Now that everyone in our family has seen more than a dozen robins in our yard, we are overdue for our annual First Robin Tea Party — a sure sign of spring in this house!
Sadly, I have not been very good about planning the minor details, such as the party date, the guest list and invitations. Maybe those are the major details! Oh dear. My brain is still in a state of thawing out from our long, harsh winter. Well anway, I have been slowly adding spring decor — mostly birds and eggs — around the house. I’ve also been stumbling across new ideas for the party itself.
I often admire the Christian artwork available through DaySpring, but I’m cheap when it comes to that sort of home decorating, especially when my options are limited. (Or maybe I am just too much of a control freak?) So one evening I was playing around in Photoshop Elements and decided to make my own springy artwork. Here’s what I made:
I had Mpix print it on 12 x 12-inch paper, and then I threw it in a scrapbooking frame and set it up on the bathroom shelf. I think I like it. What say you?
As in years past, we plan to make mud pies with (gummy) earth worms — the recipe for those is posted here. But this year I have a new recipe for the edible bird nests. I’ll try to report back on how that works out since nobody ever ate the ones we made last year. Sigh. I also added crackers to the menu since I recently found out that Target’s version of Goldfish crackers are bird-shaped and called “Chickadees.” How fitting!
What I am thrilled most about for this year’s party is a new picture book! The Story of the Easter Robin, written by Dandi Daley Mackall, is a beautifully illustrated tale about a little girl, her grandmother and a robin’s nest build on a window ledge at the grandmother’s house. The book also incorporates the Pennsylvania Dutch legend of the robin’s red breast — a symbol of Christ’s suffering and love — as well as the tradition of decorating eggs in the style of Pennsylvania Dutch Easter birds. I love this book so much I bought extra copies to send to my nieces!
Over the past several months, the girls and I have memorized a new poem that fits quite nicely with our bird theme.
a Mother Goose rhyme
Once I saw a little bird
come hop, hop, hop.
So I cried, “Little bird,
Will you stop, stop, stop?”
And was going to the window
To say, “How do you do?”
When he shook his little tail
And far away he flew.
Of course, the best-ever poem for the first robin tea party is this one, which we all still have memorized from last year’s party.
To the First Robin
by Louisa May Alcott
Welcome, welcome little stranger,
Fear no harm and fear no danger
We are glad to see you here,
For you sing ‘sweet spring is near.’
Now the white snow melts away,
Now the flowers blossom gay.
Come, dear bird, and build your nest
For we love our robin best.
If I ever actually stop piddling around with minor details, set a date and invite real-live people to the party, I will take pictures and share a slide show of the celebration.
In the meantime, let’s all go get some fresh, spring air! Shall we?