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For many years when I had my own home I hosted a Christmas tea the first Sunday in December.  I invited all my girlfriends with daughters, and delighted in introducing my special friends to my other special friends over tea and home-baked goodies.  I chose the first Sunday in December with the idea that, for most of my friends, the Christmas scurrying would not have yet begun.

We have all gotten so much busier in the intervening years.  Now I think I would have to schedule Christmas tea before Thanksgiving (which isn’t going to happen, as we keep Thanksgiving sacred around here) to miss the rush.  But I do miss the girl-time with my friends, and am seriously thinking about doing a tea party in January this next year.

Among with my collection of tea paraphernalia are a number of tea-related books.  Two of my favorites for this time of year are Tom Hegg’s sweet poem, “A Cup of Christmas Tea” (Waldman House Press, 1982) and “The Twelve Teas of Christmas:  Sharing the Season with Those You Love”, by Emilie Barnes (Harvest House Publishers, 1999).  Both are beautifully illustrated and speak to the cozy, comfortable relationship ritual that comes with sharing a cup of tea with a loved one.  If it has been awhile since you had a lovely tea party, let one of these little books spur you on.  If you have not had a tea party before, Emilie Barnes will give you wonderful ideas, recipes, decorating tips…anything you might need for encouragement.

Once upon a time I thought I would open a tea room with my mother when I grew up.  It never occurred to me that by the time I would have the freedom to really consider it, she would no longer be here.  I have scaled back my tea room dream, but still haven’t given up on doing something tea-related.  The last time I gave my “history of women’s liberation through lingerie” program, it was tied in with a tea.  A natural pairing, I think.

Perhaps I should read the tea leaves for more insight.