Sunday, January 30, 2011

Groundhog's Birthday Party

My husband's birthday is February 2, so Groundhog's Day has always been a big holiday in our house. One year I planned a surprise trip to Punxsutawny, Pennsylvania to attend the big festival but something came up and we had to cancel.  What fun I had planning that trip - planes, trains and automobiles would have been needed (it isn't as simple as the movie makes it out to be.)  We will do it someday just to see the ice shavings fly, the elegant top hats and that pixie-pert rascal rodent, Phil!  So, in the absence of the real Punxsutawny Phil, this year I invited him to Rob's birthday dinner.  Table featured Phil peaking out among magnolia branches in the centerpiece.  How cute is he? (Purchased for $6 on the Official Groundhog's Day online Souvenir shop
 Phil on a little transferware pastry plate surrounded by river rocks and candlelight, that's how I picture the Puxsutawny Groundhog's Festival.  A rodent to get behind and love!
 I just love his little hands coming together as if saying, "Hmmm... I'm not quite sure if Spring is about to come...statistics can be deceptive" or "Sorry chappies, but Winter shall prlongre" or  "methinks Spring is in the offing, nigh and imminent."  He just has that sagacious professor look about him.
 It was also fun to preview my new dishes, Homer Laughlin Magnolia Burgundy, in this tablescape. I wanted to keep it earthy, use natural elements to compliment the tiger-oak wood in my Arts & Crafts table.

The glasses I use with my red transferware works with this set as well. The delicate & strong contrasts and compliments, like those elements in nature.
The Groundhog Souvenir site also featured chocolate Phil-Pops, so I tucked them into wooden napkin rings (99 cent store find!) and soft cream napkins picked up after Christmas sale. I associate magnolia blossoms with the heavenly soft petals I remember in Granny Annie's giant frontyard tree. I wanted to stroke their softness but knew that my touch would discolor their beauty so I held back and admired them from afar, learning that sometimes beautiful things need delicate restraint.

Way too serious for a meal with a chocolate rodent tucked into the napkin....

 I'll leave you with some factoids about Groundhog's day found on
1. Yes, Punxsutawney Phil is the only true weather forecasting groundhog. The others are just imposters.
2. There has been only one Punxsutawney Phil.  Punxsutawney Phil gets his longevity from drinking “groundhog punch” (a secret recipe). One sip, which is administered every summer at the Groundhog Picnic, gives him seven more years of life.
3. On February 2nd, Phil comes out of his burrow on Gobbler’s Knob, in front of thousands of faithful followers from all over the world, to predict the weather for the rest of the winter.
4. According to legend, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.
5. No, Punxsutawney Phil’s forecasts are not made in advance by the Inner Circle. After Phil emerges from his burrow on February 2nd, he speaks to the Groundhog Club President in Groundhogese. His proclamation is then translated for the world.
6.  The celebration of Groundhog Day began with the Germans, Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, which states “For as the sun shines on Candlemas day, so far will the snow swirl in May…”. The settlers found that groundhogs were plentiful and were the most intelligent and sensible animal to carry on the legend of Candlemas Day.
7.  Punxsutawney held its first Groundhog Day in the 1800’s. The first official trek to Gobbler’s Knob made on February 2nd, 1887. In 2008 it will be the 122nd prediction.
8.  So the story goes, Punxsutawney Phil was named after King Phillip. Prior to being called Phil, he was called Br’er Groundhog.

but especially to my husband, Rob.


  1. Delightful post. I loved learning the facts about Phil. I need some of that groundhog punch!! Cute idea
    Marie Arden Pink Living

  2. So cute! This is such a great reason to have a party! Thank goodness the little guy gave us good news this year after a very interesting winter :0)
    Have a wonderful day!

  3. Rodents in a napkin ring!! made me laugh. What a great reason to celebrate. I love the table. it's really pretty.

  4. Great one, just so cute and a very fun table
    love karin

  5. What a FUN dinner! I love your version of Phil as a part of the centerpiece, and who wouldn't love a chocolate rodent to gobble up after a delicious meal? Very nice!

  6. What a cute and fun tablescape for Groundhog's day! I need to get one of those --it would be so fun for the Grands!

  7. Sweet nod to the groundhog ... early spring, YES!!

  8. What a pretty table -- especially for one that includes a groundhog! Such a cute centerpiece! I love your new dishes -- I clicked on that last photo to enlarge it so I could enjoy them properly. You'll enjoy those!

  9. More than I ever knew that I wanted to know about Ground Hog much fun! Your new dishes are going to provide you so many marvelous options for beautiful tablescapes. Thank you for sharing your charming design. Cherry Kay


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