
The memories of each tea are precious.
They each were a themed tea from Give a Mouse a Cookie, the first year,
to this years theme, Christmas in the Village.
The menu had many repeats from previous years.
The egg salad and chopped olive sandwiches were always favorites.
Caramelized onion with roast beef and a touch of horseradish.
A new one had to be added with herbed ricotta on toasted
wontons plus red pepper and basil.
Coronation chicken was in sandwich form before,
but this time in fillo baskets.
Of course cucumber had to show up somewhere,
it formed the basket handles.
Tea time wouldn't be complete without tea.
 There was a special Alishan Black tea with the savories
and Celestial Seasons Candy Cane Lane with the sweets.
The sweets were Battenburg Cake, cheesecake with raspberry sauce,
pecan pie bars.
For take home there was a sugar cookie, candy cane, and bag of tea
for a later tea break.
Each year Lily and I posed for our annual picture
and I wished her well for another year.
Thanks to Lily and her family for the precious memories.
Tea time will never be the same at Christmas,
but I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.

PS The words I wrote on Friday's post were for this Lily.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday's Quotes

“There's more, much more, to Christmas than candlelight and cheer;
 It's the spirit of sweet Friendship that brightens all year.
 It's thoughtfulness and kindness, It's hope reborn again, 
For peace, for understanding, And for goodwill to men!”
~ Calvin Coolidge

Friday, December 12, 2014

Preparation are Made


 Preparations are made.
The teapots await.
The flower has bloomed
and is ready to fly.
Well wishes will be shared.
Hugs will be there.
For tea times of the past
and a bright future at last.
Fly to the sky and capture the stars.
For you deserve all of that.
Then when day is done
sip on your tea and float on the clouds.
Dance in the twilight and remember
my well wishes are there.

Fly with the birds and capture the stars.

Love, Marilyn

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas!

All I can say is that is beginning to look like
Christmas in my home.
Savor the delights of the season wherever you go.
Find reasons to Smile!
Dance in the twilight with music in your heart!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Littlest Finds a Tree

 Awww, Yes!  A puddle is fun when walking through the tree farm.
Daddy and the little one certainly are on a mission.
 The little one was bound to find just the right Christmas tree here.
 But it's muddy!
Maybe I will walk on "poppops" feet.
Do you remember doing just this thing when you were little?
 And there were cookies and hot chocolate too!
Christmas is everywhere we look.
For a two year old this delights the eyes and enchants.

Are you finding enchantment and delights for the eyes this season?