Teatime! It’s as if it’s just part of being a girl … hats, little teacups, beads and bracelets. Girls of all ages love a fabulous tea party!
There are so many great reasons to join up with our friends across the Atlantic and begin the tradition of afternoon tea EVERY day, but especially at the holidays, creating the tradition of a special holiday tea will provide a fabulous memory for our girls that will last a lifetime! Some of the benefits of planning a holiday tea:
1. It’s fun! As I said above, girls of all ages LOVE the ritual of tea. Picture young ladies dressed in their holiday finery … soft Christmas tunes playing in the background. There is something about pouring the liquid out of the pot into lovely cups… it’s just a little slice of heaven.
2. It’s peaceful. Be honest! This time of the year can be downright nutty at times and throughout most of the holiday season life is anything but peaceful. Provide a respite from the craziness of the holidays around a cup of tea. You’ll see… peaceful…. ahhhhh, this is how the holidays should be!
3. It’s memory building. Think of years from now when your girls will be recounting the fond memories of your holiday tea together. Better yet, imagine seeing your girls start the same tradition with their girls.
4. It’s enriching. There is really no easier way to teach your young ladies manners than at a lovely tea table. Opportunities abound in teatime to show your little ladies how to be kind, quiet and caring, as well as how to use a fork, sip without slurping, etc.
5. It encourages conversation. What a great time to set aside and reminisce about old family traditions and memories of the holidays. Talk about favorite holidays of the past or memories of your grandparents’ visits, etc.
Now the last thing I want to do is create more stress for your holidays by throwing something difficult on you. Relaxing tea parties can be very simple and resources and books abound on the topic. Here are some easy steps to plan your first holiday tea.
1. Keep it small. Invite only your daughter’s closest friends and limit it to just a few for this first tea. If you’re inviting moms and daughters and can enlarge your dining room table, plan for a comfortable space between guests at the table.
2. Set your date. The typical English teatime is in the afternoon but that doesn’t have to be the rule for the holidays. Find a time that works best for you and your guests, and limit the time to about a two-hour slot so the time in itself doesn’t create stress for your guests.
3. Plan your menu. Again, simple is best. Scones, cucumber sandwiches, and a nice array of holiday cookies would make for the perfect tea menu. We always have some back up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches too, just in case for the younger ones.
4. Send your invites. Keep them simple as well. Print them out with a fancy font on your computer and stamp with a poinsettia or other holiday image. Or use the wonderful clip art available online. Or, even better, if your girls enjoy drawing and you have time, make handmade invitations.
5. On the day of the tea, set an elegant table. This is the only part of our holiday tea where I’d say go elaborate rather than simple. Use your finest plates and teacups, cloth napkins and napkin rings if you have them. Have your girls make up place cards for each guest so as they come in they can be seated immediately. Turn on the holiday music and start the tea water to boiling as the guest arrive so it will be at it’s freshest when you all sit. Most of all relax and enjoy the tea with your guests. This is not an event where you’ll want to be getting up and down. Pour out and begin sharing your favorite holiday memories.
Start with a holiday tea this year and you’ll see… it will become an annual tradition not to be missed!