When you hear the words “tea party,” you probably conjure up images of prim and proper ladies sipping tea daintily with their pinkies sticking out from their demitasses. But what does it mean to have tea, really? From my own experience a couple of years ago in good ol’ England, tea referred to a family lunch or an outing at a teahouse. Is tea involved? Sure, sometimes.
The last times I had tea with company was in Ireland and later England. It seems like an ordinary get-together for our neighbors from across the pond. We don’t typically have tea parties here in my city. Or, if we do, I don’t hear of it. Ever. So when I sent out the invites to a few of my companions, this is the reaction I got: “What is that?” And it makes me laugh because it sounds like a corny idea. “A tea party?” I can picture their confused faces and wide eyes right now.
Yes! A tea party–a nice excuse to come together, enjoy good food and sweets, sip tea (and wine), and just talk face-to-face. It’s a break from all of the business of daily life. We need to make time to be with people who are similar to us and who care for us. That’s why we’re friends, right? Now, this may not be the typical tea party that you see in movies or experience in tea houses, but it serves its purpose: Camaraderie.
What did we do at this tea party? First of all, I incorporated a theme–something to unify the party. And our theme was Pink! for the lately passed holiday and for the color’s significance. (If you’ve read my earlier post Colorful Personalities, you’d know that I like knowing the meanings of colors.)
- represents compassion, giving and receiving of nurturing and love.
- shows tenderness and kindness with its empathy and sensitivity
- represents the sweetness and innocence of the child in all of us.
(Read more about the color pink here).
It was a fitting color for our first tea party. We all dressed in pink, each in her own unique way, and our shows of creativity were perfect ice-breakers. I made sure to stress in my earlier messages to them that this party is intended to be as LOW-MAINTENANCE as possible. This means:
- You don’t need to go out and buy new clothes or accessories in order to come–take what you have and just add a twist to it.
- You don’t have to bring anything unless you want to.
- Just come and BE with other beings.
We had light appetizers, fruit, sweets, wine, water, and tea (I was the only one who had tea–lol), and just-a-little-something door-prize (inexpensive but nice). All the while, we chatted and played a compliments game–point a wand at someone, grace them with a compliment, pass the wand, repeat until you run out of good things to say. Purpose: To rid yourselves of cattiness. If you can give a compliment, you can accept a compliment. They say people who cannot give compliments are those who cannot believe that they deserve them.
When the party and I were full and sleepy with food coma, we moved to the living room for a movie. As a friend set up the movie, I introduced a new activity. It was something we used to do in Bible study: High-lows–you share the bad things in your life and follow-up with something good. We did this activity for ten minutes and it really allowed us all to stop, listen, and imagine what is happening in another’s life. At the same time, it allowed the speaker to gain a somewhat accurate picture of the bitterness and sweetness of reality. Purpose: Insight and hope.
One movie later, we started talking and laughing again. New plans for another tea party (on a picnic) are in the works; the concept is not so weird for them anymore. I really had a wonderful time today and it’s just given me such a sense of peace, appreciation, and gratitude to be able to share my time and have others share theirs with me. When you’re feeling downtrodden, you need to reach out for a support system. You need to momentarily forget the bad things and regain your center in a trustworthy environment. There is so much more to life than the trial that you are going through right now. You will overcome it but you have to address your needs, and social interaction is one of them.
So…spend time making connections with the good people in your life. It doesn’t have to be a tea party, but it can be something with the same concept.