This afternoon was our annual Christmas Tea at Lake Murray. Judith called me this morning to ask for a ride after a bad night, so E and I picked her up and we all drove nearly 40 miles to La Mesa.
Judith, E, and I were especially excited about the tea, not just because of the excellent food and company, but more for the speaker, Joi Bowling, whom we had met at Judith's Ad Lib Christian Arts Retreat in Colorado (see sidebar for link to the Ad Lib site).
So we settled into our table, soon to be joined by dear friends Kitty, Diana, Laura, Tammy, Kim, and others. Many of our choir members are performing tomorrow night at Point Loma Nazarene University's annual "Messiah." E and I attended last year and loved it, but tomorrow night is her Cotillion Winter Ball, so we can only be there in thought and prayer, rather than in body. Linda, Kim, Laura, Kitty, Joan, and William are all singing, along with our beloved Dr. Adema. How we wish we could be there!
Back to the tea.... Mary Alice was the perfect emcee. Dolores and Laura sang a lovely duet, and we were stuffed with tea sandwiches, scones, and sweets. Kitty's table was gorgeous, set with her Christmas china plates and tea cups, real glasses ringed with a holly design, a holly-patterned table cloth, and a beautiful centerpiece designed by Kitty herself, with a lanterned candle in the middle.
After a humorous poem read by Adrienne and a talk about our missionaries by Karen, Joi opened with the chorus of "O Come, All Ye Faithful." Then she proceeded to speak on our theme, "Follow His Star," by interweaving her ponderings on those who saw His Star with singing "We Three Kings." I was in tears because of the beauty of her voice (no big surprise there!), and fortunately, my secret sister just sent me holly-patterned purse tissues, which were perfect for the surreptitious wiping of tears. Me thinks my secret sister knows me all too well!
After the program ended with much applause, we perused the craft boutique, proceeds of which were going to our retreat scholarship fund. Keith had made some bags of his famous toffee, which seemed to be selling well. I purchased some beautiful handmade notecards, and E bought a Christmas mug. Judith bought some of Keith's toffee and presented it to Joi.
Then home we went, tired and ready to rest up for the Lord's Day tomorrow. But it was a lovely tea, as always. With over 100 ladies, it can't help but to be a merry kick-off to the Holy Days season.