Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dressed-to-a-Tea

Many years ago my mother received this beautiful antique chocolate set as a wedding gift from her brother and his wife. Don't know what a chocolate set is? Well, neither did my mother. She thought it was a tea set for years. The pot is taller and narrow, and the cups are smaller than a tea set. Not sure why that makes it a chocolate set, but apparently there is a difference! Now there I go, getting off the subject again. We're supposed to be talking about dressing for tea this week for Gracious Hospital-i-Tea's blog-a-thon, and I told you last week that my mother would be helping with this week's post. (She took a current picture of her chocolate set and scanned the picture below for me... so it's really more her post than mine! I guess you could say she' s my "guest blogger" today!)

This picture comes from Mother's photo album. It was taken about 1977. (Has it really been 30 years ago?) Finally we girls were old enough to have a "real" tea party with Mother's beautiful "tea" set. We baked a pound cake in a tube pan and put it on one of Mother's pretty hostess trays. (Remember her three-tiered one that I showed for Valentine's Day?) It looks like we also had a platter of something else to nibble on, but I'm sure I don't remember what. Maybe one of the twins will. Dori? Naomi? Any idea?
Mother encouraged us to get dressed up for our tea party. To our minds, getting dressed up involved long dresses. I had out-grown my favorite long red dress so Dori wore that with an organza apron from somebody's wedding. I don't remember Naomi's long skirt (maybe she does)... but mine was actually a bathrobe! And Naomi thought Mother's gardening hat would be the very thing. Don't we just look so prissy?

The thing I love most about my memory of that tea party is that my mother didn't hesitate to let her little girls use her very best china... The twins were 10, and I was almost-12... and we knew we were more important to our mother than anything she owned.

These days she enjoys tea parties with her granddaughters, and she encourages me to have tea parties with them even though she doesn't live close enough to join us very often. My girls and I have been having "every day" teas lately, but I should take the time to have a "dress up" tea with them soon, shouldn't I? Let them get all decked out in whatever seems "dressy" in their minds, and use my best china.

25 comments:

Arleen ~ The Tea Room said...

What wonderful memories, complete with photographs, too! I love your mother's tea set -- especially the shape of the tea pot!

ellen b said...

Oh how very sweet. It's so cool that you have this photo of the special tea time you had that day!! Lovely

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Oh that would be great...to have a dress-up tea with your daughters. Of course, you'll share photos with us, right?

Funny how photos take us right down Memory Lane. Thank you for taking us with you.

(Never would've known the difference between the chocolate pot and a tea pot without your explanation. Thanks to your mother for sharing her treasures with us.)

La Tea Dah said...

Totally precious! I love the picture of you with your sisters, having tea with your mother's beautiful chocolate set. How special and I really relate to the picture taken in the 70's. Of course you thought it had to be a long-dress affair! That was 'the thing' and I even wore them to school! Wonderful memories and a very sweet time. Do the twins have tea with their offspring now as well? I'm so glad you share this lovely art with your daughters.

LaTeaDah

Farrah said...

Enjoyed that post very much! I didn't experience a tea party until about 3 years ago!

It was neat learning about chocolate sets. I haven't heard of them until now.

Dori said...

I love, love, LOVE Mother's chocolate set. I love the memories of that tea party and all our other fun times during those years. SO much fun. It's fun to know you still have that pink dress I wore.

Kathy said...

Love the picture and the chocolate set! Kathy@ Mimi's Garden

Denise said...

What a neat post, Karla! You have a pretty special mom that would take the time to provide a very special tea party and memory for her daughters! ~ And to think it meant enough to you for you to do the same for your daughters. Bravo! I, too, have wondered why the chocolate pot is shaped the way it is. Did you notice mine on top of my fridge? Such an elegant and pretty shape!

Have a wonderful week!

kathi~lavender, lace and thyme said...

I love the chocolate set and the picture of you tea party is priceless, what a wonderful mother you have to allow her children to have a tea party with her tea set. That is what they're for after all, right? Simply wonderful!

Toots said...

Such a sweet post, Karla. Now I'm going to have to research this "chocolate set" thing. I'm too curious.

Scooterblu's Whimsy said...

Karla, The chocolate set is gorgeous, and the memory account and pictures are just priceless! How blessed you are to have these! :) ~Rhonda

The Apron Queen said...

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Charli and me said...

I love the little chocolate set. I had never heard of that before. How charming! You do have great memories. Thank you for sharing. Great post.

Joy said...

What a neat picture! And so sweet of your Mom to let her girls use her beatiful set.

Me said...

What a great memory! It's wonderful that you have a picture of your special tea together. :)

Revee

LaRona said...

So....I'm curious to know more about "chocolate sets". Keep us posted.

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

I really enjoyed reading this! What special memories, and the chocolate set is just beautiful!

Katherine

marye said...

that is a fantastic picture..as well as a story. I always was jealous of people with sibs. I was an only..
The chocolate pot is beautiful.

Carrie said...

What lovely memories!

Millie said...

That took courage to let kids use the china, but what memories for them!
Millie

Steph said...

Oh, my goodness! That is SOOOO precious! I just love it!!!

Miss Sandy said...

What a precious and memory tea post! As soon as I saw the dresses I thought I was having a 70's flashback bur in a good way! Maxi dresses just like I wore!!! How wonderful that your mother let you use her good china, you all look so happy and so sweet. Thanks for sharing this blast from the past!

Grace Yaskovic said...

what a delightful post, the picture is absolutely precious!!

Sweet Necessi-Teas said...

I loved your story about your tea with your sisters! How precious! I hope you will host a special tea with your daughters soon. Let them get dressed up in their finery and take pictures for posterity...

Karen

Pam said...

What a delightful post! I was a child in the 70's, too, and well remember maxi's! I love your mom's chocolate set, and the fact that she let you have a tea party with it - what special memories!