Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tea and Books Saturday #50 - "The Twelve Teas of Christmas"

The Twelve Teas of Christmas
Harvest House Publishers, 1999
By Emilie Barnes with paintings by Sandy Lynam Clough

I certainly *thought* I had read this book before, but if I had I'd certainly forgotten most of it by the time I read it again this week. Emilie Barnes' tea writings and Sandy Lynam Clough's tea illustrations are always on my "favorites" list, and this Christmas book is such a joy-filled work. It's heartening to read, it's beautiful to look at, and it's also full of recipes and useful ideas for Christmas-themed teas. Among the 12 celebrations covered in the book are a friendship tea, a caroling tea, a mother and daughter angel-themed tea, and even a post-Christmas "Celebration of Stillness" tea. If you merely look at this book you'll enjoy it, but it is also a great Christmas cookbook. It is packed with recipes and there are quite a few of them I intend to try very soon, especially some of the sandwich spreads.

The book contains tidbits and trivia about a variety of Christmasy things. Did you know, for instance, that tinsel was invented in Germany in 1610? That means this year is the 400th anniversary of tinsel — and had I been aware of that fact I would have planned a proper tribute because I absolutely adore tinsel! And I loved this Victorian verse about how to fill a Christmas stocking: "Something to eat, something to read, something to play with, and something they need!" I think that's still a good rule of thumb for gift selection, don't you?

I definitely need to read this book earlier in the fall next year so I can plan one of the "Celebrations" as described in this lovely book. This really should be must-reading for a tea lover at Christmas!


  1. This is one of my favorite tea/Christmas books!

  2. Hello, Angela - I love your review of this book! And the Victorian gift guide ideas, very smart.
    I'm going to add this book to my collection. Thanks for the wonderful review, Happy Holidays to you & yours, Joanie

  3. Sounds like a lovely book.
    I have never heard that Victorian gift guide before, but we actually do something very similar.

  4. THANKYOUforsuchalovelywebsite.....

  5. I have never read this one! I need to look for it. Thanks Angela!

  6. I just received this book from Paper Back Swap earlier in November. I'm so glad that someone listed this book and I snapped it up. It would be great fun to plan a tea party with you! ♥♫

  7. I do like the idea of a Celebration for Stillness. I think I could celebrate that even before Christmas. Thanks for your review.

  8. Cool! This could be really expanded, too...a Kwanza tea, a Hannakuh tea, a Solstice tea!

    Happy holidays to you!


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