December is upon us. It’s a month chock full of all sorts of activities, from cleaning up the Thanksgiving leftovers to baking and shopping and partying to celebrate the Winter Holidays. Keep the teapot full of hot, tasty tea to celebrate these times, to serve to guests who drop in for a holiday visit, and to keep yourself pepped up and well libated.
But first, a few of month-long observations: Bingo Month, Hi Neighbor Month, Read A New Book Month, and Write a Friend Month — all good ones to toast with tea.
On to the daily events:
- National Pie Day — 1st — Pecan, apple cinnamon, pumpkin, and mince are traditional pie types this time of year. I’m not sure you knew this, but pies have feelings. They can get offended if you don’t like them. To be on the safe side, have a slice of each flavor. Just be sure to have a big pot of tea to go with them!
- Santas’ List Day — 4th — Here’s hoping you’re on the “Nice” list. Leave out some tea and mince pies for Santa instead of the usual cookies and milk, and you’ll be sure to get everything you want under the tree on Christmas morning.
- Annual Day of the Ninja — 5th — Brush up your Ninja skills so you can fend off those sneaky tea drinkers that gulp up your tea when you’re not looking and — worse yet — rearrange your pantry so your oolongs are with your Assams and your earl greys are with your pu-erhs. Terrible!
- Put on Your Own Shoes Day — 6th — Left foot — left shoe. Right foot — left shoe… uh, hm… two left shoes? That doesn’t seem right somehow. I’d better ponder this with a nice cuppa tea!
- Letter Writing Day — 7th — It’s a lost art — letter writing, that is. In fact, these days texting on cellphones or tweeting on Twitter taxes people’s ability to put a sentence together. Stretch your compository brain muscles by writing at least one true letter to someone you know. They’ll be so shocked, they’ll call you up to see if you’re ill. Invite them over for tea!
- Christmas Card Day — 9th — Some people send those new-fangled “e-cards,” but hubby and I stick with the traditional printed ones. Either way you do it, get some inspiration and build your stamina so that your long list of cards to send is whittled down in no time!
- Emily Dickinson’s Birthday (born 1830) — 10th — How do I love tea? Let me count the ways. Ok, not too original. In fact, it’s been done before. Just have some tea and try to think up something all your own!
- Poinsettia Day — 12th — This plant from Mexico with its profusion of red leaves atop an abundance of green leaves has become symbolic of Christmas. Have some lovely Holiday Spice tea to celebrate.
- South Pole Discovered (1911) — 14th — Pop your DVD of Shackleton in the player, steep up a tasty pot of tea, pile up some of your fave snacks, and enjoy!
- National Lemon Cupcake Day — 15th — I’ll have a dozen, please, with some lovely light green tea.
- National Maple Syrup Day — 17th — Quite frankly, those tea vendors who have their maple syrup flavored teas don’t appeal to me. I’d rather whip up a batch of pancakes hot off the griddle, add a bit of butter and a generous drizzle of maple syrup, and steep up one of my fave teas to have with such a repast: Borengajuli Estate Assam. Lovely malty flavor with a bit of milk and sweetener in it to reduce the hint of bitterness (I steep it up strong).
- Look for an Evergreen Day — 19th — The tradition of having an evergreen tree in your house decorated to the hilt with lights and sparklies of every shape and description dates back to when the observance of Christmas came to the British Isles. These days, your hunt for the perfect tree does not involve a trek through a forest, axe slung over your shoulder. You need merely drive to your local tree seller’s lot. Just be sure to bring along a thermos of hot tea.
- Go Caroling Day — 20th — Whether you stick with the old standards of “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls” or do something more modern such as “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Day,” you’ll sing better if you bring along a thermos of hot tea.
- First Crossword Puzzle in a Newspaper — 21st — As a bit of a crossword fanatic, I have this date marked on my calendar and hold a special tea time in its honor. Okay, what’s an eight-letter word for a style of Japanese teapot? Starts with a “T.” [Answer at end of this article]
- Winter Solstice, 1st Day of Winter, Shortest Day of the Year — 22nd — The nights had been getting progressively and barely perceptibly longer after the Summer Solstice. Now, they will get shorter and shorter as we journey to Winter Equinox and then back to more sunlight and warmer temps. Fortunately, tea is a beverage enjoyed morning, noon, and night, whether the sun shines or the rain falls, in wind or calm, and so on.
- Thermometer Invented — 22nd — Thank goodness! That way we can know more precisely how hot the water is and if it’s right for the tea we’re steeping.
- National Chocolate Day — 24th — Just like tea, which needs no prompting to stir you to its enjoyment, chocolate doesn’t really needs its own day. But what the heck? Try some sea salt dark chocolate with a nice Tie Kuan Yin Iron Goddess Oolong or a nice Assam with some milk chocolate. Teas and chocolates tend to be best “buds” in the taste world!
- Boxing Day (Canada and United Kingdom) — 26th — No “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Jack Dempsey, or Mohammed Ali (neé Cassius Clay) here. No oversized gloves, bells signaling the start and end of rounds, ring ropes, and best of all no punching. This kind of boxing refers to meals pre-made by the household staff and boxed up for their employers to dine on while they take the day off after serving up dinner the day before (Christmas Day). Have your box of goodies, but you’ll have to steep the tea to go with them yourself.
- Card Playing Day — 28th — From deuces and treys to jacks and kings and aces, you gotta hand it to card games as a way to combine sheer luck of the deal with skill at how to play the cards you’re dealt. (Even my teawares get into the act!) Mugs of tea and some hearty sandwiches will fuel your brain cells as you play.
- Make Up Your Mind Day — 31st — Silver Needle white tea… no, Lapsang Souchong… no, wait, Japanese Sencha… no, a nice herbal tisane… oooh, maybe some… Dang! I have to work on making up my mind, especially when it comes to tea!
These should keep you busy during December as if you didn’t have enough to do with all the greeting card writing and gift purchasing, wrapping, shipping, and of course drooling over the gifts received, especially if they contain tea!
So, what was that word in the crossword puzzle? “Tetsubin”
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