Christmas Tea Time

Tea adapts to any season and any occasion. Whether it’s a lovely black tea with all the flavors of Christmas - cinnamon, clove, ginger or delicate white tea served with your favorite holiday offering, tea makes an excellent addition to the Christmas table.

An Adult Christmas Tea Party

One fun activity for the holiday season is hosting a Christmas tea. It’s a great way to gather family and friends together and enjoy various teas at the same time. Weekends are usually best, and not too close to Christmas Eve or Day or people will be struggling with other social commitments. Sometimes having an afternoon tea works better than night - it really depends on your schedule and that of your guests. A daytime tea has a different ambiance than night; day feels a little less formal somehow.

Children at the Tea?

The winter holidays have a strong family focus and it would be great to include children in the fray. Have a special age-appropriate table for them. Young children could do a fanciful tea party with Frosty the Snowman as their guest, for example. Teens often get as sophisticated as adults with their tea, so give them something suitable - maybe a popular holiday movie based tea table.

Activities for your Party

Having a few games for your Christmas tea improves the overall social atmosphere and gives you a way to get guests acquainted. Secret Santa is one favorite. Just make sure you give everyone a spending limit and have each guest wrap his or her gift. Put them all in a big bowl or bag and pass around the room. Each person takes one gift, then like musical chairs play some holiday music and have people pass the gifts all around, back and forth, until the music comes to an end. Open the goodies (hey, make some tea-related like tea strainers and tea cozies).

You might also consider a game of Charades with a Christmas theme. Use the names of Christmas books, Yule food, customs etc. as the topic of the game. Split your group into two or three depending on the size of the party and have someone keep score.

Looking for more activity ideas? How about sing-along or karaoke Christmas Carols, gift-wrapping challenges, and a recipe exchange?

Plan Ahead

The key to successful parties is planning, no matter the time of year. Begin with the type of tea you want to serve. Definitely offer one with warm, winter herbs. Another good option is lemon tea with honey, great for a cold day. Try to vary the offerings so they suit different tastes including having decaf for those who prefer it. Alongside your tea, some finger foods that reflect the season make a nice addition. Some people have each guest bring their family’s traditional cookies for sampling, for example. Cheese fondue and traditional Victorian finger sandwiches also work very nicely in this atmosphere.

For party favors, how about some gourmet tea bags wrapped in colorful mesh bags with mints and tied in brightly colored bows. This way people can continue to enjoy the tea, and their memories, for several weeks to come.

Unity Teapots sells fine Asian tea ware, and is a great place to shop for a kyusu, a japanese cast iron teapot, or a japanese tea set.

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