Monday, January 04, 2010

A "Little Christmas" or
"Ladies Christmas" Tea

what is this you ask? Read on. . . . . .

Homemade/individually wrapped chocolate marshmallows
and freshly peeled and segmented orange segments

Tea sandwiches

Cups awaiting my guests choice of beverage,
I poured for each guest

the table from one view

another view of the table

A Blessing for Nollaig na mBan

Women's Christmas

May you always seek your spiritual star

Away from home, whether near or far.

May you delight in wonders unforeseen,

And in new adventures only just begun.

A blessing on your Epiphany tea,

May all go well with that,

and may all go well with you and yours

in the year that lies ahead.

The feast of the Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th.
It commemorates the arrival of the Wise men. It is the final day of of the 12 Days of Christmas and is the time when seasonal decorations are to be taken down. It is also known as Little Christmas in Ireland. In Irish, Nollaig na mBan, means Women's Christmas. Traditionally the woman of the home was given one day off after the 12 days of cooking and acting as hostess for the holiday. The men would take over the household duties while the women went out with their friends. And they would head to local pubs, etc. to visit, sip, and eat.

This tradition is sadly dying out, but I read about it in a post by a tea friend and decided that I would host a tea by this name for the same reason. And so I planned it, sent out the invitations, and the ladies of my neighborhood street came! We'd been snowed in by a highly unusual blizzard on Christmas Eve followed by bitter cold so we had been in home or fighting bad roads for a number of days and a time with some ladies sounded GOOD!

The Menu

Cucumber sandwiches on white rounds of bread

Cream cheese with minced spanish olives
on wheat bread cut into stars

Freshly peeled and segmented Clementine oranges

Tiny cherry preserve tarts

Snowball cookies

Freshly made-from-scratch cream scones
Mock devonshire cream
Apricot preserves

Baci candy from Italy
(Baci means kiss)

Homemade chocolate marshmallows
(from Williams Sonoma, a gift we received)

For the beverages choices:
Betjeman and Barton's Christmas Tea
Harney and Sons Christmas Black Tea
and spiced apple cider

Truth For Life
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
"'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will
shepherd my people Israel.' Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed to their own country by another way.
Matthew 2:1-12

P.S. Happy birthday, Avery, our Epiphany grandbaby!

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

What a lovely tea. I am sure your guests must have been thrilled.