Happy Mother's Day! When planning your events for the month, you might want to consider hosting a Mother's Day Tea, but add a special twist to it with a program about High Tea. Sometimes you don't have to think too far outside the (tea) box to have a special lunch for Moms. The guests are coming to a Tea Party and enjoy drinking tea. So share the story of tea!
I will tell you that when I hosted this party, it was not my idea to start with exactly. Having the party and focusing on the tea aspect came about because I had a resident who came into my office with a problem. She wanted to host a party for a few of her friends but was concerned that she might offend someone that she would forgot to invite, and if the party got to big, she would not be able to afford to do it properly. She shared with me that she had talked about teas in the past and was going to present a "little talk" as a part of her party. After a few discussions with her, we came to the conclusion that I would run it through my department as an activity and bring her in as my "guest speaker." She agreed and left happy. (Read more about successful Resident Run Programs.)
As the Mother's Day Tea came closer, I learned that my tea-expect resident had taken the ball and ran with it! She had gotten the community very excited. She encouraged the ladies to sign up and to wear a hat when they came to the tea. She helped me select the proper teas and food that she wanted for the day so that they would tie into her talk, and she and her husband created special tea-pot shaped name tags.
The event went well overall. The room was set up with round tables, with 7 chairs per table. We had a table for name tags at the door. My resident "guest" speaker had asked a few ladies to help her at the table because the tea-pot shaped name tags were the pin-on style. They were in baskets in alphabetical order. The distribution of the name tags was the biggest hurdle because the residents came in to fast and the line became too long at the table. Next time, I would encourage the volunteers to use a longer table and lay out the name tags. They didn't want to do that when I suggested it to them. I would also make it so that they could be helped from both sides of the table. I would also relocate the ladies helping to pin on the tags away from the table. In other words, hand them the tag at the table and ask them to go to the volunteer located in another area to get assistance if they needed it. In this case, in order to expedite the long line, I invited guests to be seated and then brought the name tags to each person that didn't get one.
The meal was wonderful. The culinary department made a beautiful looking plate featuring ham salad, egg salad, chicken salad and cucumber tea sandwiches. Cucumber was a must-have as a part of the tea presentation talk. The plate was nicely garnished with strawberries, blackberries, kiwi and edible orchids. In order to reduce the need for culinary staff help, the plates were pre-set, along with clotted cream, strawberry preserves, scones and petit fours.
Besides the preset lunch plate, the tables also had a lovely center piece that I made using fresh flowers and tea pots. Our community owns a wide variety of unique tea pots. They have been given to us by residents in the past. If that is not the case in your community, determine how many you will need and ask your residents for them. You may want to gather a few extras in case so you options as to the ones you put out, and because some pots might work better for the flowers that you buy than others.
As for the program, I turned the microphone over to my resident guest speaker. She talked about the history of tea, about the cucumber sandwiches and more. If you don't have a resident who has this special interest, you may find a staff member, a person from the outside community, or even an owner of a local tea house in your area who may want to share their passion with your guests.
p.s If you'd rather host a fashion show instead, I have a good timeline for organizing one at my article about fashion shows.