There's a day, every year, that I look forward to the most. It's the day of my Christmas Tea. To me, there's nothing more comforting than close family, delicious food....and hot tea. :)
This will be my third year hosting a Christmas Tea. My guest list is always the same and the warmth of their smiles and laughter makes me believe in unconditional love and happiness. I invite my mom, my sisters, my Aunt (Terri), Mother-in-Law (Sonna) and my step-Grandma (Sally). I only invite family, because the intimate atmosphere makes for such a splendid day.
I host the tea at my house and after it's been decorated for Christmas, of course. I like to think of my house as a "cottage style" home, with warm colors and southern charm. My Christmas decorations are mainly country style and my little house feels so homey and cozy inside. I woke up really early and made myself some coffee to start the day. I prepared homemade chicken salad with lots of fresh, white meat chicken, diced onion and celery to give it lots of crunch and flavor, sliced almonds and dried cranberries. I mixed it all together with creamy mayonnaise and just a bit of tangy, sweet mustard. I had lots of buttery croissants from the bakery to serve the chicken salad on...and an array of whole grain and rosemary crackers. I also made lots of different dips, including spinach artichoke dip and cheesy garlic dip. I set out crunchy, fresh veggies like baby carrots, mini bell peppers and cherry tomatoes, with a zesty ranch dip. For dessert, I made pecan pie, a-la-mode (french vanilla ice cream) with caramel sauce, strawberry cupcakes and set out plenty of frosted sugar cookies and chocolate candy. We indulged in our yummy spread and had our choice of cinnamon tea, peach tea, berry tea, white tea or black tea. I also had other soothing beverages available, like peppermint fudge hot cocoa (with extra fluffy whip, of course), hot apple cider, caramel vanilla coffee and virgin mimosas (fresh squeezed orange juice topped off with a little sprite or gingerale)! At every one's place setting was my party favor. I handmade a party favor for each of my guests....and it's becoming a tradition that I absolutely love. This year, I made tons of Christmas tags for each of my guests and packaged them up in a handmade bag. They were a hit! We ate, chatted and had a nice, relaxing afternoon.
Next came the fun part! At my Christmas Tea every year, we have a "White Elephant" gift exchange. It's so much fun and we always look forward to that portion of the day the most. We each bring a gift that is either store bought or handmade. It has to be $10 or under and wrapped. We can steal from each other, all in fun, and it sure makes for a great time. Everyone brings such fun gifts and it's just a delight to have this gift exchange every year.
I can't hardly wait for my Christmas Tea 2014! I'm finding that I almost look forward to that day more than Christmas itself! May every one's holiday season be as warm and comforting as a soothing cup of hot tea. :)
|My lovely guests holding up their party favors. :)|
|Here's a close-up of the place settings with their gift! :)|
|My adorable sisters...|
|My mother-in-law, step-grandma and Aunt!|
|All of the "White Elephant" gifts!!|
|I got my husband to take this picture of all of us!|
|My step-grandma and my mom!|
Here are pictures of all the different Christmas tags I made and then the last
picture is of the packages I made for them to go in!