I've long felt I was born a couple generations too late. I willfully admit I do love modern conveniences especially in regards to homemaking or child delivery, but I do have such fondness for traditional customs.
I have loved warm tea since I can remember. I am not a coffee drinker, but could sip tea all day. I have wanted to make tea time a part of our day forever and have tried off and on, but since watching "Felicity" (an American Girl movie) the girls have become obsessed with it. The movie depicts a great scene in which Felicity is learning the proper way to drink tea at an etiquette class. Oh my. That is all the training Lillie, Rose, and Zellie needed. They practice all day.
I thought how nice it would be to have our afternoon snack with tea, but I wanted John to be in on the fun so we started having tea or some other warm beverage after dinner with a little dessert. It really is too much. He had his head down laughing the whole time especially at Zellie and her properness.
Here are some of the rules we are teaching the kids.
1. A gentle woman must behave perfectly at the tea table both as a hostess and as a guest.
This really has inspired me to take the time to pull out all my pretty dishes and serving apparatuses. They love all the little bowls, tiny spoons, and our new tea pot.
2. You are not drinking because you are thirsty or eating because you are hungry. Tea and biscuits are offered as a sign of your hostesses' hospitality. If you refuse them, you are refusing her generosity.
3. A polite way to show you've had enough is to turn your cup upside down and place you spoon on top. You then reply, "Thank you, I shall take no tea."
4. This is the proper way to serve others at the tea table.
me: "Miss Boever, would you care for tea?"
them: "Yes, thank you, Mama or Mrs. So and So."
me: "Milk or sugar, Miss Boever."
them: "Milk, please, Thank you, Mama or Mrs. So and So."
Of course, we let you-know-who in on the fun.
This has been a great way to teach them manners at the table especially if they are a guest at another person's home. I would love to improve my tea accessories and manners. Thrift stores are wonderful for finding such treasures. I checked out a couple of cookbooks at the library that have provided great recipes for tea snacks.