With all of my business travel this year I have been fairly disconnected from my girlfriends here in Chicago. On Sunday afternoon I was able to catch up with a lot of them – over a cup of Christmas tea.
As I’ve mentioned before, I find the act of afternoon tea to be a lovely “timeout” from the rest of life and this was no exception. Until this weekend, most of December had been filled with work – including trips to the client site in WI. But once this past week wrapped up I had passed a large milestone on the current project and could turn my attention to things Christmas-y.
First up, a holiday tea. Among the many things that my Mom taught me was the art of simple hospitality and entertaining. As I was pulling everything together I thought of the many times I was in the kitchen helping Mom get ready for gatherings at home. Given my recent schedule, I knew the menu would contain more store bought goodies than I would normally include. However, I did find time this weekend to make several treats – all were simple recipes.
On the menu: Sugared Cranberries; Peppermint Truffles; Mom’s Sausage & Cheese Biscuits; Cran-Pumpkin Mini-Muffins; Ham & Turkey Roll-ups; Cucumber Sandwiches; Amish Friendship Bread (Thanks for bringing it Michele!); Mini-Quiches, Pastries & Cookies from Costco; An assortment of yummy teas.
As everyone arrived and introductions were made for those who didn’t know each other we were gathered around “the spread” in the dining room. Once everyone had loaded up their plates and customized their tea to their liking we moved to the living room where we enjoyed several hours of chatting with each other surrounded by the light of the Christmas tree, the nativity mantel and other Christmas decorations. It was so much fun to see friends who didn’t know each other before yesterday find commonalities and have fun conversation.
As we wrapped up the afternoon we all agreed that this was a great timeout from the hustle and bustle that can consume the holiday season. For me, it was a wonderful chance to reconnect with dear friends who make Chicago “home” for me.
Next up, getting the Christmas cards in the mail, a few packages to ship to their destinations and pulling together everything to head home to the ‘Ville for Christmas later this week.
As you are in the midst of your own holiday preparations I hope you are able to find the time to take a “timeout” and connect with the people near and dear to you.