Christmas Tea Blues
Written by Maja Milanovic
Not flying anywhere this holiday? Buckle up! Let me to take you on a little journey.
Remember the hustle and bustle of airports during the holiday season? Tired travellers, excited travellers, rushing travellers pulling their suitcases behind them while trying to avoid crashing into each other as they impatiently wait to reach their final destinations; and an occasional passenger sitting at the bar.
All waiting for their connecting flights to join their families, decorate the evergreen trees, light up the candles and smell childhood memories coming out of their moms’ kitchens. The younger passengers anticipating the gift of giving. The airport stores filled with people of all ages buying last minute gifts while Christmas music blasts from an invisible source above their heads.
I remember standing in the middle of Heathrow, waiting to board my Trans-Atlantic flight when I noticed the orange tin boxes labeled Christmas Tea. Hot chocolate, mulled wine, egg nog – yes! But who drinks tea for Christmas? Led by the fragrant smell of orange peel, cloves and cinnamon, I bought two tins. After brewing my first cup, I couldn’t stop drinking it and finally the only thing in the bottom of the beautiful box was a satisfied reflection of my own face.
A Brief Herstory on How Christmas Tea Became Part of the Holiday Tradition
Let’s rewind our memories back to the beginning of the early 1800’s when the Industrial Revolution was already in full swing.
Working twenty four hours seven days a week, in the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th centuries, Christmas was the only time when the workers had a few days off. It was a time for the families to gather and celebrate and spend the rare free time together, but the homes often remained empty. The men instead occupied bars, gambling houses, and houses of love! The rumour has it that their wives were often seen in bars with pots and pans threatening their husbands to go back home. Family money was being spent on trivialities, and women and children were assaulted by drunk husbands and fathers.
Led by women, the Temperance Movement was born as a solution to alcoholism and they targeted the darker shades of Christmas. However, they had to come up with an attractive replacement. Yes, a cup of Christmas Tea was the answer. The workers were invited to parties where tea was served together with an abundance of food. One party registered 4000 guests. Hymns were being sang and the men were being lectured about how bad alcoholism really is and that with Christmas Tea in place of bourbon, they could gift their families with more food on the table. Oh yeah, and that it tasted like cake!
Fast forward back to 2020.
This December, as most of us will celebrate the holiday at home with only a few loved ones, as you put up the tree or light the Menorah if you celebrate Hanukkah, think about how do you really want to feel this holiday. With nowhere to rush and no need to be nervous if everything will be perfect or not, no relatives to impress, think about your loved ones, maybe one of them is battling the holiday shadows. Encourage them to also make a cup of Christmas Tea and feel the tea’s history brewing in your veins. Light up the blues together!
Happy Holidays everyone!
Maja’s Holiday Tea Selection:
For Christmas: Ceylon Black tea (blend with cinnamon, cloves and orange peel)
For Hanukkah: Ceylon Black tea (blend with rose petals, ginger, cardamom, cocoa nibs)
For the Winter Solstice: Lemon Balm with Rose Buds
Next to the fire on any other December night: Verbena Tea
Drinkig with a friend in need: Share a Subscription of the Season
Maja Milanovic has an international experience in film, theatre and TV as a writer and director as well as writing and proofreading blogs and online content. A truth seeker, she bridges worlds together to remind her readers that we all belong. In her free time you can find her cheering her son’s soccer team, drinking green tea, reading, and hanging upside down in her AG Yoga Hammock. You can follow her on Instagram milamaja12 or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org