It’s the day after Christmas and time to relax after all that stress, anxiety, planning, expectations, guesses, disappointments, and fulfillments. The season can be thrilling with all the colors and lights and music, but it can also be a time when we just feel overloaded to the point that the day after is a release, a time to return some normalcy to our lives where everything isn’t about fretting over getting or receiving just the right gift. Tea to the rescue!
Let the kids sleep in. Let your spouse sleep in. Ignore the wrapping paper bits and pieces everywhere. No need to worry about watering that live tree. The bows and ribbons hiding out under the sofa can get a reprieve from your broom. In short, it can all wait…at least for long enough to have a lovely and restful tea time! You only need three things:
1 A Special Tea
Only you can know what tea is special for you. So, go with what you want, not what someone else tells you is special. After all, this is true “me” time. I do, however, have a suggestion or two — teas meant to soothe and inspire, to refuel your brain and your limbs for that day-after-Christmas clean-up and rest-up.
- Earl Grey Tea — Earl Grey is a true favorite and has been since it was first created a couple of centuries or so ago. There are also varieties now appearing on the market such as Earl Grey Cream Tea blend that has a taste smooth with vanilla overtones that stand out above the premium bergamot flavor – the signature taste of Earl Grey. An excellent all day tea with a superb finish.
- Vanilla Spiced Chai — “Chai” means “tea” but has gotten confused in the U.S. market by vendors who promote a spiced version by that name alone. But this true spiced chai is a flavored mix using a rich, black tea (usually Assam), and traditional spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, and then finished with a dash of vanilla. It is meant to be served with a lot of milk and sugar or other sweetener. The overall effect is stimulating yet soothing.
- Chocolate Mint Flavored Black Tea — A delectable pairing of chocolate and mint. Uses the classic ‘Ceylon’ tea character (noted for its floral bouquet, flavor notes, touches of mild astringency, and bright coppery color) as a perfect base tea. Steeps up a bright, coppery infusion with a chocolaty mint flavor (even more prominent when milk and sugar are added). And the flavor is perfect for this season.
2 Some Christmasy Treats
A bit of advanced planning would have been good here so you’d have that treat all stashed away and ready, but never fear, just go for some Christmas goodie that might be left over from your feast on Christmas Day. I had a few to spare, so you could hop on over for some. Unless I get to them first!
- Gingerbread cookies
- A slice of Christmas cake (or maybe two)
- A bowl of cold cereal (considered by many to be comfort food)
- Some cheese and crackers and one of those little tangelo thingies
- A slice or two of toast with orange marmalade
3 The Right Setting
Got a little corner that you call your own? My mom did. It was her little spot of tranquility while we kids fought over closet space, whose turn it was to dry the dishes, and who knocked over that glass of grape juice so that it ran all over the kitchen table where we were doing our homework (it wasn’t me, I swear!). Your issues may be a bit different and there may even be a total absence of such squabblings, but that special spot is still a good idea, especially now. Just grab that cuppa and that treat and settle in for your Day-After-Christmas Tea Time, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
© 2009-2016 A.C. Cargill photos and text
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