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Simple Joys & Creativity

“Afternoon tea needn’t stand on ceremony. Anything that becomes more important than sweet fellowship, whether lace or linen or the china itself, is pretense. How much more we enjoy life when the pretenses are discarded!”  – Paul F. Kortepeter, Tea with Victoria Rose

I just love this quote! So often we make things more complicated than they need to be, even our tea time. We buy the latest tea gadgets and expensive table service to make our cup of tea or even a small tea party perfect. All this  when the most simple time-tested steeping methods and tea service will do so very nicely. 

A lovely setting can be created with our daily dishes, favorite tea cozy and a well-loved tea pot with a small mason jar centerpiece of flowers to greet a special friend for tea. 

Simple Mason Jars with Cranberry and Rosemary (Source: Pinterest)

Yet we still seek that perfection… especially around the December holidays! No matter the Holiday we celebrate.. We strive  to create the ‘perfect’ holiday for ourselves, family and friends. We choose to stress out ourselves (and our loved ones) about finding ‘perfect’ in holiday… from gifts to presentations of all kinds!  We seek perfect whether its our holiday cookies to how fancy the holly and ribbon is on our door.  All in the goal of creating a lasting memory of this years holiday season. 

(Source: Pinterest)

Let’s face it. For many of us… (ahem self included) the Holidays let us  unleash our inner Clark Griswold…. You know it. I know it. No matter which Holiday…We chase the dream of creating Holiday Splendor. A perfect Holiday of Peace, Joy, and Fun.

But instead … We create…. CHAOS… MAYHEM… And sooner or later: tears over our Pinterest fails, an argument between friends over something so silly such as rearranging the ornaments on a friends tree (you know who you are!),  and quite possibly for some of us…. breakage of some lovely family heirloom! (Hopefully in our rabid pursuit of the PERFECT HOLIDAY we don’t burn down the family tree like Clark did!) 

What we envision…     

(Source: Pinterest)

  The reality for many…     

I won’t tell you how many years it’s taken me to let go of this silly idea of the perfect holiday (I’m sure my family could give you an exact number right down to the days!)

I also can’t tell you how many  Gingerbread “Houses” I’ve ‘ruined’ over the years! I wonder can they truly be called ruined if they never stood up??? I’ll have to ask a contractor! I should have taken pictures.  These ‘houses’ or piles were EPIC and could have easily won a Pinterest fail contest!  Yes- I am ever an optimist and planning an new attempt to create yet another Gingerbread House as I write this post… It’s going to be FABULOUS!

But I digress… 

My point is this my friends… stop. just stop chasing this ideal. After all.. Lucy was right when she said, “Look, Charlie Brown, we all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.”  But that’s another soap box…

Let go of all those silly pretenses… and you will find beauty in the everyday items you already have. Like that old ceramic bowl that has so loyally held your pasta or bread on the family table several times a week… 

Or that little tea cup with the chip that you’ve had for years because just can’t bring yourself to part with it. A simple little tea cup or mug can bring even more joy to you if you just add a bit of floral foam and fresh greens or flowers


And if you must purchase something let it be a truly special and handmade item created by you, your child,  or a local artisan.

Just look at this pretty Holiday mini-tea time created by our Tea Friends Paul and Heather using one of our handmade tea mats created by fabric artist, Laura Kemler

Is there a figurine in this vignette rushing about stressed over the table setting or whether or not the stockings hung on the mantle match the rooms decor? NO! They are enjoying a simple tea and a good book! And so should WE! 

So when you burn the cookies… I hope you laugh and shout HURRAY as you call a best pal to drop by for tea and dessert. Then smile as you crumble them up,  roll them around a scoop of ice cream and drizzle with honey and a dash of cinnamon! Now that’s how a cookie crumbles my friends!

Pinterest Fail Lavender Shortbread Cookies Rescued for Decadent Dessert. Who wants a cookie when you can have THIS!

So when you see all those tangled strings of twinkle lights because you were too worn out from chasing the perfect holiday to wrap them correctly last year…  just think to yourself “Now that is a great ball of lights to hang on the porch in the pasta colander!”  Be FREE from Perfection– It’s easy because there is no such thing as perfect unless you are a tree or a snowflake… So Go for it! Be Creative! Be Bold! Be FUN and give your friends and family your JOY and LAUGHTER this holiday season! That is what they will remember anyway… 

As for me.. I’m blending up lots of holiday teas with a lot of perfection but chasing the Gingerbread House with a free spirit.  Released from the pursuit of a perfect holiday I’m filled with cheer for the imperfect and downright quirky holidays. Plus I’m making another Gingerbread House that should REALLY BE INTERESTING! Now where did I put those graham crackers and jelly beans….. 


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