Monday, December 18, 2017

An Advent Tea

Y'all have probably figured out that I love observing the liturgical year. Pondering the life of Christ and centering my life around the rhythms of the various seasons is a wonderful way to grow closer to God and grow in community with others. Over the past four or five years, I've been trying to be intentional about how I observe Advent in particular. 

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! 

9 comments:

  1. This is just lovely. I've never heard of a Jesse Tea before, but so fun!! And I saw that game on kickstarter. Do you like it?

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    1. I really like the game! I've played it several times now with different groups of people, and everyone seems to enjoy it-it's very simple (my 8 year old Goddaughter was able to play it with a little bit of guidance on which cards to play) and a little bit silly. The basic flow is that on a person's turn, he or she draws an "event" card and then follows whatever the card says. Everyone tries to play cards that give your character different attributes (friendliness, beauty, wit, etc.) to meet the "suitor standards" so that men will propose to you. There's also an Emma expansion pack which I hope to play with someday-I've read that it adds in cards with characters from "Emma," which I'm guessing means that characters can try to marry Mr. Knightley <3

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  2. what a great idea! the hardest thing about saving Christmas for Christmas is that so much of the celebrating happens in Advent for the rest of the world and it just stops after Christmas day. I appreciate hearing about ways to get together with friends and rejoice while still keeping in the spirit of the current season.

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  3. I love the idea of idea of a Jesse Tea! And your snacks are so creative!

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  4. A Jesse tea! Amazing! I had never heard of this. I'm going to look into doing this for next year.

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    1. I'm so happy I could introduce you to this, Lianna! It's definitely worth keeping in mind for next year.

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  5. Aww, that sounds like such an awesome get-together with friends!

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  6. What a fun idea! I'm so glad you shared this.
    Everyone who visits asks about our Jesse Tree (it doesn't look quite like a "normal" Christmas tree given the ornaments are unconventional). This would be such an awesome way to have some friends over and share the tradition with them!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Shannon! I think it's so neat that you guys have a Jesse Tree-I think it's such a good reminder of the huge story of salvation history, and a good reminder to know the Old Testament (because let's be honest, sometimes it can be temping to stick to the New Testament stories because they can be less confusing or complicated!).

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