My grand­daugh­ter and her guests gath­ered for a very spe­cial Sun­day party.

Country - - CONTENTS - BY E.M. MILLER Yelm, Wash­ing­ton

Lit­tle girls in frilly hats gather for an af­ter­noon of tea and fun.

In the sum­mer, when the sun is high in the sky, my fam­ily of­ten gath­ers in the front yard to sit in the shade of our bigleaf maple tree. One day as I re­laxed be­neath this grand tree, had a spark of in­spi­ra­tion. How fun it would be to host a tea party for my dear grand­daugh­ter Kate­lynn and a few of her friends from the neigh­bor­hood!

As I be­gan plan­ning the tea party, the idea grew and be­came a fun project. I sent out in­vi­ta­tions to the girls. Then I found a child-sized ta­ble with enough chairs to seat the guests.

I didn’t want to use my good china, but I did want the ta­ble to look el­e­gant. So I paid a visit to a lo­cal sec­ond­hand store and then pur­chased an in­ex­pen­sive china set. All of the pieces didn’t match, but they looked lovely ar­ranged on the ta­ble.

On the in­vi­ta­tion, I asked the young ladies to come dressed in their Sun­day best. This was a very spe­cial oc­ca­sion that re­quired fancy at­tire. No jeans al­lowed! The neigh­bor chil­dren ar­rived at my house on time, all dressed up.

Be­cause one of my fa­vorite craft ac­tiv­i­ties is dec­o­rat­ing large­brimmed straw hats, I pro­vided the hats and had each girl dec­o­rate her own to wear dur­ing the party.

Hats, flow­ers, rib­bons and bows were spread out on my din­ing room ta­ble, along with a thick layer of news­pa­per to pro­tect the fin­ish from the drip­ping glue guns. The girls were very cre­ative, and their hats turned out beau­ti­fully.

Next, I di­rected them out­side to con­tinue the mer­ri­ment. Each one took a seat at the ta­ble I had set up un­der the maple tree.

I served sweet iced tea rather than hot tea since it was a warm day. The girls be­haved like po­lite lit­tle ladies as they took turns pour­ing cups of re­fresh­ing tea for them­selves and each other. They chat­tered hap­pily, sipped their tea and nib­bled on cook­ies.

Watch­ing them en­joy the tea party un­der the shade of the maple tree was more en­chant­ing than I could have imag­ined. I snapped some lovely pho­tos of a mo­ment in time that I will cher­ish.

Per­haps Kate will plan a tea party for her own daugh­ter or grand­daugh­ter some­day, and a tra­di­tion will have been born.

Kate­lynn (far right), and friends poured, sipped and laughed to­gether on a sum­mer day. Re­becca (in­set) shows proper form.

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