Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Monday, 15 December 2014

An Old-fashioned Christmas Tea

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping at your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight. ~ Torme and Wells 1946

Welcome dear friends to an Old-fashioned Christmas Tea! I would like to wish all my Jewish friends A Happy Hanukkah this week! 

This will be a long post, surprised? Probably not! So please make yourself at home and sip on something delicious.

What is the Christmas spirit? It is the spirit which brings a smile to the lips and tenderness to the heart; It is the spirit which warms one into friendship with all the world, which impels one to hold out the hand of fellowship to every man and woman." ~ Anonymous

Family is a very powerful force this time of year and I'm sure we all have lovely memories of Christmases growing up. I have so many that I keep a treasure trove in my heart. 

This is just one of several rocking horses I have. Not sure where my fascination for them comes from. Perhaps it's the little girl in me.

I believe one of the main reasons why my Christmases were so special is because my Daddy became a kid himself at Christmastime. He worked as an accountant for a home and auto shop and to our delight as children, there was also a toy store. It was so much fun to go to the place where Daddy worked because we got to see all the toys!

These little tykes build a snowman every year on my window sill above the kitchen sink.

Tykes on sleds and shouts of glee, icy-window filigree, sugarplums and candle glow, part of Christmas long ago. ~ Jo Geis

I like to wander the corridors of my mind and remember the scent of fresh cut boughs hung with icicles and silver balls that decorated the doorways and windows. There were no faux evergreens at that time, just boughs fresh from the woods. 

My mother had so many lovely ideas when it came to decorating our home for the holidays and she had a gift of making it enchanting.

Snow flakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share.

Sleigh bells in the air

Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there.

Christmas time is here

We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see,
Such spirit through the year....~ From A Charlie Brown Christmas

My parents were both very artistic and I remember the wooden Rudolph my father had made and my mother had painted. Rudolph stood in our front window with a red light for his nose and along the base was a row of coloured lights. When Rudolph was plugged in, he lit up the whole window. To us kids, he was magical!

My mother gave me this sweet little china deer for Christmas many years ago. He comes out every Christmas and takes his place on the window sill above the kitchen sink.

Of course there was the big spruce tree beautifully decorated and hung with the now vintage ornaments; little horns that really tooted and bells that tinkled. My mother was quite the decorator. I always thought we had the prettiest tree in the neighborhood.

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like the bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do to others is good you do yourself. ~ Norman Wesley Brooks - 1976, from "Let Every Day Be Christmas"

I think my fondest memory was the Christmas when my brother and I found an adorable spaniel puppy hiding in his brand new dog house built by Daddy which sat beside the tree. We called the puppy Jingles. We loved on that puppy until he nearly smothered from it; poor thing! 

This ceramic spaniel puppy was a gift from my son that he made me when he was in High School.

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Then there was the Christmas my Daddy surprised my brother and me with giant panda teddy bears. They were bigger than we were! To this day, I love teddy bears and so I have invited a couple to join us for tea today.

Christmas is a season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame for charity in the heart. ~ Washington Irving

I am so excited to share my tea table with you this week! Many of you will recall that I have always had trouble finding red transferware teacups here on the Island. Of plates, I have plenty but ne'er a red teacup and saucer, until now.

I finally found these and I am doing the happy dance. I have three sets of them and what a perfect time to bring out the red!

You will recognize this pattern as Johnson Bros. Old Britain Castles. Are there any tea wares more charming or lend an old-fashioned appeal to a table more than transferware? Their patterns whisk one back to days of yore.

Please have a seat and join me for a little tea time, won't you?

Let's have a party,
Beginning at three.
You choose the teacups,
I'll pour the tea.
You pick the pastries,
Sweet as can be.
I'll toast to friendship
Between you and me.~ Unknown

The centerpiece of my table is a white poinsettia in a green and red striped pot with a horse and sleigh carrying a couple all bundled up for the sleigh ride. Two wee teddy bears are enjoying the ride too.

I have dressed the table with a red tablecloth beneath a lace one and I have set the table with a mix of some Staffordshire 17th Century pieces and some Johnson Bros. Old Britain Castles. 

           Staffordshire 17th Century                     JB Old Britain Castles

I am also using my King's Crown red rimmed goblets.

Here I have a red charger with JB Old Britain Castles, Staffordshire 17th Century salad plate, and then a JB Old Britain Castles soup bowl.
I used my pearl napkin rings because they reminded me of white holly berries.

Here is the Staffordshire 17th Century plate, JB Old Britain Castles salad plate, and finally the JB soup bow sitting on a red charger. I opted to use two OBC bowls because the 17th Century bowl is rimmed and much larger which would have thrown the scale off.

The silver ware is vintage and belonged to my mother. It is Evening Star by Oneida. I think the floral handles look lovely with the china. The patterns mix and match so nicely, don't you think?

The teddies like to be a part of the tea party too; the rascals! But you can't get upset with a teddy bear because, they are just too cute! 

We will begin with a bowl of sweet potato soup and a dollop of sour cream. 

There is chicken and cranberry salad in finger rolls and egg salad on whole wheat sandwiches to munch on. 

I am serving David's Salted Caramel tea and at the moment it is my favourite. It is a black tea strewn with toffee, coconut, caramel, and a touch of French sea salt, guaranteed to seduce your taste buds.

It is lovely as a dessert tea or just for a cup of something special this time of year.

Please choose something from the sweet plate.
There are ice box cookies, peanut caramel chocolate fudge, shortbread with pink icing, and fruit shortbread bars. 

We cannot talk about an old-fashioned Christmas without talking about that very first Christmas. Indeed, if it hadn't been for His coming, we wouldn't be celebrating Christmas at all!

Jesus stepped out of heaven and came down to earth as a new born baby so He could give us the perfect Gift of Himself. No greater Gift has ever been given.

His coming changed the world and can change our lives. Let's celebrate Him! ~ Dave Branon 

This stable was built for me by a gentleman in my hubby's last church. I set it up every Christmas in my china cabinet. I had the cabinet designed so it would accommodate my Nativity.
The figurines are Avon porcelain pieces gifted to me over the years by family and friends. Some of them are over thirty years old. There is the Holy Family, a little shepherd boy carrying a lamb, a cherub blowing a trumpet, and of course, the donkey and the ox. The little testament is opened to Luke 2.

O Come, Let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord!

Thank you for your company today my dear bloggy friends and thank you for your friendship, your kind comments, and prayers over the past year. I appreciate you all so very much.

My tea parties are always that much more special when you join me and if you have something tea or coffee related, I invite you to link up below. I can't wait to have a peek at your tea tables.

I am joining the following parties as well~

A Return to Loveliness
Tea Cup Tuesday
Tea Cup Tuesday
Tuesday Cuppa Tea
Friends Sharing Tea
Share Your Cup
Home Sweet Home

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi


  1. This is a beautiful post, Sandi. It is filled with sweet memories. The food looks fantastic, and I love your Nativity! The sleigh is lovely too. Thanks for hosting and enjoy your week!

  2. Oh Sandi, I so enjoyed reading about your special Christmas memories from when you were growing up. Your sweet decorations are such treasures of those memories. Your nativity set is so beautiful and another treasure of yours. You're such an old-fashioned girl, like myself. Thank you for your lovely tea today, sharing your home and your quotes and messages. Hugs and blessings sent to you!

  3. What a beautiful post, Sandi, filled with lovely memories and beautiful pictures. Everything is beautiful; wish we could all gather together and enjoy your lovely tea, and delicious-looking goodies. Love the story of the little spaniel you got at Christmas and your dad's toy shop at work. And, of course, the red transfer ware is gorgeous.
    Thank you for hosting; have a blessed week.

  4. Hello everyone! I am sorry about the word verification thing. I can't seem to get it off. Anyone else having this problem? Any advice on how to get rid of it? I appreciate your input. Thank you!


  5. A delightful look at Christmas in your home Sandi as you share memories and good food.
    Thank you for hosting all year and having special themed gatherings as well. You've brought together a nice group of ladies.
    I'm sending you an email on solving the word verification.

  6. Hi Sandi. How fun to join you for a wonderful Christmas tea! I enjoy all the red perfect! A lovely post, lovely memories! Thanks so much for hosting and linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! I think Blogger instituted the verification thing on all the's suddenly popped up on most I visit.

  7. Merry Christmas, Sandi. I love the red transferware! Your Christmas tea is so lovely.

  8. Hi Sandi,
    Your Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles teacup is so very pretty and red transferware is the perfect china for Christmas. I love all of your dear Christmas decorations and each one holds such a precious memory and story. The manger scene is really beautiful! Your sandwiches and sweets look so delish and it would be so much fun if all of the bloggers could gather together, share and visit in person . We all have such common interests. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet you in blogland and share together each week with your Tuesday Tea Times! Happy Christmas Dear Sandi! Karen

  9. These are your best tea time vignettes yet. Merry Christmas!

  10. Sandi, I really enjoyed reading as you shared so many lovely memories with us. This was a beautiful post, both picture and prose-wise. I LOVE that picture of the tea tray in front of the tree, so pretty! Your red transferware looks lovely, I'm glad you found more pieces! Have a great week!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful post with us sweet Sandi. How beautiful everything is, cozy and so inviting. Wish I could go for some of those goodies for tea, OR BETTER, you can come over and PLAY, so we can have some tea together with cake and cookies, I promise!
    Thank you so much for the lovely party.
    Enjoy your C'mas holiday...the most beautiful time of the year!

  12. Oh I love your place settings with the red transfer ware I have two red tea cups also and you are right finding just the teacups is a very hard thing to do I think I searched for years before I found two in the same store so I grabbed them up. Susie

  13. I love your tea parties, especially when I can learn of, and plan to get, a new tea! I'm going to have to break out my shortbread recipe. I always feel so much more peaceful after reaching your posts!

  14. Dear Sandi,
    to read about the memories of your childhood makes really a Christmasy feeling in my heart. This Rudolph your father made for you, was so cute. I can imagine how you loved it when the lights swiched on. All your photos are so lovely made. I love the very festive red transferware and the mistle napkin ring looks fantastic. The menue looks so festive, too. I love all the wonderful poems and quotes. Thank you for bringing Christmas to my heart, as here the weather don't support any Christmas feeling. Have a wonderful day and thank you for hosting this event.
    Blessings, Johanna

  15. Sandi: You certainly know how to bring Christmas past to light again. So refreshing! So delightful! Thank you again. And a very Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.....Auntie P

  16. Perfect, perfect Christmas tea! Just beautiful! I love your transferware, so elegant! Your son is an artist, love the puppy!

  17. Beautiful post, Sandi! It makes me so excited about Christmas. Hope you are enjoying this Christmas season....Christine

  18. Dear Sandi, I enjoyed your Old Fashion Christmas post so much! Love your red transferware and your teapot, so pretty. A beautiful setting to enjoy this blessed season. Wishing you a wonderful time with your loved ones and a wonderful, healthy New Year!
    Blessings and hugs, Nancy

  19. You have so many lovely dishes and stories,thanks for the time we spent together, i was having tea and a biscuit thinking of old Christmas times while i was reading,it was fun,have a Merry Christmas.

  20. What a lovely table setting! The sweet potato soup looks absolutely delectable! I need to get some more soups in my cooking repertoire.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    Vickie @ Teacups & Toadstools

  21. What a lovely Christmas post... So many lovely items with lovely memories attached. I love your red transferware and that's great you finally found the tea cups. Merry Christmas, Michelle

  22. Everything fairy! The red transferware is such beautiful. I love the tree inside the tea cup. Merry Christmas

  23. This whole post is reminiscent of all I love about the old 'Ideals' magazines . If this was a book or magazine article I'd have it laying on my coffee table for easy viewing all season long. Does this tell you how much I love this post ? Thank-you !

  24. Sandi:
    All your pieces are so lovely. I think they look so lovely on the table and go together so well! I am just starting to collect the red transferware too. I have to say, I never used to notice it but so many bloggers have influenced me!

  25. Sandi, this was a really beautiful post. I really enjoyed your Christmas tea today. I'm sorry I didn't get around to posting for any of the teas this month. Too much going on. I wish you and yours a very blessed Christmas! Pam

  26. Thank you for such a lovely tea party. Your china is beautiful and all the treats were delicious!

  27. Hello Sandi, I am swooning over all the beauty in your post today. It is very inspiring and perfect for the season.Your new found tea cups are lovely.

    Have a blessed holiday season.


  28. Hi Sandi! Oh, what a wonderful sweet post! Love hearing all of your memories of Christmas past! Now your tea setting is gorgeous, as always, and a little more at this special time of the year. Thank you so much for popping in to see me and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  29. I loved reading this post and about the decorations that hold so much meanings for you. Mostly about the loving and magical feelings your parents gave you...they sound like the best kind of parents. Sandi, wishing you a safe and happy and magical Christmas. Hugs always from my heart to yours.

  30. How very lovely to visit such wonderful scenes this cloudy cold morning! The old times and new, your sweet childhood memories, and all the beautiful pictures are like a movie, with such delicious vignettes and remembrances. I wish you all the joy portrayed during this blessed season.


  31. Your tea party is lovely. I love the red transfer ware.

  32. Sandi: What a treasure you have in that home made nativity set. It really tells the story of Christmas. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. How blessed we are to have such a gift to all mankind. Beautiful blogging as usual. I love reading it each week. Auntie P

  33. Olá amiga, hoje quero agradecer a Deus pelo dom da sua vida, e desejar a você e sua família
    um feliz e santo Natal, cheio de saúde e alegria!!!
    Que seu coração esteja preparado para receber o Menino Deus!!!
    Um grande abraço, Marie.

  34. You have so many lovely memories of Christmastime growing up...precious gifts to share.
    This morning as the choir ended with the Hallelujah Chorus, I was struck again with the greatest gift we have to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords...and one day in His presence!!
    This is such a lovely post...your red transferware is beautiful!
    Mary Alice

  35. Hope you had a fabulous Christmas Sandi! Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  36. This was lovely and reminded me a Christmas tea a friend and I attended years ago. Love your red transferware. I also collect it along with blue and flow blue. Merry Christmas 2015. ~~Dee


I am delighted to have you visit me and I read every comment. Please forgive me for not being able to visit you all as there are so many of you lovely bloggy friends now. I will visit as much as possible. I wish you a day filled with JOY!

Also, due to the amount of spam I've been getting, I have had to set Comment Moderation. ~ Sandi