Betty, my husband's niece, had beautiful Bat Mitzvah last month and I want to share the experience with you.
The children had been there for a couple of hours by the time my husband, Jake and I arrived. They were dancing and munching on snacks. I stopped in my tracks upon first sight of the inside of the hall. Here it was, the middle of summer, but the hall was decorated like an east coast winter wonderland.
Artificial evergreen trees were covered with artificial snow stood against the walls. The lighting was dim, except for over the dance floor and dining area. The floor was covered with more snow, except for the walkways to the entrance and the bathrooms as well as the dance floor. The ceiling was shrouded with drapes of gray muslin. They were tinged with an orange-brown glow by the lights above and looked just like the night sky did when it was about to snow.
A waitress dressed in a red skating outfit with fake white fur trim led us to our table. The bells on her boots jingled as she walked. Every time a waiter or waitress moved, we heard jingling.
Once we were all seated there was a low humming as the fans attached high on the walls came on and began blowing artificial snow on us. Two waiters opened the main doors opened and Betty made her grand entrance. She was riding in a miniature Victoria carriage drawn by an adorable white pony. The carriage driver wore a black top hat, coat and red scarf. The driver helped Betty down when the carriage stopped on the dance floor. . What an entrance! A photographer was there to capture the moment. The driver turned the pony by leading him from the ground then got back in the carriage and left.
The snow fans were turned so Betty's godfather, Thomas, could perform the Hamotz. Everyone toasted Betty's coming of age with wine. The kids went back to dancing to modern tunes while the adults started dinner.
After dinner, Betty gave a beautiful thank you speech, then the Candle Lighting ceremony was performed by thirteen of Betty's friends. Thirteen snowflake floating candles in a frosted glass bowl were lit one by one. Each of Betty's friends read a poem or quotation after the candle was lit.
Everyone danced and sang into the night. Every kid received plastic ice pop containers so they could make their own pops out of juice at home. The adults were given a set of small pine-sented candles shaped like snow-covered evergreens.
Around midnight Betty's parents thanked everyone for coming and an authentic, Victorian fruit cake was served for dessert. It was so good I asked Betty's mother for the recipe, but she told me she gotten it from a bakery that specialized in gourmet rum and fruit cakes. While everyone was having dessert, the parents of Betty's younger friends arrived to take them home and the party came to a close. I Harvey had not had such a wonderful time in years.