Sunday, December 6, 2015

Gingerbread House Benefit Tea

Today is the second Sunday in Advent. 
We light the  Bethlehem candle.  We use the traditional violet and pink candles and the traditional meanings - Prophecy, Bethlehem, Shepherd, and Angel in our home.

Our advent wreath is the first holiday decoration I unpack.  Prior to dinner, our children would recite their part for the church Christmas program, then light a small candle at their dinner place.  When dinner was finished, they would snuff their small candle.  Even though they are all either married or away at college, my husband and I still light our individual candles.  When we have dinner guests, they also light a candle. 

Yesterday my sister, niece, grandson, the teapot and I, attended the ISOH/Impact International Tea.  The group is a community based organization that helps people in need world wide.  All proceeds from the tea help Kids Against Hunger and Keeping Kids Kozy and Warm thru the Winter. 

Hot food on the buffet line included - Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Swedish Meatballs, Spanikopita, Mini Crab Cakes, Chicken Salad Croissants and PB&J triangles

The dessert buffet was available during the entire event.  The chocolate fountain is a HUGE hit and the strawberries are always the first to go.  Other dippers included, apple slices, orange sections, fresh pineapple, marshmallows and pretzels.  A huge variety of cookies, as well as some delicious baklava were also available.

Santa arrived to visit with the children.  The note on his chair said "Better watch out . . . Santa arrives at 1:30".  The teapot checked out his chair and determined it "just right" for Santa.

Our lunch goodies

And our plate of desserts
A peach apricot tea was served, as well as ice water. 

The other half of the ballroom was set up for gingerbread house building.  The teapot was checking things out before all the children converged on the area.  Plastic was put down to protect the carpet.  The "trough" down the middle of the table was made of foil and held all the decorations.  There were four or five stations set up like the one above.

Below are photos of gingerbread homes during construction by the many children.

I love the creativity, and as you can see, most parents let the children do the decorating!

This was my grandson's house during the building stage.

The completed back of his house.  He needed a "bonfire with puffs" (his word for smoke).  The huge pile of coconut and frosting on the roof kept getting bigger and bigger until he finally said very seriously, "I believe that's enough."  My sister almost fell on the floor laughing.

The front of his house.

You can see the teapot got in on the action.

This is my niece's house.  She is a junior in high school, so it isn't fair to compare it to the house of an almost three year old.  I love her horse drawn sleigh in the front yard.

Entertainment was provided by a piano player.  The teapot had a front row seat.  Can you find her?  Some years, groups of children will congregate around the piano and sing Christmas carols.  It is a very festive day and a must for many families.  As you can see, we had a great time, as well as contributed to a great cause.

Sips and Smiles,


  1. What a festive event! If I lived near, it would certainly be a "must do" for me. Thanks for making us all feel a part of it.

  2. What a delightful post! I loved seeing our teapot on Santa's chair! The food looks amazing and so do those beautiful gingerbread houses. Your nephew's smoke puffs were adorable!

  3. I see that Martha left a comment, and I'm not surprised given her annual tradition of making a gingerbread house. When I saw your photos of the houses I immediately thought of her. What a fun, and worthwhile event!

  4. Everything looks delicious.
    Rochelle, ATAA

  5. Oh I love this event. So glad the teapot got some action there. Now I want to make a gingerbread house. I love the puff on your grandsons. He did a great job.

  6. What a wonderful time that was had by all! I loved seeing all go the different gingerbread houses. Thank you for sharing,

  7. What adventuress the Tardis is having with you!

    Seeing so many with children in them is a very happy plan this time of year. Keep having fun, please.

  8. Such fun! Love the gingerbread houses!

  9. Oh the Tardis is a hands on type. Nice activity and I think I would have hung out by the chocolate fountain all afternoon!