Our Tea for the Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany was appreciated by all the children, and I am hoping it will become a tradition in our house for many years to come.
How perfect is this teapot (coffee pot, actually)? Its deep burgundy and woodsy hues form a cozy backdrop for the lyrics to "Silent Night." I found this treasure at an after-Christmas sale and almost did not purchase it. That is, until I caught site of the nesting sugar and creamer and was smitten instantly and irrevocably. I had never before seen a creamer resting atop a sugar bowl, and, although I realize it will never hold enough milk to accommodate that hulking coffee pot, true love isn't necessarily practical. Believe it or not, it was only when I brought these home that I realized how perfect they would be for our Christmas Tea! After all, tea may be brewed in a coffee pot!
"Tea from the Innkeeper":
"Sugar Cubes for Our Lady":
"Milk for St. Joseph":
As you can see, the creamer actually forms a lid for the sugar bowl, reminding us that St. Joseph is the protector of Our Lady:
I had planned on heading out to the bakery for a baguette and rolls, but a busy morning prevented the errand. Theresa saved the day by whipping up a blueberry quick bread from a mix to represent "Bethlehem, House of Bread":
"Babes in the Manger":
Margaret, Marie, Patrick, and Theresa spent part of the afternoon creating dozens of angels out of coffee filters. There were several different designs, but my personal favorites were the ones made out of our cut-up Christmas photograph. "A Host of Angels":
An angelic centerpiece, with seven angels--one for each of the children:
"Wise Men's Gifts":
At the very end, the children opened yet another very special surprise on behalf of the Christ Child:
The gifts of the Magi--gold, frankincense, and myrrh in ornate boxes--an extravagance purchased two days ago for a clearance price at yet another after-Christmas sale. I never would have thought of purchasing these, but the price was too good to pass up. You see, there are many advantages to being one of the minority who celebrates the Twelve Days of Christmas:
Of course, it wouldn't be a Cottage Blessings Party without our usual rag tag band of party crashers. Oh, how I love the ever-growing Raggedy Family:
So Eileen, what did you think of your first Christmas Tea?
Babysitters: Theresa, Agnes, Marie, Margaret (in shifts)
Angel Crafting: Margaret (lead designer), Theresa, Marie, Patrick
Best Boy: Patrick
Direction and Cinematography: Mommy
"Babe in a Manger" assembly: Marie, with help from Mommy
Tablescape Design Advice: every single person in the family, with final say given to Mommy
Music: Christmas Choirs (BMG), 3 CD set purchased at Staples for $7.99.
A word about the three letters. A dear friend asked permission to read Agnes' letters aloud during her Tea. Agnes was honored beyond words and hopes anyone who wishes will feel free to do the same.