Something that makes it difficult to avoid celebrating Christmas before it's actually the Christmas season is the desire that people have to get together. People want to join in fellowship, drink egg nog or hot chocolate, and spend time together. I love being with other people and chatting with friends, and I also love enjoying treats-but I also like saving my Christmas-specific celebrations for the actual season of Christmas.
This is why I was extremely excited to come across articles about having a "Jesse Tea" during Advent, in which the treats served correspond to the Old and New Testament symbols that are displayed on a Jesse Tree (you can read these articles here and here). I decided that this year, we needed to have a "Jesse Tea," though not as elaborate as the ones I had read about.
We picked the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday, for our tea-I figured that a day focused on rejoicing would be a good day for a get-together!
I kept food really simple and did most of it ahead of time. However, the day of the tea, I needed to bake the scones and put the finishing touches on food and lay it out, and the toddler would not go down for his nap. He was tired...he was cranky...and finally, on the third attempt he went to sleep! And then proceeded to wake up about half and hour later. So as our friends arrived, I was still scurrying around the kitchen, putting out the food and filling the kettle with water. Hopefully no one minded too much!
Along with a selection of teas, we had some light snacks that corresponded with different figures from the Old Testament. For Adam & Eve, we had apple scones. For Abraham, we had star cookies.
For Moses, there were "broccoli bushes" (that we could adorn with Thousand Island dressing) and "fiery tuna pinwheels."
For Issac, we had a "bowl of sticks."
For Noah, we had deviled egg "arks" and a bowl of animal crackers (which migrated to another area on the counter at some point).
We hadn't seen some of our friends in a very long time, so it was really good to sit and drink tea with them and chat. After a while, we also played a board game, and since there were more women present than men, we played Marrying Mr. Darcy (and yes, even the men got into the game and played with us! My husband played as Georgianna Darcy, and I played as Lydia Bennet. Charlotte Lucas wound up marrying Mr. Collins and winning the game).
It was a lovely afternoon, and even though it was sad that some people had sickness in their houses and couldn't come, it was a nice, quiet afternoon to talk and play a game with friends. I'm really glad that we had this tea, and I would love to continue this in future years if possible!