A Holiday Lunch for Book Club

Christmas book club


My book club gathered last week for some holiday cheer and to discuss our latest read.

The gal who hosted has a wonderful collection of hand-carved (vintage-looking) Santas.  Here’s a look at some of her holiday décor.

Christmas book club

Santa in her powder room…

book club lunch at holidays

Domed snow babies sit on her kitchen countertop…

hand carved Santa

These guys greet you at her front door…

hand carved Santa

A closer look…

book club lunch during winter

Another holiday vignette…

Check out the exquisite facial detail and expressions of the Santas and angels below…

beautiful hand carved holiday figures

hand carved Santa & angels

The next two Santas flank opposite corners of her foyer…




holiday book club lunch

Christmas lunch for book club

A traditional, pretty red and green-themed Christmas tablescape…

holiday lunch tablescape

We all loved her Christopher Radko “Holiday Celebrations” dinner plates – a recent, awesome find at a resale shop…


Cute Christmas table accessories – Santa napkin holders and butter plate…


book club lunch menu

A delicious salad with mozzarella, tomatoes, onions, black olives, and spiralized zucchini served with Zesty Italian dressing…

delicious rigatoni with sausage

We noshed on a very flavorful sausage rigatoni – with hot & mild sausage and 3 varieties of cheeses

Pistachio cake

Pistachio cake for book club lunch

She served a festive pistachio cake for dessert…


Snow Flower & the Secret Fan book club discussion

The book we read and discussed was “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See.  We all enjoyed reading this book.

This fiction book is set in the 1800’s in rural China and is narrated through the eyes of an 80-year old Chinese woman looking back on her life.  We learned so many fascinating things about the past Chinese culture and traditions such as the foot binding of young girls, the sworn sisterhood relationships between women, nu shu, and how daughters were considered worthless.

These topics made for a great book discussion.

Chinese footbinding book

A Brief Description of nu shu

Nu shu literally means “woman’s writing” in Chinese.  Historically in some rural parts of China, girls and women were forbidden to read and write.  In defiance of this, it is believed women created their own secret language (and kept it from men) to express themselves to other females.  It would be taught from one generation to the next.

According to Lisa See, women used nu shu to write letters, stories, and poems.  The writings were hidden in things like embroidery, weaving, and paintings on fans (hence, the name of the book).

Foot Binding of Young Chinese Girls

Chinese foot binding images

Photo credit: Jo Farrell
(via google images)

Is this what you envisioned the foot of a woman who had her feet bound at a young age to look like?

Chinese foot binding images

Photo source: google images

Previously, I had imagined feet that were bound to be very tiny & pretty (normal-looking) feet – like a child’s foot might be…

Chinese foot binding photos

Photo source: flickr

Chinese foot binding was considered not only a mark of “beauty”, but also a way of raising one’s social status, and a prerequisite for finding a husband…

The foot binding process took over 2 years.  It was begun when a young girl was between the ages of 4 and 7 years old.  Foot binding was an attempt to stop the foot from growing.  The young girls’ feet would be tightly bound with a bandage (10′ long and 2″ wide) as to bend the 4 small toes under the sole, break the toes, and force the back of the foot together.  Bandages were removed briefly everyday or so, and then tightened again forcing the foot smaller and smaller.  The girls were forced to walk long distances to hasten the breaking of their arches.

It was an extremely painful process.  And the pain never really stopped…

Foot binding was also an attempt to keep women weak and dominated by men.

discussion about foot binding book

Our hostess borrowed these Chinese slippers from a friend to show us the size of them.  These slippers are 5 inches long (in contrast to a woman’s size 7 black shoe).

The most desirable bride in China possessed a 3-inch foot (Chinese measurement which is about 4-inches in our measurement) known as a “golden lotus”.  Four-inch bound feet were referred to as silver lotuses, and those larger than four inches were called “iron lotuses”.

Foot binding lasted for over 1000 years.  In 1923, the practice of foot binding finally became unfashionable.  By 1949, foot binding was gone except for a few remote areas of China.  There are a few remaining survivors of the practice still alive today.


Photo source: Pinterest

Photo source: Pinterest

Wishing you find good gifts – of the “paper kind (books)” – under your tree this year…

~ Merry Christmas & Happy Reading ~

About inspirationaldetails

Passionate about: Entertaining Tablescapes Decorating, and a love of Books!! I find inspiration in the details of life...
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