Winter days can get kind of long and dreary, especially the ones in January. There’s just something about those days after the holidays, when things slow down, that are nice, but can sometimes be boring. It was out of these types of days that our Snowman Tea Parties were born.
Quite a few years back, my mom gave me this goofy snowman tea set. I wondered to myself what in the world I would do with such a fragile thing. I tucked it away hoping that I’d think of something. Meanwhile, I began raising 3 boys that can be so–so–boyish sometimes! They can be like a bull in a glass shop, so full of energy! I’m all good with that, but sometimes I just long for them to settle down and be careful with what they are doing. This wish for my boys and that snowman tea set collided when I decided to embrace those long January days to teach them a little about slowing down and taking care of fragile things. My goal at these tea parties was not to teach them ettiquite per se. It was really just to get them stop and think about what they were doing and learn how to be gentle–to not break something for once! To treat things with care and respect, especially when it is not theirs.
So way back on some dreary January day, I pulled out that snowman tea set and began what has now become our January tradition. No other time of the year are those snowmen aloud to grace our table. Over time it has actually evolved into a hot chocolate party, but the point is still the same. We calmly sit at the table, fill our mugs with hot chocolate, cream and marshmallows and enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes I even manage to get a few finger foods on the table, just like a real tea party. We are not in a hurry and it is a time of joy. We sit around telling stories and slow down enough to discuss the things we miss in the hurry of every day life. And of course, there is a whole lot of smiles and laughter around the table. I think that is my favorite part!
Such a simple thing–a goofy snowman tea set and yet it is something my kids look forward to. As soon as January 1st hits and the snowmen appear, they are excited and remind me daily that it’s tea time. Of course we don’t get to it every day–it wouldn’t be as special if we did it every day–but it makes me smile to see them anxiously await tea time. It’s just tea (or hot chocolate), but yet those snowmen have now made those long, dreary January days become something worth celebrating.