Tea Parties Archives

Hospitality Tips When Preparing for Guests

Since many of you will be having guests during the holidays, I thought these hints might be helpful. These were taken from my book Given to Hospitality Church or Home.

Being a good hostess does not require a formal education, but it is helpful to know a few basic tips. Some of the following tips I have learned by trial and error.

Several years ago, my husband and I became stewards of a large home. After we moved in, I was so excited about having the room to entertain, I invited twelve pastors and their wives over for dinner. Since I had moved from a house that had one bathroom to a house that had five bathrooms, I did not bother to check the supplies in each bathroom. During the evening, a distinguished pastor sheepishly had to come to me to ask for toilet paper…number 1 rule…make sure all your bathrooms have plenty of toilet paper, hand soap, and air freshener.

• Supply feminine products to guests by putting them in a pretty box or bag and place on the back of toilet.
• Clean house before guests arrive. Don’t rush around cleaning the house while guests are there.
• Chill drinks and make extra ice.
• Arrange furniture to maximize seating for everyone.
• Make sure table is set before guests arrive.

Overnight Guests

Overnight guests can sometimes feel uncomfortable being in an unfamiliar room. Try to make your guest room as comfortable as possible.

Items Needed for a Guest Room

1. A clean bed with extra bedding
2. An iron and ironing board
3. A comfortable reading chair
4. A good lamp and good selection of books
5. A good mirror
6. A clock
7. A box of tissue
8. A small sewing kit
9. A small trash can
10. A good supply of plastic hangers in the closet
11. A writing desk with pens, pencils, paper, scissors, and envelopes
12. A power strip for guests to plug in cell phones and other electronic devices
13. An index card with the code for wireless internet placed in desk drawer.
14. A welcome packet with information about the area
15. A folding luggage rack (this makes a convenient place for a guest to put his suitcase)

Tips to Make Overnight Guests Feel Special

• Leave a welcome gift and note.
• Leave two Hershey kisses or Mint Patties on pillows.
• Have a basket of fresh fruit, two stemmed glasses, and two bottles of water.
• Keep a snack tray available in the kitchen. This tray could include microwave popcorn, oatmeal bars, and individual bags of peanuts, hot chocolate mixes, and herbal teas.
• If your guest room is large enough, keep a compact fridge and stock it with waters, sodas, juices, and other snack items.
• If your guests have to share a bathroom, you might keep large terrycloth bathrobes in the closet.
• Place a TV with a DVD player and inspirational DVDs in guest room.
• Place a stuffed animal on a child’s bed to make him feel more secure.

Tips for Supplying a Guest Bath

When preparing for a guest bath, think about things that you might find in a nice hotel or an upscale Bed and Breakfast. You find nice plump towels, great toiletries, and fresh, clean smells.

Items Needed for a Guest Bath

1. Towels and washcloths
2. Extra toilet paper and tissues
3. Disposable cups
4. Fresh soap
5. Extra toothbrushes and toothpaste
6. Body lotion and moisturizer
7. Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray
8. Deodorant
9. New toothbrushes ,toothpaste, mouthwash
10. Waste basket
11. Air freshener
12. Razors
13. Bubble bath or bath oil (always a special treat)
14. Plunger under the sink
15. Night light

Consider keeping common medicines such as aspirin, anti-diarrhea pills, acid reducers, and a first-aid kit in your guest bath.

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Meanings of Most Flowers

As every flower lover knows, flowers have a language of their own. Every sentiment is expressed in one form or another by these delicate blooms. Of course, even the experts disagree on the “true meaning” of many flowers and most have different meanings to different people. So, while all flowers convey thoughtfulness and love, here are some of the more traditional flower meanings.

ACACIA – Concealed Love, Chaste Love
AMBROSIA – Your Love is Reciprocated
AMARYLLIS – Pride, Pastoral Poetry
ANEMONE – Forsaken
ARBUTUS – Thee Only Do I Love
ASTER – Symbol of Love, Daintiness
AZALEA – Chinese Symbol of Womanhood
BACHELOR BUTTON – Single Blessedness
BEGONIA – Beware
BELLS OF IRELAND – Good Luck
BITTERSWEET – Truth
BLUEBELL – Humility
CACTUS – Endurance
CAMELLIA (PINK) – Longing for you
CAMELLIA (RED) – You’re a Flame in My Heart
CAMELLIA (WHITE) – You’re Adorable
CARNATION (GENERAL) – Fascination
CARNATION (PINK) – I’ll Never Forget You
CARNATION (RED) – Admiration
CARNATION (PURPLE) – Capriciousness
CARNATION (SOLID COLOR) – Yes
CARNATION (STRIPED) – No, Sorry I Can’t Be With You, Wish I Could Be With You
CARNATION (WHITE) – Sweet and Lovely, Innocence, Pure Love
CARNATION (YELLOW) – You Have Disappointed Me, Rejection
CATTAIL – Peace, Prosperity
CHRYSANTHEMUM (GENERAL) – You’re a Wonderful Friend, Cheerfulness and Rest
CHRYSANTHEMUM (White) Truth
CHRYSANTHEMUM (YELLOW) – Slighted Love
CROCUS – Cheerfulness
CYCLAMEN – Resignation and Good-bye
DAFFODIL – Regard, You’re the Only One, The Sun is Always Shining when I’m with You
DAISY – Innocence, Loyal Love, I’ll Never Tell, Purity
DANDELION – Faithfulness, Happiness
FERN – Magic, Fascination, Confidence and Shelter
FIR – Time
FLAX – Domestic Symbol
FORGET-ME-NOT – True Love, Memories
FORSYTHIA – Anticipation
GARDENIA – You’re Lovely, Secret Love
GERANIUM – Stupidity, Folly
GLADIOLI – Give Me a Break, I’m Really Sincere
GLOXINIA – Love at First Sight
HEATHER (LAVENDER) – Admiration, Solitude
HEATHER (WHITE) – Protection, Wishes Will Come True
HOLLY – Defense, Domestic Happiness
HYACINTH (GENERAL) – Games and Sports
HYACINTH (BLUE) – Constancy
HYACINTH (PURPLE) – I am Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Sorrow
HYACINTH (RED OR PINK) – Play
HYACINTH (WHITE) – Loveliness, I’ll Pray for You
HYACINTH (YELLOW) – Jealousy
HYDRANGEA – Thank You for Understanding
IRIS – Fleur-de-lis, Emblem of France, Your Friendship Means so Much to Me, Faith, Hope, Wisdom and Valor, My Compliments
IVY – Wedded Love, Fidelity, Friendship, Affection
JONQUIL – Love Me, Affection Returned, Desire, Sympathy, Desire for Affection Returned
LARKSPUR (PINK) – Fickleness
LILY (WHITE) – Purity, Majesty
LILY (YELLOW) – I’m Walking on Air, False and Happy
LILY (CALLA) – Beauty
LILY (DAY) – Coquetry, Chinese Emblem for Mother
LILY (EUCHARIS) – Maiden Charms
LILY (TIGER) – Wealth, Pride
LILY OF THE VALLEY – Sweetness, Return to Happiness, Humility, You’ve Made My Life Complete
MAGNOLIA – Nobility
MARIGOLD – Cruelty, Grief, Jealousy
MISTLETOE – Kiss me, Affection, To Surmount Difficulties, Sacred Plant of India
MONKSHOOD – Beware, A Deadly Foe is Near
MOSS – Maternal Love, Charity
MYRTLE – Love, Hebrew Emblem of Marriage
NARCISSUS – Egotism, Formality, Stay as Sweet as You Are
NASTURTIUM – Conquest, Victory in Battle
OLEANDER – Caution
ORANGE BLOSSOM – Innocence, Eternal Love, Marriage and Fruitfulness
ORANGE MOCK – Deceit
ORCHID – Love, Beauty, Refinement, Beautiful Lady, Chinese Symbol for Many Children
ORCHID (CATTLEYA) – Mature Charm
PALM LEAVES – Victory and Success
PEONY – Happy Life, Happy Marriage
PETUNIA – Resentment, Anger, Your Presence Sooths Me
PINE – Hope, Pity
POPPY (GENERAL) – Eternal Sleep, Oblivion, Imagination
POPPY (RED) Pleasure
POPPY (WHITE) – Consolation
POPPY (YELLOW) – Wealth, Success
PRIMROSE – I Can’t Live Without You
PRIMROSE (EVENING) – Inconstancy
ROSE (BRIDAL) – Happy Love
ROSE (DARK CRIMSON) – Mourning
ROSE (HIBISCUS) – Delicate Beauty
ROSE (LEAF) – You May Hope
ROSE (PINK) – Perfect Happiness, Please Believe Me
ROSE (RED) – Love, I Love You
ROSE (TEA) – I’ll Remember Always
ROSE (THORNLESS) – Love at First Sight
ROSE (WHITE) – Innocence and Purity, I am Worthy of You, You’re Heavenly, Secrecy and Silence
ROSE (WHITE AND RED MIXED) – Unity, Flower Emblem of England
ROSE (WHITE-DRIED) – Death is Preferable to Loss of Virtue
ROSE (YELLOW) – Decrease of Love, Jealousy, Try to Care
ROSEBUD – Beauty and Youth, A Heart Innocent of Love
ROSEBUD (RED) – Pure and Lovely
ROSEBUD (WHITE) – Girlhood
ROSEBUD (MOSS) – Confessions of Love
ROSES (Bouquet of Mature Blooms) – Gratitude
ROSES (Single Full Bloom) – I Love You, I Still Love You
SMILAX – Loveliness
SNAPDRAGON – Gracious Lady
SPIDER FLOWER – Elope with Me
STEPHANOTIS – Happiness in Marriage, Desire to Travel
STOCK – Bonds of Affection, Promptness, You’ll Always Be Beautiful to Me
SWEETPEA – Good-bye, Departure, Blissful Pleasure, Thank You for a Lovely Time
TULIP (GENERAL) – Perfect Lover, Frame, Flower Emblem of Holland
TULIP (RED) – Believe Me, Declaration of Love
TULIP (VARIEGATED) – Beautiful Eyes
TULIP (YELLOW) – There’s Sunshine in Your Smile
VIOLET – Modesty
VIOLET (BLUE) – Watchfulness, Faithfulness, I’ll Always Be True
VIOLET (WHITE) – Let’s Take a Chance
ZINNIA (MAGENTA) – Lasting Affection
ZINNIA (MIXED) – Thinking (or In Memory) of an Absent Friend
ZINNIA (SCARLET) – Constancy
ZINNIA (WHITE) – Goodness
ZINNIA (YELLOW) – Daily Remembrance

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Quotes About Tea

There’s no trouble so great that it cannot be diminished by a cup of tea.

If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you.

It is strange how a teapot can represent (at the same time) the comforts of quietness, yet the pleasures of company.

Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage back in time.
A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.

                                      Let’s Be Friends Forever

Come, let’s have some tea and talk about pleasant things. Let’s make our friendships stronger and invent ways to make our friendships grow. Let’s love each other more and continue to overlook each other’s mistakes. Let’s determine to help each other succeed. Let’s be friends forever.

A friend loveth at all times Proverbs 17:17

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Parable of the Teacup

                                 Parable of the Teacup

A young couple was in a unique gift shop looking for the perfect gift to celebrate their engagement anniversary. Their eyes caught a perfectly beautiful teacup. As they talked about its fantastic beauty, they reached for the cup. Just then the teacup spoke and said, “You don’t understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was a lump of red clay. My master took me and molded me. He patted me over and over.”

“Let me alone!!” yelled the teacup. “Not yet,” said the master. He then placed me on a spinning wheel. I spun around and around and around. “Stop it! I’m getting dizzy! I cried.

Then the master nodded, “Not yet!” Finally the door opened. Wheeee! He put me on a shelf, and I began to cool. “There, that’s better,” I said. Suddenly he brushed me with paint all over. The fumes were so awful that I began to gag. “Stop it! Stop it!” I cried. He only nodded, “Not yet.” He then put me back in the oven. This oven was twice as hot as the first one. I just knew that I would suffocate. I begged and pleaded and screamed and cried. I could see through the opening that he was saying, “Not yet.” It was then that I gave up all hope. Suddenly the door opened, and he took me out of the oven and placed me on the shelf. About an hour later, he handed me a mirror and said, “Look at yourself.” I took the mirror and looked in it and said, “That’s not me. That couldn’t be me. Why, that’s beautiful.”

The master softly spoke these words to me, “I want you to always remember that I knew it would hurt you when I rolled and patted you, but if I had left you as you were, you would have dried up. I knew it made you dizzy to spin around the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew when I put you in the oven; it would be hot and uncomfortable. But you see, if I had not put you there, you would have cracked. I knew the fumes were horrible when I painted you, but if I had not painted you, you would have never hardened, and you would not have any color to your life. If I had not put you back in the second oven, you would not have survived very long, because your hardness would not have held together. Now you are a finished product. You are exactly what I had in mind when I first began with you.”

Ladies, we must remember that God might send difficult times into our lives, but He doesn’t do it because He hates us; He loves us very much. It may be during those times that you feel like screaming out, “Let me alone.” But, oh, think of His finished products. Your (products) lives will not only be beautiful, but they will be glorifying to Him.

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Setting an Elegant Tea Table

Gathering Tea Table Linens

1. Search Good Will Stores and yard sales to find dainty linens to use.

2. If you have plenty of time and have a sewing machine, make your own table linens.  Although there are many ready-made table linens, you can make linens that are more beautiful, and  they are more special to those attending your parties because you made them.

  • Measure your table’s length and width, and the height from floor to tabletop.
  • Purchase solid or printed cotton cloth to cover the tabletop.
  • Leave a minimum 12-inch to full-length floor-to-tabletop overhang on each side.
  • Make your tablecloth floor length on all sides for a formal, banquet-hall appearance.
  • Sew lace or eyelet to the edges of your tablecloth.
  • Make matching or contrasting cloth napkins if you wish, or purchase cloth napkins in complementary colors or patterns. Use printed napkins with solid tablecloths and solid-color napkins with printed tablecloths, or the patterns and colors may clash.

Gathering  Tableware

1. Gather enough tea pots that you can use one teapot for every 10 guests. Place 1 pot at the end of  each table. You can use loose-leaf tea or teabags. If using loose-leaf tea, make sure you have a tea ball for each pot.

2. For each table, use decorative service platters for each type of finger sandwich.

3. Serve sugar cubes and lemon wedges, arranged on a tray, and serve cream in cream pitchers that match your teapot. Provide sugar tongs at each table with your sugar trays.

4. You can use teacups, saucers and dessert plates that match your teapot and cream pitcher for formal teas, but mismatched cups, saucers, and dessert plates look beautiful.

5. Provide a silver or fine stainless-steel spoon and a dessert fork per guest.

6. Fold cloth napkins into attractive shapes and place them on each plate, along with a handwritten place card for each guest.

Presenting Food

1. Cut finger sandwiches into quarters, with crusts removed. Line serving trays with fresh spring greens, or lettuce leaves. Stack sandwiches in a floral patterns and garnish with fresh herbs.

2. Arrange ladyfingers, macaroons, or other cookies on a tiered tray. Garnish with candied or real edible flowers.

3. Place fresh fruit in individual dessert papers and place on a serving platter. Garnish with edible  greenery.

4. Use fresh flowers and greenery to decorate the table as needed. Avoid centerpieces taller than 12 inches.

An opening line  for a Tea Party Program

Having tea together reminds us of gentler times of long ago when the ladies were able to sit down, relax, and enjoy drinking tea with their friends. We have set aside this time for you to relax, to forget your worries, and to enjoy each other’s company.

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