Tag Archives: Christmas

A Toddler Tea Moment

One of the things that makes it especially hard to live so far away from family is that Edie doesn’t get the constant interaction with her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Factor in that there are 3 cousins in Boise that are within 12 months of her age, and 2 additional pre-teen cousins who enjoy entertaining the little ones – and you can see how we wish Edie could participate in the family melee more often.

Typically, we travel to Boise to celebrate Christmas. However, for the first time in nearly 10 years, we chose to make an early December trip to Boise and stay home for the holidays. Though there are pros and cons to either choice of trip, one huge pro was being able to be in town when my Great-Aunt M and her daughter, C, were also visiting.  This led to a unique opportunity to have a family tea party, and most notably, a toddler tea party.

Aunt S went above and beyond in creating the perfect environment for the kids. Her background as a preschool teacher and now working in children’s speech therapy, in addition to her incredibly creative mind and artistic skill… well you just can’t beat her.

A kid’s sized table was covered in colorful beach towels to create an absorbent and bright table cloth. A plate stacked with tiny triangular peanut butter and jelly sandwiches sat next to a platter full of pear halves topped with maraschino cherries. But the piece de resistance was the small white tea pot and tea cup at each place. The tea pot was filled halfway with apple juice.

Yes, it was a lovely lunch for the tots, but they were much more interested in pouring the juice from the tea pot into the cup, then lifting the lid off the pot and pouring the juice back in – just as my Aunt knew they would. Back and forth, they poured and poured. A few sips were taken here and there. R, at one point, decided the tea pot spout was a fun way to take a drink, and that delighted the other kids to no end!

Watching the kids have their fun and enjoy the eating and the playing was a great way to wrap up a year of precious tea moments. It also reminded me that tea with friends or family doesn’t have to be extravagant, formal or lacy. It can be simple and fun and still be absolutely beautiful.

Here’s how you can create your own Toddler Tea Party:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut on the diagonal, creating 4 triangles (Make one full sandwich per toddler)
1 can of pear halves in lite syrup. Drain the pear halves, set on a plate and place 1 maraschino cherry in the hollow of each pear half.
Or, to make things even easier, substitute a can of fruit cocktail, drain completely and serve in decorative bowl. The small pieces are just the right size for little hands.

Provide small teapots and cups for the toddlers. I found small white teapots on Amazon.com for around $6 each. Use apple juice (dilute apple juice by using 2 parts apple juice and 1 part water), instead of tea.

While a plastic table cloth is great for protecting your table, using large beach towels over the plastic cloth is a bright and easy way to reduce spill issues.

It’s a New Year!  May 2011 bring you many precious tea moment with those you love the most!

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A Trimming the Tree Moment

Each year, we go back to Boise to enjoy Christmas with both our families. It’s great to go and see everyone and remember what ‘winter’ is actually like. On the other hand, it’s always a conundrum of what to do at home regarding holiday decor. After a couple of experiments with live Christmas trees, we had to realize that a fake was the way to go so that we didn’t have to be worried about a fire hazard developing while we were away for varying periods of time. In addition, we lived in apartments for many years, so there wasn’t a lot of room for a tree. In the end, we bought a 2 1/2 foot table top fake tree. Our bin of holiday decorations is larger than the tree itself.  And even though we now live in our own house, this tree has become a part of our Christmas experience.

Though small in stature, it is huge in sentimentality and spirit. I take great pleasure in choosing which set of decorations will trim it each year. The Christmas tunes are put on, the bin of decorations is hauled in from the garage, and I brew myself a cup of tea – something to stimulate the senses and stoke the creative fires.

This year, I am indulging in Thé des Esprits from American Tea Room.  Though not promoted as a holiday blend, it is infused with cinnamon, orange peels, bits of apple, almonds, vanilla bean, coriander, ginger, pistachios and pink peppercorns. So many flavors and scents of this season.

The joy of the season is multiplied this year as Edie is struck in wonderment again and again with our Christmas tree, the lights adorning the neighboring homes, Santa Claus and more.

‘Tis the season to be jolly!

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