Time for Tea/Christmas Sanity Plan, Part 4

Christmas all-year is my plan for 2009. This month I had a blast having the neighbors in for a four course tea luncheon. I thought, at first, that is was “high tea” but apparently, to be considered high tea it needs to be served in the late afternoon or early evening. Since our tea time started before noon I guess it was just an ordinary tea. (Who says you can’t learn anything reading my blog?)

Anyway, since part of my Christmas Sanity plan is not only to eliminate craziness in December, but also be more relational, I called the neighbors and invited them for lunch. Being as I wanted this to be a special day for my neighbors, I first started by thinking about ways to make the table look pretty. This always proves to be a HUGE challenge for me. My girlfriend, Debbie, can put a table together in about 30 minutes and it looks amazing. I spend about two days and it looks o.k., but I keep trying. I started with a “tea” theme and went from there. I borrowed a few items from my friend, Jane, who knows more about teas than I could ever hope to know, and used many items that have been handed down from my mom and my grandmothers. Not only was I happy with how the table turned out, I found it fun to reminisce over the beutiful items that have been passed down to me.

Then, I got busy checking out proper tea foods. I’ve visited many tea rooms around this area and I’ve never seen anyone do it better than Aprille’s Showers Tea Room in Stillwater. So, I modeled my luncheon after theirs, with a few modifications. Mine had probably 10% less carbs and 20% more fiber, which is not indicative of it being any healthier, just different. My menu consisted of Spinach/Strawberry salad, Cold Strawberry Soup (since I already had the strawberries), three types of Tea Sandwiches, and Scones with Devonshire Cream. Yum! The best part of it all is that nothing I made was difficult, but it all looked beautiful (if I do say so myself.) My neighbor, Sandra, volunteered to bring the scones (and some of the tea) so I think she had the hard part.

So, the food was good and the table looked beautiful but by far the best part was spending a couple hours with my neighborhood friends. Cyndy who lives catty corner behind us and has boys that grew up with mine. Sandra, who has lived across the street from us since we first moved in and is god-parent to our middle son. And, Pat, who lives two doors down and put up with my boys sliding on her hill for many years, not to mention I suspect, their mooching a few cookies.

We laughed and talked all through our meal. We even talked about the “good old days” when neighbors just dropped in to say hi. With all of us leading busy lives we usually just get by with a nod as we pass on the street or a quick conversation in the grocery store. As they left I wondered why we don’t do this more often.

I could have made the pumpkin bread or fudge that I normally bring to my neighbors at Christmas. It would certainly have been cheaper. It would have even taken much less time, but this was way more fun! It may be an annual tradition, with hopefully a few simpler teas in between.

One another note, Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch has some fabulous tablescapes to view each week. She is inspiring if you are looking for something fun to do with your “table for tea.” Check it out.

17 comments on “Time for Tea/Christmas Sanity Plan, Part 4

  1. Pat E

    Nancy, this is beautiful. And, more than that, the idea behind it is perfect! You are the hostess extraordinaire!

  2. Anonymous

    Great job! Looks like you had a fun morning with your neighbors. Love the table too! :)

  3. The Montgomery Family

    How lovely Nancy! I can’t wait until I live somewhere long enough to get to know my neighbors like that. When I do, I will remember this post and try it myself :-)

    Tera (Heidi’s sister)

  4. niartist

    You did a fantastic job! I hope you can stop by and enter your name in the giveaway at Color Outside the Lines. I know you could do some fantastic things with the loot! :) Cheers!

  5. Beansieleigh

    Just passing through to see all the beautiful tablescapes.. I HAD to stop here! (gasp!) Strawberry soup?!! I have never heard of this before!!!.. but I'm sure I would have loved TRYING it! Tea Time looks lovely here today! ~tina

  6. Chari

    Hi Nancy…

    Ohhh…what a fabulous table you set for your tea! I just love the idea of inviting your neighbors…we need more of that today! Girl, I live clear out in the sticks so I really don't have any close neighbors…I'm so isolated…hehe! Nevertheless, I think we need more of this kind of fellowship today!!!

    Your tea table is lovely and what a sweet way to remember family…by using some of their lovely pieces on your table! Your menu sounds scrumptious…I have to admit, I've never heard of cold strawberry soup! Mmmm!!! Thank you for including the info about what a "high tea" is…I have always heard about it but didn't realize that it was named thus due to the time of the tea! I've learned something today!!! Hehe!

    Looks like you and your neighbor friends had a lovely time!!! Who knows…maybe this will become a tradition…I think it's lovely!!!

    Warmest wishes,

  7. Denise

    Being from England myself I would have loved to join your lovely tea party ;-)
    What a wonderful thing to do for your neighbors. Everything looks so pretty.

  8. honeysuckle

    What a wonderful idea and treat for your neighbors. I always want to have mine in but never get around to it. Your little bite size food looks so yummy. I do have my granddaughter over for princess parties and love the little food I make for her. I'll bet it was a wonderful day for all!

  9. marty39

    Such a gorgeous tablesetting and the menu looks fabulous. How nice to spend some time with neighbors and enjoy each other. Looks like you all had a wonderful time. Hugs, Marty

  10. Dining Delight

    How smart to slow down and enjoy moments like visiting with your friends now and not just in December when the Christmas rush is on. Your tea looked lovely and sounded yummy!


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