It’s that time of year when indulgences are plenty. Alcohol, desserts, and carbs will be on the menu, and you may permit yourself to partake in excess. Maybe you are wondering how much is too much? I find that setting goals ahead of time helps me to stay on track. That could mean you eat and drink to your heart’s content on New Year’s Eve but limit sugar and alcohol at Christmas. Or maybe you stayed true to your health goals on Thanksgiving, so Hanukkah will include all the food and drink you desire. Perhaps you just started a month without alcohol? Whatever you decide is right for you, I support you!
If you live in the United States, seeing hot tea set-ups at parties and family holiday gatherings is not very common. Occasionally coffee or iced tea will be served, however. If you are a lover of hot tea, imagine how comforting it would be to walk around a holiday party with a warm mug of tea.
Tea is filling and can help distract you from excess food and alcohol. Having a lovely cup in hand will comfort you and give you something to do during those awkward conversations with your inquisitive aunt, who can’t seem to stop herself from asking about your love life or fertility. Just like holding and drinking alcohol is soothing, a cup of tea can delight the senses in beautiful ways.
Hot tea has the added benefit of keeping your hands and body warm on a chilly evening. So, let someone else hold that squirming toddler; you have tea to drink (as slowly as you desire).
The aroma of tea will fill the air with a delightful quality that only tea can do. Of course, not everyone enjoys the smells of fresh coffee, but I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t enjoy the fragrance of hot tea. Including a variety of choices, plus fragrant holiday blends, will be a treat.
Setting up a tea tray
If you are hosting this year and including hot tea on the menu, let me share some suggestions for a beautiful tea spread.
Now is the time to bring out your beautiful teapots, teacups, and saucers. Don’t worry if you don’t have a matching set. I love being able to choose from a selection of different types of mugs and cups to carry my tea in.
Include caffeinated and non-caffeinated teas to benefit everyone. Blends with black tea, green, or white are nice to have. A couple of herbal tea choices that include digestive help can be a smart choice. Know Your Gut, Trust Your Gut contains soothing herbs and flowers that will rebalance your digestive tract. Include tea bags and loose-leaf teas so guests can decide. For loose-leaf teas, consider making a whole pot of brewed and strained tea that can be sweetened individually.
Add milk, cream, or almond and oat milks to the tray. Include a few sweetener choices such as honey, sugar in the raw, and Splenda. Have a few small spoons handy to make stirring easy.
An electric tea kettle would be the easiest way to have hot water at the ready. However, you may want to also boil water on the stove to make pre-made hot tea.
Include a tray full of teacups, mugs, and saucers, and allow your guests to choose their favorite.
Pre-make a pitcher or carafe of unsweet and sweet tea. Herbal blends are lovely choices for iced tea. Mix your favorite fragrant teas with green tea and honey. Read more about black and green teas here.
Include a bucket or bowl of ice with tongs and serve in tall glasses.
Leaving a simmering pot of tea latte on the stove will entice almost anyone to pour a cup. Consider chai latte with dairy-free milk and honey or golden milk. Include a ladle and mugs next to the stove for ease. Make a cute card with ingredients to let your guests know exactly what is brewing. Read here for more tea latte ideas.
How hot tea can improve your health goals
Choose a cup of hot tea instead when you go back for a second helping of food.
Have a cup of tea before you reach for dessert and have your sweets after tea when you are likely to eat less. You may even decide to skip the sweets altogether.
Tea before meals fills you up, so you are likely to eat less.
Tea helps with digestion after meals.
If you want to reduce your alcohol intake, switch to tea after your first glass of wine. Notice how the relaxed and bubbly effects of your first glass of alcohol linger over tea. It’s often the feeling of holding a glass of alcohol in our hand that gives us that good feeling. Let a cup of tea do the job instead.
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden is a writer, editor, and the owner of
Walden Writes For Women.