When my girls were young, I went through a "Victorian" stage. Do you know what that is? Everything was influenced by the Victorian era. My decor of choice included lots of silk floral swags over everything from the fireplace mantel to pictures that hung on the wall. There were lace doilies everywhere, and rich burgandies and hunter greens and dusty roses mingled in the heavy floral wallpaper. One day recently while flipping through a magazine which featured a "2014 house of the year," much to my surprise and angst the decorators featured the living room in dusty rose and slate blue. I couldn't believe it! I lamented that those colors might be coming back in vogue, and I felt a little nauseous just at the sound of the words "dusty rose." "Noooooo," I thought to myself, "not dusty rose...I think I might get sick!" But usually whether it's home decor, fashion, or a cultural practice (like gardening is back in in a big way, whereas in the eighties not so much), history surely does seem to repeat itself. One Christmas I even had a pale pink and gold Christmas tree, fully decked out in Victorian angels, flowers, feathers, gaudy swags, and all things of excess. When I look back at those pictures now, I think how awful they look but, at the time, it was all the rage and I cannot tell you all the oohs and ahhs I got over that pink Christmas tree. In the seventies I had orange laminate countertops in my kitchen and I thought I would never, ever again embrace orange. What color do I have in my kitchen today? Orange, of course. What goes around truly does come around.
But one good thing that came out of my Victorian stage was that of practicing the art of tea. Tea was a very Victorian thing to do, so I embraced the tradition (even though I really preferred coffee) of having regular tea parties with my girls. Now, tea parties are as old as time, but it took my affinity for all things Victorian to realize that my girls might love a great tea party, and they did -- even into their tweens. I mean, what's not to love about a perfectly brewed cup of tea, laden with sugar and cream, perfectly cut tiny sandwiches without the crusts, and petite cookies and cakes? And the fun of lifting that pinky as we raised a cup to our lips! I had a great collection of teapots, cups and saucers, and the tea party became one of our growing-up rituals. I think I can speak for my girls when I say we loved every minute of it. I especially cherish those moments because the time spent with them in the anticipation and carrying out of tea party preparations remains one of my best memories to this day. So...as you can see in the above image, it appears as though Hollie has begun the tradition with her own little Preston, complete with all of Preston's "friends." I think I might see bunny, piggy, owl, and even D.W. (of Arthur the Aardvark fame). At this point it is just pretend tea and cookies but, oh, the pleasures of many, many tea parties to come. The artistry of crafting tiny finger foods, brewing the perfect pot, and choosing an impeccable flower-laden cup with which to indulge -- it's the things little girls are made of.
And, Hollie, I wish you all the joys from future tea parties just like the joys that I still to this day embrace, and the rich memories of a time when a tea party with your daughter was the best part of your day.
I think Abbie was about eight-ish in this photo, the perfect age for grown-up tea parties (BTW, notice the oak chairs , hunter green hutch, and floral wallpaper? Totally Victorian...eww)
Posted by CC
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