Has hosting a tea party been one of your holiday traditions over the years? Will the economic crisis of 2008 cancel you party? Here are some ways for you to share the spirit of the holiday season without breaking the bank.
1. Suggest hosting a holiday tea party together as a group by phone or email (no cost for invitations sent)
2. Save money by having the party in someone’s home (since it’s your idea it would be good to volunteer your home)
3. Ask each guest, if possible to provide something for the party using things they already have at home. Challenge them to spend no money or very little money
4. Ask them if they are making anything for the coming season they could bring to the party
- Examples: A guest may always have ingredients on hand to make scones in her pantry
- Another guest may keep a large supply of eggs in her refrigerator; she may be able to make egg salad tea sandwiches
- Tea sandwiches may be provided by another co–host as well (Limit the tea sandwiches to two varieties three is standard but not necessary)
- Someone may be baking holiday cookies and be willing to bring some to the holiday tea party
- There are countless goodies that make their way into homes, chocolates, mixed nuts, dried fruit. Often a business will send clients various types of gift baskets during this season. Many of these baskets go unopened or are only partially used. Find these homes and scavenge for the party
- Many loose leaf tea drinkers love scones and will have Devon cream or jam on hand invite them to share
- If you don’t have enough supply of loose leaf teas ask your guests to bring tea (hosting a tea party in the year 2008 is about being together and offering support and encouragement during the season, not about making an impression)
- Is anyone making tea breads, tea cakes or loaves (I keep these in my freezer and could definitely supply them for a holiday tea party)
- There are those who really don’t like to cook or bake, but they may have a dozen oranges in their refrigerator. Oranges can be sliced and used as a garnish as well as be eaten
- It’s possible that a friend my offer the use of her holiday tea set. That would be very nice but if such an offer does not come this tea party will still be a success
5. Don’t buy new holiday decorations use items from other years or borrow
6. If you don’t have a holiday theme tablecloth use a white cloth
7. Cut pines or holly branches from your own or a friend’s yard (use these on the table for a center piece, add a candle or ornaments)
8. Almost everyone has holiday music, if you don’t again borrow a CD and player or find a radio channel playing holiday music. (Music is good for the soul, it can make you and your friends feel festive and cause you to remember other good things from previous holiday seasons)
9. Don’t fret if you don’t have a matching set of tea cups, mix and match, or even suggest guests bring their own favorites.
10. Suggest instead of a grab bag or gift exchange that each person bring something from their pantry for the local food bank.
11. Let everyone know that spending some time talking about what they have to be thankful for will be a focus for you holiday tea party.
Although many of us will be cutting back on spending this season, by thinking outside the box and enlisting the help of family and friends hosting a tea party can still be done with creativity and flare.