Family heirlooms, antique toys, fine china, crystal and sparkling silver were used to decorate 16 tables for the fourth annual Tinsel Tea at the United Methodist Church in Cassville.
Over 130 women gathered together for a time of fellowship and Christmas cheer. The event also raised over $1,000 for the church's food pantry.
Viewing each hostess' table is one of the highlights of the annual tea. Before sitting down for a delicious meal, those in attendance walk around the fellowship hall and look at each decorated table.
One table featured Santa figurines and children's toys as a centerpiece and another showcased a unique snowman collection. Each hostess used her personal touch and favorite decorations and keepsakes to create a special dining experience for each of her guests.
"Each hostess puts thought into their table," said Jo Anne Ellis, chairman of the Tinsel Tea. "We never know what the tables will look like until they appear, and we're always thrilled. Our hostesses really go all out and use china, crystal, silver, family antiques and unusual pieces. We love their imagination."
This year's table hostesses were: Andrea Beeson and Shirley Chaney; Jo Anne Ellis and Pat Conner; Carolyn Stacy; Lee Assing; Judie Starchman; Linda Phipps and Betty Johnson; Margaret Beeson and Marolyn Woods; Ruth and Melissa Vollenweider; Tiffany Miner; Stacy Runnels; Bobbie Tucker; Charli Jo Ledgerwood; Sandy Edwards; Darla Horner; Megan Cox; Linda Precoda; and Barbara Lacey.
Thought also goes into planning the menu for the tea, which Ellis says has actually evolved into a luncheon.
This year's menu featured: chicken salad and croissants; cranberry scones with Devonshire cream and jam; broccoli and cheese mini quiches; poppy seed bread and pumpkin bread; fresh fruit; cheesecake; and hot spiced tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
After viewing the tables and sitting down for tea, the ladies enjoyed several musical performances. The UMC Bell Choir performed "Christmas Bell Fantasy" and the ladies trio of Ellis, Phipps and Lindsay Fohn sang "Do You Hear What I Hear?" Angela Seymour gave a solo choral performance of "White Christmas," and Phipps and Ledgerwood performed a Christmas duet on the keyboard.
"By entertaining our friends from the community, we try to show Christian love and fellowship during the Christmas season," said Ellis.
Advance reservations are required for the Tinsel Tea, and this year, tables were full well before the Dec. 1 deadline. In fact, three additional tables were added to accommodate more people at this year's tea.
"This is a multi-faceted event," said John Gregory, minister of the Cassville United Methodist Church, before he gave the invocation. "It is a social event and a vital mission event in our church. You are helping to continue a ministry that helps meet the needs of area families."
Members of the Tinsel Tea planning committee included: Ellis, Sandy Cullers, Gayle Fields, Lindy Gibson, Becky Henningson, Gayle LeCompte, Seymour, Starchman, Jennifer Hanson, Assing and Tucker.
"I think this year's Tinsel Tea was a huge success," said Ellis. "A lot of people are already asking to attend next year. It is also nice that we are able to help fund the food pantry."