* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Monday, December 12, 2016

Teatime caring and sharing

Teatime caring 1This weekend, our church held its fourth annual Christmas Tea.  It was a lovely occasion for our ladies to gather together along with their friends and neighbors for a cheerful seasonal afternoon of tea and home baked goodies, hear uplifting talks on the true meaning of Christmas, and then end up with a surprise from the gift exchange.

It's kind of fun to look back and see how the decorations change each year, as well as see who came each time.  This is how it all looked this year.

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Lovely ladies with lovely teapots

As this was an official tea, of course tea was the primary beverage.  Teapots from all over were loaned for the event, and the variety was quite impressive. 

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Preparing the goodies

Our preparation ladies shown here are quite international, coming from Martinique, Poland, and Italy, and of course the photographer is American.

Many wonderful desserts were brought by some very good bakers, but some needed to be cut into serving sizes and arranged nicely on serving dishes.

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Oh, the temptation!
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Making initial choices
Isn't this a lovely presentation?  It definitely attracted a lot of attention from this hungry group.

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Friends having a lovely time
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Animated conversation

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Enjoying the fellowship
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More animated conversation

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The guys playing with their toys
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Welcoming the ladies

While the ladies were thoroughly enjoying themselves, the only men allowed were busy handling the technical aspects. 

As usual, Doc Leo hand-picked suitable Christmas music from our own vast collection.

Then, Nancy, our pastor's wife, led the group into the scheduled program.  First up, a group of German girls singing in both French and German.

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German girls singing a German song in French
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The ladies enjoying the music

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A few words of joy
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Giving the Christmas story
Also on the program were two of our ladies presenting their personal outlooks on the Christmas message, blessing all who were there.

In between, the girls sang a few more songs.

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Our pretty Nativity creche
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A basket of gifts

As the typical Nativity scene includes the Wise Men bringing gifts, our ladies also brought gifts to share. 

It was a lot of fun watching them pick over the pretty packaging to find one they liked, then to see the imaginative ideas the givers had come up with.

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Choices, choices, choices
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Enjoying the moment

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Helping a guest choose
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What did I get?

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Our beautiful book lady
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Making a sale?

We also had a book table for those looking for gifts to buy. 

Lots of children's books and calendars for the coming year, always a welcomed present.

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Playtime is over
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Time to clean up

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and so did the Tea.  After all the work of setting up and then enjoying the event, now it was time to put it all away. 

Even one of our guests got into washing up all the dishes.

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Taking apart the last of the table settings
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Carrying the heavy boards

Then the tables all had to be taken apart and moved into the storage area. 

Not only did the men get put to work, but some of the younger women also got into the act of carrying the large planks.

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Gently cleaning the crumbs
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Attacking them with aggressive effort

Once the room was emptied of social activity, several women, including a guest, vacuumed all the crumbs from the carpet.

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Exact spacing!
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Work can still be fun
Once the room was clean again, it needed to be set back up for the regular church service.  Doc Leo even used the magic stick to space the chairs appropriately. 

Meanwhile, a couple of women took one last opportunity to chat while they were cleaning the rest of the church.  (You can see some of my own efforts in the decorations around the rooms.)

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Such a lovely couple
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Hanging from the heights

While everybody else then went home to relax, the Doc and I still had our Chorale Christmas Concert to perform in! 

We came dressed for the concert, so we took advantage of the pretty tree to make a family portrait.

Now I will leave you with another pretty view right in the entrance.  I love the ambiance of Christmas ! 


  1. Your family may be far away but you are part of a great community.

  2. What with the holidays and all,I've gotten a little behind with your entries here,dear Alpine Queen. This looks like such a lovely event and you guys look spectacular in your concert garb. Things like this are so nice to attend and so nice to hear about.

  3. I really enjoy reading your blog!! Miss hanging out with you.

  4. Better late than never! At least I am commenting. It looks like a lovely way to celebrate the holiday. And you both looks lovely in your red and black outfits.


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