Monday, December 3, 2007
Preparing for "A Woman's Christmas"
Although I started looking at the pictures on Nov. 30, I didn't permit myself to begin re-reading "A Woman's Christmas" until Dec. 1. It's become a tradition for me to read this book every year early in the Christmas season, and this year the tradition continues.
This book by the editors of Victoria magazine was published in 1995, but its advice is timeless. I particularly like this book because it advocates the "gentle joys" of the holiday: using the collections and decorations you already own, entertaining simply and without fuss, taking time for a cup of tea after a busy day. Here's a typical quote: "The noble art of wool-gathering always has a place during any period of heightened activity. A quiet reverie with a soothing cup of tea or an hour alone spent listening to music and indulging in a daydream will do wonders to refresh you."
A "soothing cup of tea" I enjoyed this weekend was the Harney White Christmas Tea, which I found at a Starbucks Cafe. The first cup I brewed was strong and bitter, and I was more confused than disappointed. Harney? A bad cup of tea? I've never had that happen! Then I read the package: steep only 4 minutes (I'd forgotten this was WHITE tea), and with less than boiling water. Ah, then. And of course my next cup of tea was much more enjoyable, revealing the promised flavors of almond and vanilla. All in all, a nice, slow, easy beginning of the Christmas season.