To celebrate our 8 year birthday we are giving away 8 – $100 Tea gift certificates on Facebook from May 17th – 24th. Celebrate with us and help us reach 8000 “likes” by Saturday May 22nd and we will give 20% off on our site!
We were thrilled with the responses we received for our Little Citizens of the World blog contest – thank you to everyone that entered. Selecting the winners was a difficult task – we loved the different interpretations of the contest. The blog contest entries inspired great conversations in the office – we hope it has for you as well.
Congratulations to our First Place Winner, who will receive a $500 Tea gift certificate: Jayme at adventures of the wonder twins
2nd Place Winner, recipient of a $200 gift certificate: Annie at Milk Dreams
3rd Place Winner, recipient of a $100 gift certificate: Meg at Backpack to Buggy
We also wanted to highlight a couple Honorable Mentions:
At Tea Collection, we strive to be inspired, global, warm, and mindful. We were inspired to read how the “Little Citizens of the World” are learning these qualities too. Be sure to check out all of the contest entries when you get a chance. Congratulations again to our winners!
We are thrilled to announce our annual online event contributing proceeds from sales made on www.teacollection.com to benefit our partner, The Global Fund for Children (www.globalfundforchildren.org) – an organization that works to advance the dignity of vulnerable children and youth by supporting and strengthening grass root groups and harnessing the power of books, films, and photography.
The three day event with be November 4th, 5th, and 6th. Tea Collection will donate 15% of all sales of children’s clothing from its website to GFC.
We thought it would be fun to share some trends that we have seen in children’s special occasion clothes this holiday season.
Festive outfits that can be worn beyond the holiday season – Parents are seeking special occasion outfits for their children this holiday season; however they are looking for styles that are not the traditional red and green. Especially in the current economic climate, it is important the pieces could also work for a birthday party, a nice dinner, or any other special occasion that requires a dressier outfit. Tea’s holiday dresses are perfect – they offer extraordinary elegance and style that can be worn for special occasions any time of the year.
East Meets West – East meets West fusion styling has been essential to this fall’s fashions and is also showing up on runways in Spring/Summer 2010 collections. Inspired by the ancient Japanese practice, Shinto Traditions are fashions for children up to size 8 that incorporates kimono inspired styling and symbolic prints. The Shippo Woven Shirt is a modern printed shirt with contrast cuff with a pattern that represents the “seven treasure” in Buddhism.
Relaxed, yet refined holiday fashions – Children love to be comfortable, so it is important to find holiday outfits that are special yet practical for day parties or running around at grandma’s house. The Meiji Floral printed french terry dress will be well suited until spring with its sporty attitude and floral femininty, perfect for signature Tea
layering with Purity tees and leggings (layering is another trend). For boys, the Satori Stripe Sweater offer luxe comfort in pimo cotton with sporty styling, paired with the Wabi Cargo pant; he will be ready for any occasion.
Traveling around the world with your child is a gift that keeps on giving. Our little citizen of the world has continued to amaze us with her adoption of other cultures into her ways. I adore that she kisses friends hello and goodbye on both cheeks. It pleases me when she answers the question “how are you?” with “nos nos” which is Arabic for so-so. It is entertaining when she looks to a pointy sculpture and exclaims “hey, an obelisk!” It is silly when she adamantly refuses ever returning to Mexico because there are “too many mosquitoes.” A recent conversation with Olivia validated all our past travels and all future travels.
First, let me tell you, fighting for a kindergarten school in San Francisco is quite a battle. Private schools require you participate in a specific tour prior to applying. We, of course, were out of the country for the tours. This left us with the choice of public or catholic schools as our only options. My husband and I are recovering Catholics. That left us with public school. Currently, kindergarten at Olivia’s public school is nearing an end and I felt it was time to shop around for the potential of other school’s 1st grade. Test the waters and see if there was a better option. I woke Olivia up on a Sunday morning and said, “lets go check out St. Brendan’s!” She moaned and groaned and very clearly but politely told me “I really don’t want to go to a Church school.” Perhaps it had to do with my teaching her to say the pledge of allegiance with a “one nation, under science” and ending it with a giggle to each other. Yes, I am thinking that may have been a catalyst. What never occurred to me is that she has absolutely no idea what Christianity is about.
I took her, against her will, that morning to the Catholic School’s open house. Olivia is a very calm, go-with-the-flow kind of girl. On the drive to the school, I was hit with an uncharacteristic barrage of question after question with moments of contemplation between. “Mommy. Do church people go to lunch?”
“Yes Sweetie, people who go to church are like everyone else.”
“Mommy, do church people play outside?”
“Of course Honey, church people are people.”
“Do they study science at Church schools?”
“Yes Darling, it is a school like every other school except for the whole evolution part.”
I could tell I wasn’t communicating to her the normalcy of “church people.” She had a fear of the unknown and every answer I was giving her was making no progress so I went another angle and said to her, “Baby, remember when we were in Saudi Arabia and Egypt? Remember how they went to the Mosque five times everyday and prayed, remember the voices over the loud speaker calling to prayer? Church people are the same as that but they don’t go to a Mosque, they go to a church and they usually only go one time a week.”
With a tone of complete understanding, a true “why didn’t you say so sooner” moment, Olivia said with her voice rising and falling, “Oooohhhh. Like Muslims!” It was all clear to her at that point. And in my mind with a tone of complete understanding, I thought… Wow, how special is it to briefly explain religion that is evident daily and everywhere in our own country with an explanation from a culture so radically different such as the one she experienced in Saudi Arabia. The only way she understood that christians are just people like everyone else was in terms of Islam. I love that. Olivia is truly a citizen of the world.
As I was feeling a inner sense of pride for being able to parent such a unique way, we drove up to the school located next to the Church and Olivia said, “Wow Mom, Church people have nice flowers.”
Turkey has the “it takes a village” mentality when it comes to children, even in the metropolis of Istanbul. Turks trust each other with their children and they expect us, as visitors to their country, to trust them with our children as well. Everybody notices children and jumps to help with them, cuddle them or soothe them during a tough moment.
Turks simply love children and have created a culture where it’s fine to express that. The most common form of attention is the cheek-pinching. I’m surprised Grace doesn’t have bruised cheeks from the number of pinches but she has endured it with surprising, well, grace. A maitre’d standing outside his restaurant as we passed noticed her face was dirty and summoned a waiter to bring him a cloth to scrub it clean. As we boarded a public bus heavy-laden with bags and a stroller a kind young woman scooped up Grace, held her on her lap and sang songs to her as if she were her own. On a scenic boat trip up the Bosphorus where Grace quickly became bored, a young man who spoke no English picked her up and read her one of her picture books. She’s been given many pieces of candy from strangers, led away by a security guard museum to show her off to his friends, had shopkeepers adjust her clothing and received all kinds of free food in restaurants from thoughtful waitstaff.
Such lavish attention from strangers is disarming for us Americans, so accustomed to adults in keeping their distance from children unless they are 1) related to them 2) know them well or 3) have some kind of malintent. At first we (Grace included) were a bit taken aback by the attention total strangers would shower on our tiny two-year old. Once we realized the approach was universal and well-meaning though, we relaxed and, as long as Grace still felt comfortable, we tried to be as well. As we head home after two weeks in Turkey we’ll have to readjust to strangers remaining just that, while trying to maintain that caring attitude towards other children ourselves.