Here is the #2ndhandspirited December Daily Prompt Calendar. Hoping you have a wonderful December!
November Thankfulness Journal Prompts
Someday Afternoon Society and the Birthday Tea
The Someday Afternoon Society is one of my side projects. I often don’t focus on it but it is always hovering in the background of my mind. The Someday Afternoon Society is a promise that I make to myself to continue to engage in fun, fulfilling activities that I always said I would get to “someday”. Over the weekend, I had a Someday Afternoon Society meeting. I held a tea party for my sister’s birthday. The event was inspired by a recent St. Valentine’s Chocolate Tea and by my amazing and unique sister, of course.
I was browsing around at the Salvation Army during the weeks before my sister’s birthday and I came across a beautiful, 14 karat gold tea set. It was not a completed tea set but it was one of the most complete sets I had ever come across. I am not much of a tea drinker, but I was captivated by the old set. My sister collects old tea cups and her birthday was on the horizonso I snapped a picture and sent it to her to see if she would like it. I almost left it there. At the last minute, she responded and the set was purchased. There were 6 tea cups, a creamer, a dozen saucers and 6 shallow bowls. The dishes are adorned with a small blue and red cabbage rose inside the cups and gilded edges with the perfect amount of crazing. Having just attended the Victorian tea at the Mary Stegmaier Mansion, an idea formed inside of me. I would hold a tea in honor of my sister’s birthday. All of the pieces came together at the perfect time to inspire this Birthday tea!
My sister also noted this would be her “Year of the Gnome”. In honor of her current gnome infatuation, I looked for some gnome-y décor. The Dollar Tree and Dollar General provided some cute and inexpensive little gnome and fairy garden figurines. Those were used to decorate the table and cake. A few other décor items were purchased, white doilies from the dollar tree, a sparkly rose gold table runner and rainbow backdrop from Five Below, and Bigelow Tea, variety pack, from Amazon. I also borrowed a fancy ceramic tea pot from my younger sister. I used my vintage tatted table covering over a white table cloth and added candles and mini daffodils I had transplanted into a vintage planter to adorn the table.
The menu included cucumber sandwiches and small ham finger sandwiches prepared with fresh Italian bread. Fresh grapes, pretzels, crackers and jam were also available for nibbling. My mother provided fresh cheese buns from Sanitary Bakery, one of the birthday girl’s favorite treats. I took a chance in making a cake and some cake pops. I used two funfetti cake mixes to make two small, round cakes and a larger cake for the cake pops. I also used simple syrup to sweeten the cake. To match the theme, I made a gnome home cake. The cake was decorated with chocolate melting candy “bark” and green frosting “moss”. Some of the cake pops were fashioned in to mushrooms to add to the fallen log gnome home cake.
To make the event more special, we dressed up and wore hats. In addition to tea, I served mimosa’s with champagne for the adults and sparkling cider for our under-age attendees. It was small, intimate girl’s tea for my mother, sisters and nieces. We spent our time talking about memories and future plans while French café music floated around us. It is a fun and beautiful memory of time spent with people I love.
I have a love affair with white lights. I think they are so beautiful and classic. My husband loves color. He would put colorful lights up everywhere if he could. And so, we learn to compromise…white lights everywhere. Just kidding, of course. We have mostly white lights around the house. Our front porch has blue icicle lights, which are very pretty. We also added a cool snow fall effect this year, which I was able to get for a steal at LTD Commodities. Tell me about your lights.
Urbinwoodcraft (The Mr. to my Mrs.) wrote this response to my blog post:
I have grown to really enjoy the white lights over the years. Although adding some color isn’t a bad thing, the white lights, just like you babe, are classy and beautiful, and I really enjoy them.
One Christmas Tradition that our family observes every year without fail is Wigilia dinner. Our family is of Polish and Slovak descent, so this tradition Christmas Eve Dinner is a practice that has been occurring for generations. My mother has been the host for as long as I can remember. She always sets the most beautiful table complemented by the Christmas flowers my father sends her each year. Prior to the meal we break bread called Oplatki. This tradition is meant to symbolize the unity of the family. It also symbolizes forgiveness and reconciliation which can be particularly important this time of year.
This dinner is meat free and typically begins with mushroom soup. Although this dish may not be a favorite of everyone, we still eat it because tradition, right? Additional
dishes include shrimp, fish sticks, pierogies, and pagach. It is very carbohydrate friendly. Often times my grandmother will make homemade nut roll for dessert. Which is delicious, particularly warmed and smeared with butter.
Wigilia dinner is a great tradition. Though we celebrate our family with weekly family dinners, Wigilia is special, and it feels special.
I cannot say that I have a favorite ornament. Though I very much enjoy looking at the ornaments that my sisters and I created when we were kids. I think it is heartwarming that my mother continues to save and place those ornaments on the tree. I have my own daughters ornaments on the tree and I see how her eyes light up when she pulls it out of the box. The ornament sparks a memory within her, “I remember when I made this.” She smiles and proudly places the ornaments on the tree.
This prompt really made me look at my ornaments. I realize they tell our family story. There are ornaments marking many milestones in our lives such as our first year of marriage, babies first Christmas, dog and cat ornaments. The also chronicle our likes; baseball and Philadelphia Phillies ornaments for my husband,
Halloween ornaments and birds for me, Elsa and Disney characters for my daughter. As I take the ornaments out and place them on the tree I am reminded of our life and family. It is a visual representation of us.
My favorite Christmas cookies are my mothers. She makes two that I love. Peanut butter kiss cookies and butter horns. Butter horns are her specialty. She makes them for the holidays but also for special occasions at her craft shop. Butter horns are sweet and crunchy. They are a classic holiday treat. I have included her recipe here.
I love the smell of a real Christmas tree. There is nothing like it in the world. Though I
will admit that I use an artificial tree! This is not due to preference but necessity as my husband is allergic to pine! I do miss the fresh scent of an authentic tree as well as it’s imperfect shape and structure. I love the look of lopsided trees and sparse trees and fat little trees. Artificial trees may look real but they are too perfect. The great thing about artificial trees is their lifespan and lack of needle shedding. My husband puts our tree out the day after thanksgiving and there it sits giving off it’s warm glow until the new year. If you find you miss the scent of the real deal, they make candles for that.
I still believe in Santa. Though I am sure that he is not a person, he might have been at one time. I believe that Santa is an idea. This time of year I feel that the word Santa is synonymous with the magic of generosity. Though it is unlikely for you to find a magical gift left by this legendary elf, the real gift is much more subtle. The gift is the feeling you get from giving to others and helping those in need. This does not have to be reserved for Christmas time. You can promote this feeling within your heart any time of year.