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A Joyful Cup of Christmas Tea

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Christmas is my favorite holiday. I have collected traditions, decorations, and recipes to make it fun and festive. I want to share the joy.

Orange Spice Tea and Molasses Cookies

Flickr  (CC BY 2.0)

Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Have a Cup of Christmas Cheer

Whether your idea is of tea, coffee, cocoa or something little more "festive", there are loads of wonderful Christmas design cups to make it more merry.

I love to have special mugs and cups for the Christmas holidays, perhaps because of that special Santa cup my mother used to leave out with a dish of cookies for Santa's (AKA "Dad") arrival on Christmas Eve. I also used Christmas mugs to hold special Christmas morning treats for my children... including their own packets of flavored cocoa. Along with the traditional Christmas clementine and candy, it helped make their Christmas morning a delight.

Or maybe it is my own pleasure in pouring a cup of Christmas blend coffee into its own celebratory cup to unwind from a busy day of holiday preparations. Whatever the reason, this little tradition is one I wanted to share, and perhaps entice you to start your own collection of Christmas cups and mugs for holiday cheer.

This isn't just about the cups

It's about what is inside the cup

There is a little Christmas parable here.

How cute the cup is, decorated in holly with peppermint trimming and a pretty Christmas tree emblazoning the front. How festive and Christmassy!


It just says "Christmas", sitting on the counter. But there is something important, comforting and satisfying that is missing from the empty cup, as beautiful as it is.

The beverage that fills my mouth and tummy with the soothing warmth and delicious taste of my favorite drink, that what this special cup calls for! That is what completes its whole reason for being. Today it may be a spiced tea, tomorrow a milk-softened coffee, the next day a warm eggnog, or cream-dolloped cocoa. All are presented ceremoniously in my special Christmas cup, but without the purpose it was made for, the cup by itself is just another decoration. Something quite cold and empty, however well decorated it may be.

Christmas celebration is something like that. You can have all the presents, baubles, and doo-dads. You can have the air filled with music and scents of the season, but without the soul-satisfying inner sanctum of the Christmas story it is quite cold and empty.

So today you fill your Christmas cup with something that comforts your stomach, take some time to meditate on the things that comfort the soul. Read a special Christmas story, think about an Advent devotional reading, do something that keeps the Spirit of Christmas.

It will leave you with warm memories and more.

That 60's style Santa mug for my Dad looked a lot like this one.

Old fashioned Santa Mug, like my parents had!

Old fashioned Santa Mug, like my parents had!

What Fills Your Cup?

Christmas Cheer Quotes and Meditations

"Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity"

Of Christmas:

God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;

the warmth of Christmas, which is love;

the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;

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the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;

the belief in Christmas, which is truth;

the all of Christmas, which is Christ.

~Wilda English


Take Christ out of Christmas, and December becomes the bleakest and most colorless month of the year.

~A. F. Wells

It comes every year and will go on forever. And along with Christmas belong the keepsakes and the customs. Those humble, everyday things a mother clings to, and ponders, like Mary in the secret spaces of her heart.

~Marjorie Holmes

Of Tea:

Come and share a pot of tea, my home is warm and my friendship's free.

~ Emilie Barnes, If Teacups Could Talk: Sharing a Cup of Kindness with Treasured Friends


"When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in it in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one's ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries."

~The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame


Red and Cheery Waechtersbach Cups

Sisters and Sharing A Hot Cup Of Tea

There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims

The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose. ~George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft

Find yourself a cup of tea; the teapot is behind you. Now tell me about hundreds of things. ~Saki

Christmas Teacups On The Tree

Christmas Teacups are a unique tree theme.

Christmas Teacups are a unique tree theme.

A Holy Season

Have you thought of what fills your cup this season?

Thankfulness, maybe.



One of the paradoxes of life is that for the things that really matter, the more you pour them out for others.... the more they multiply for you. Christmas is the ideal time to experience the truth of that. Try pouring out generosity of Spirit, kindness, smiles, and hilarity. You may be surprised how full your own cup becomes.

It is the season to think about what is in this for others around you. Take a little time to mull over that thought while sipping your Christmas cup of tea. Center yourself this season, with good thoughts , peaceful meditations, loving acts. I bet it will be remembered as the best Christmas ever, if you do.

Inside your cup


Tea Enjoyment Tips

  1. Try a little cardamom spice in your cup of coffee.

    Recipe for Gulf Coffee.

    Quick and Easy:

    In the coffee pot,add one cracked open cardamon seed/cup or adjust to your taste.Let it sit a bit.

  2. Spiced tea, known by many as "chai" is the perfect holiday drink.

    Try this recipe, or purchase ready made "Chai" teabags.

  3. Mango and cardamom lassi is a lovely smoothie drink.

Ho Ho Ho


Tea Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter -room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar- sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground (1/4 ounce) plus 1 teaspoon green tea


Use tea motif cutters instead of simple rounds.


  1. Heat oven to 275° degrees. Place two racks in the oven. Beat the butter on medium-low speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Beat in sugar and vanilla on medium. Sift together flour, salt, and green tea. Gradually beat into butter mixture on low. Transfer dough onto a piece of plastic. Pat into 8-inch disk. Wrap with plastic; chill 1 hour. May be made a day in advance.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick; cut into 1-to- 2 1/2-inch rounds. Reroll until all dough is used. Press each round with tines of fork or bowl of spoon to create decoration. Transfer to two unlined baking sheets. Chill 15 minutes before baking. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until firm but not brown; let cool. Cookies can be made 2 to 3 days ahead, and stored in an airtight container.

Holiday Treat Chai

Warm your winter nights

Warm your winter nights

Serving Size

Serves: 2

Christmas Treat: Russian Chai

  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Generous dash or two ground cloves
  • 1 -inch piece of fresh ginger- grated or finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 -1/2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 heaping tsp. black tea or 2 tea bags


  1. Lightly crush the cardamom pods in a mortar, to release their fragrance. Alternately, you can crush them with a rolling pin-but do it on a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, so it's easy to collect. Do not completely powder the cardamom, however, as this can discolor the tea.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the spices, milk, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat (watch the pot carefully -boiling milk boils over more quickly than just about anything else you can cook), then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and tea and continue to simmer for about 1 minute longer, or until the tea has clearly released its color into the liquid.
  3. Strain into cups and serve at once. Alternatively, you can let the strained tea cool to room temperature, then pour it over ice.

Starbucks While Shopping

Starbucks gift cards are welcome, And their Chai latte is an ideal holiday time drink.

Starbucks gift cards are welcome, And their Chai latte is an ideal holiday time drink.

Cordial Greetings!

© 2011 Ilona E

Fill My Cup - With your greetings

Michael Oksa on December 07, 2012:

There are some very nice teacups here. I especially like the Christmas tree. :)

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