The Warren County Historical Society is very pleased to host a Victorian Christmas Tea for young ladies ages 7 through 12. It's an exciting opportunity to experience the extravagant holiday season of the 19th century.
Girls who are captivated with old-fashioned ladies' clothing, crafts, and life in the splendid Victorian age will find this event enchanting. For many years the Warren County Historical Society has been transporting girls back in time to the mid 1800s for a Christmas Tea affair that varies every year.
Activities that guests enjoy at this grand holiday occasion are dressing up in Victorian apparel for photographs and learning the mysterious "Language of the Fans. The "Language of the Fans" was a form of sign language using hand fans. Young unmarried ladies could discreetly communicate with male suitors from across a room. It's a secret, special language that Victorians understood.
Other activities during the Tea are learning how to make salt-dough Christmas Tree ornaments and making Pomander Balls, a fruit and spice room freshener traditionally made around the holidays. Both crafts make wonderful Christmas gifts. The girls will also discover what types of undergarments ladies wore during the Civil War, including the bustle and hoop that made many dresses of the time so large in diameter. Many women of the period had to have help to get dressed each day!
While having tea in the front parlor, guests will be delighted to hear about the table manners of the Victorians. Queen Victoria who reigned in Great Britain from 1836 through 1901 had very specific ideas on codes of conduct for both men and women when dining. Many of these ideals are still practiced today. These principles caught on throughout America as well and included everything from how to hold silverware to what conversation was acceptable at the dinner table. In the 19th century ladies especially had to be careful to not break any social rules. Even a small mistake such as placing a used napkin on a vacated chair could get a Victorian woman scathing looks from the others, as would slurping tea from a spoon or cup. One too many etiquette mistakes for a lady meant no more invitations to teas or dinners.
After having tea with fun etiquette lessons, the girls will be served a special luncheon including fancy tea sandwiches and dessert designed for the tastes of young ladies.
The Victorian Christmas Tea Party will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Warren County Historical Society, 210 Fourth Ave., Warren. Cost will be $12 per person. Pre-registration and signed permission slips are required. For any questions or concerns, call 723-1795 or visit the website at www.warrenhistory.org.