Progressive Christmas Tea Party

I love visiting friends’ homes at Christmas. What fun to see the decorations and the tree, each uniquely expressing that family’s style and taste. But it isn’t always easy to find time to visit everyone I’d like. My solution is to have a Progressive Christmas Tea Party.

A progressive party starts at one home and the guests travel to consecutive homes for every additional course. Teas have five courses so that’s five different homes everyone will get to visit. No hostess has the entire burden of the tea; a progressive party is much less stress.

Begin the progressive tea party with soup at the first house, salad at the second, the third offers scones, fourth is the savory course and finally the last stop is for dessert. Allow time for admiring and lingering but make a definite time to leave each home so the next hostess can be ready.

The five hostesses should coordinate the food they’ll offer. No one wants shrimp in the soup, in the salad and as a tea sandwich filling. But the decorations, the table and the music should express each hostess’ taste.

This Progressive Christmas Tea Party works well with a small group of friends as guests, as well as, with a whole Sunday School class. Two or even three seatings is very easy to accommodate.

It is nice to incorporate a gift-giving element into any Christmas party. Have each guest bring an item or cash donation for a particular charity. Or for a small group of guests, a needy family might be adopted and gifts provided for them.

Do a little charity research to find a cause that touches your heart. Check Charity Navigator to make sure your money is going to be used as you’d want. If, like me, you don’t want your donation going to a charity that has a CEO making $300,000 a year, look for one that uses most of their money for their cause.

Tomorrow I’ll have menu selections for the Progressive Christmas Tea Party. Recipes will follow in the coming days.