Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A Luncheon Tea for Candlemas

I have been eyeing the liturgical year teas at Cottage Blessings, and I thought that this one for Candlemas, or the Presentation of the Lord, sounded easy enough that I could pull it off as a first try at a liturgical tea. I invited my friend Beth to bring her children, and we put together a luncheon tea to celebrate the day. We have been having such fun getting together to have Catholic celebrations, and this was a first-time try at doing something for the liturgical year on a weekday. We have done a few things on weekends with a couple other families as well, and it looks like we're going to have to make it a regular occurrence! It would be lots of fun to have some sort of party each month for our families, and then maybe also something just for the kids on another day. Beth is hosting a Saint Valentine's party in a couple weeks! :)

Yesterday, Caroline and I worked on a little craft to prepare. I found this dove pattern online and was thinking it would be fun to make two turtledoves out of felt... but I didn't have any felt that wasn't green or orange or red or... anything but white or grey! So we just made them out of paper instead. One year we'll make them from fabric!

We used embroidery needles and thin string (yarn was far too thick; I tried that first!). This was Caroline's first-ever time sewing. She did a great job!! Sewing paper for a first time at sewing worked out pretty well... I was impressed with how well she was able to make stitches! She got tired of it after a few inches, but I thought that was to be expected for a four year old, right?

She also decorated her turtledove before she sewed the sides together.

Then we stuffed them with cotton balls so they'd be three dimensional.

Here are the completed turtledoves!

We set out our homemade nativity, as this is the last day that the infant Jesus is mentioned in the gospel readings (the Pope keeps his nativity out through today's feast!), the book Mary, Mother of Jesus open to the page about the Presentation, and...

this little clock, which has a picture of the Presentation in it! I randomly found this over the weekend, in Fred's, of all places. I never go in that store, but there was something in the weekly ad that caught my eye, and I happened to walk past a shelf with these clocks! What luck! If you click on the picture above, you can better see the picture of the Presentation.

I followed several of the recommended menu ideas from the original idea at Cottage Blessings... and came up with some variations as well.

On the menu:

pretzels, which represent Simeon's arms as they held the baby Jesus

baby carrots and hummus for the candles - Simeon said that Jesus was "a light for the Gentiles," thus the tradition of the blessing of candles on this day

Okay, so use your imagination... the hummus is the flame. You didn't need me to explain that this was a candle, did ya? ;)

toothpick "swords," since Simeon predicted that Mary would experience sadness as if a sword had pierced her heart

strawberry "hearts" to be pierced with the "swords," along with whipped cream for dipping, the white representing Mary's purity

Chocolate marshmallow cookies to represent Anna, who prayed day and night in the temple and was there to see baby Jesus as well... the white marshmallow represents Anna because of her goodness and holiness, the black of the chocolate is because she was a widow, and the marshmallow stands on the cookie "floor," just as Anna remained always on the floor of the temple. Deep, no? I didn't make this one up! ;)

two turtledoves - peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into dove shapes using a cookie cutter

I made lots of turtledoves, since we were serving six children in all... and the grownups ate the scraps!

The table, all set and ready... I also made some raspberry tea, and chocolate almond tea for the grownups! We used Cecilia's leftover snowflake plates... this date marks the halfway point in winter. Halfway to spring!

Brianna and Caroline enjoy their lunch... Caroline had just stuffed a speared and dipped strawberry into her mouth, ha ha!

Leah, Kaitlyn, and Sam

Cecilia with her tea... I am not kidding when I say that she asked for more tea twelve times! Granted, these adorable tiny teacups only hold about a tablespoon at a time... aren't they so cute? Beth brought them for us to use for the tea!

And here are all the "big kids" finishing up their lunch. This was a fun idea, and I look forward to doing it again in the future! I think these teas will be a fun resource for years to come... I think it is a fun way for the older kids to begin to learn about Bible stories and saints! Thanks to the Johnstons for joining us and for providing strawberries, carrots, cookies, and teacups!


Tiny Actions said...

Oh Erin the kiddos looked like they had so much fun! What a neat idea to invite over friends. We did the jesse tree tea and my kids are asking when the next tea will be.

Carrie said...

very sweet!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for having us Erin, the kids had a great time and it was a meaningful more fun way for them to understand scripture!

mel said...

very fun! We need to have a tea, I'm thinking for Lent...I've seen ideas for one that are a lot like a seder meal kind of thing.

Have you ever been to ittybittylove.blogspot.com? It's a blog by a Montessori preschool teacher. She posts neat little "sewing" projects on there, among other things. I need to make some up for Jack. Maybe hearts for V-day....

Erin said...

Thanks for the link, Mel... I would love to include some little sewing projects in our homeschooling and ma trying to decide if K would be too early... have you seen the Alphabet Path posts at pinewoodcastle.typepad.com? She did little stitching projects for most of the letters each week. I'd love to do that. If K is too young for it, I may have Caroline do them when we re-embark on the Alphabet Path for Cecilia when she is Kindergarten-aged. Oh, this is going to be fun!! :)

Sue, I loved seeing your Jesse Tree tea! I'd love to do that one some time in the future, as well as the Juan Diego/Our Lady of Guadalupe one.

Jessica said...

So glad you finally had an opportunity to try one of the Liturgical Teas! Aren't they so much fun! We've done a number of them now and my children love them every time and are always begging for another. :)

I love that we both made turtledove PB&J's lol! And your Carrot and Hummus Candles are perfect!!!

ViolinMama said...

Did I not comment here either? I relished every pic and post word on this!

WONDERFUL job!!! I hope when we homeschool next year, we can do things like this with the coop group!