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“Won’t You Come for a Cup of Christmas Tea?” (Menu: Christmas Tea Party)

December 24, 2012
by Jackie Garvin
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Tom Hegg wrote two books which capture the essence of the Christmas spirit. The idea of giving of yourself and your time is sometimes overshadowed by times spent at busy shopping malls searching for the “right” gift.  These precious little books remind us that the best give that have to offer someone….anyone….is to simply set apart time to spend with them to let them know you care and that they are important to you.

These little books inspired me to create a Christmas tea party, invite a few friends and celebrate the season.  I kept the place settings as simple as I thought I could get away with but still remain festive and tea-ish. I opted for gold chargers instead of placemats. The plates are luncheon size, so the chargers were large enough to place things on the rim.  Attaching a small ornament to the napkin rings adding a three-dimensional effect to the plate.  Sugared cranberries served as a festive tree topper to the Christmas tree design. On the right side of the charger plate is a cracker which is a fun English tradition that adds levity and whimsy to a very civilized tea.

Place setting

I set out crackers at my elegant Christmas dinner. Break open the cracker by pulling on the ends creating a “crack” sound.  Out falls a silly paper hat, a small toy and a joke.  Everyone wears their paper hat.  You  can’t possibly take yourself too seriously when wearing this silly paper hat.

Queen for a day!

Queen for a day!

The menu was simple.

Cucumber Sandwich with Dill Cream Cheese Spread

Cucumber Sandwich with Dill Cream Cheese Spread


Ham Salad Sandwich with Mixed Greens

Ham Salad Sandwich with Mixed Greens


Orange Cranberry Biscuits with Strawberry Jam, Pear Preserves and Apricot Preserves

Orange Cranberry Biscuits with Strawberry Jam, Pear Preserves and Apricot Preserves

Sugared Cranberries

Frosted Cranberries

Gingerbread Cake with Fresh Orange Nutmeg Whipped Cream

Gingerbread Cake with Fresh Orange Nutmeg Whipped Cream


The tea was a Maharaja Chai Oolong and Samurai Chai Mate blend and had the perfect amount of spices to make it an excellent choice for a Christmas Tea.

There’s something special about sharing food and drink with friends, especially during the holidays. To make the event even a touch more special, I decide that we would participate in one of my favorite activities: reading.  We passed the books around and read them out-loud   Each person could read as much or as little as they wanted.  It was strictly up to them. Together, we relived the story and the importance of sharing our time during this hectic season.

Christmas tea books

For favors, I gave them each a box that contained gingerbread cake and two cloth napkins.  In keeping with the spirit of the books, I asked them to share the gingerbread with someone….perhaps someone who wouldn’t expect such generosity.

I had a perfect afternoon of sharing and giving with my friends.  Oh….one more thing.  They were instructed to wear comfy shoes.  Chile, if your feet aren’t comfortable, you’re not comfortable.  Please ignore that obnoxious flash reflection in the center of our comfy shoes picture.  I gave up trying to get rid of it.  Sometimes you win.  Sometimes even your editing program can’t even help you.

Comfy shoes

The highlighted items below will take you directly to the recipes.  I don’t have a recipe posted, yet, for Cranberry Orange Biscuits.




Cucumber Sandwich with Dill Cream Cheese Spread




Ham Salad Sandwich with Mixed Greens



Cranberry Orange Biscuits with a Trio of Jams and Jellies



Frosted Cranberries




Mary Ball Washington’s 1784 Gingerbread Cake with Fresh Orange Nutmeg Whipped Cream



Maharaj Chai Oolong and Samurai Chai Matte by Teavana











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17 Comments leave one →
  1. Dawn permalink
    December 24, 2012 4:20 pm

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart and the bottom of my comfy feet for making me queen for a day over a cup of your Christmas Tea!

  2. December 24, 2012 5:26 pm

    This looked like it must have been so much fun! The menu is wonderful…you know I loved the idea of a cake recipe from 1784! 😉

  3. Lytle Markham permalink
    December 25, 2012 9:55 am

    This was just lovely! I love receiving your posts. I will have to add this next year Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    • December 25, 2012 2:45 pm

      Thanks, Lytle! I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying a blessed Christmas season! 🙂

  4. trish duncan permalink
    December 25, 2012 10:11 am

    perfect!!! loving thoughts

  5. Danny Taylor permalink
    December 25, 2012 1:00 pm

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours Jackie. Love the Christmas Tea Party!!

  6. Shari permalink
    December 25, 2012 6:29 pm

    I was the guest with a hole in her Uggs……still they were welcome at Jackie’s Teaparty…..thankfully!!!!!!! it was so much fun!!!

  7. Jean permalink
    December 27, 2012 10:58 am

    What a fun party! All the food looks delish and your favors were wonderful. The part about comfy shoes is so true. If your feet hurt…you hurt all over and you are generally miserable.
    It can certainly be said from looking at the shoe picture that you all are in a warm clime except for those cute snowmen clogs!

    • Jean permalink
      December 27, 2012 10:59 am

      PS I have a aged plum pudding from the UK here sitting on my desk. Wish you were here to help me eat it!

      • December 27, 2012 7:05 pm


        Plum pudding is something I’ve always wanted to try. I know that cooking it is an ordeal. Enjoy some for me! 🙂

  8. Mary permalink
    December 11, 2013 12:31 am

    I have been following a “Cup of Christmas Tea” for year – nothing is more special!!!

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