7 Tea Inspired Holiday Themes


Need a new Christmas tea party idea?  Here are my top 7 favorite Christmas tea party concepts.  Read them, pick one and then DO IT!  We would love to see photos so be ready to share them with our readers.  :)

Tea and Trimmings

The Tea and Trimmings theme is designed for your immediate family and/ or close friends.  Tea and Trimmings sets the stage for your holiday celebration to begin.

Concept:  Family, decorate house, fill house with music and tea.


  1. Send invites to family whether it is in the mail or under the door
  2. Trimming the tree- could include finding, cutting or buying or ornament decorating
  3. Tell story of Christmas or Holiday traditions over a 3 course meal.
  4. Stringing popcorn or making a paper chain.
  5. Give a special holiday ornament to remember your day.



Solace Tea

A Solace Tea is the perfect juncture between Christmas and New Years.  This theme is designed as a solitary tea or a tea for one or two close friends or your spouse.  A Solace Tea is a tea of reflection and new beginnings.

Concept:  Meditation, reflection, goals re-visited.


  1. Perfect for quiet evening or afternoon-find a special place in home
  2. Set table for 1 of 2 –candles, beautiful items rarely used, fireplace, set mood.
  3. Small gift for guest and yourself for Christmas 2011
  4. Spend time journaling, praying, talking heart to heart-Book of Questions
  5. Bring the tea to elderly friend or new mom- pack tea basket.



Open House Tea

An Open House Tea is the perfect way to enjoy your friends during a season of busy schedules.

Concept:  Drop in 11-5 or 2-7.  3 courses-substantial.  Come in from the holiday shopping.  Only 10-30 members.


  1. Give special Xmas card to guests.  Personal message.
  2. Conversation cards- draw one from a stocking:  My Christmas Wish,  In 2012 I hope to …..
  3. Decorate living room with pillows as packages- baskets of fruit with ribbons
  4. Picture of guest with you by the tree- put on a card holder
  5. Fill coffee table with food or entrance table



Victorian Christmas Card Tea

Start a new holiday tradition with a Victorian Christmas Card Tea.  Enjoy your friends and accomplish a task at the same time!



  1. Decorate dining chairs with ribbons, bows, organza, veiling
  2. Fill table with supplies
  3. Provide cards and stamps?  Guests bring 15 addresses
  4. Can be a pot luck tea party
  5. Buffet is best- Christmas boxes for levels.



The Gift of Tea

Forget about the cookie exchange or white elephant gifts!  Start a tea cup trade!  Your friends will look forward to it each and every year!

Concept:  1 ½ hour tops.  Can be dessert only.


  1. Bring a teacup wrapped
  2. Conversation cards relating to holidays and holiday traditions, goals, memories
  3. Plan and extra cup or two just in case
  4. Draw numbers to choose packages
  5. Have giver tell story of cup.  Write on a card and pass out to recipient.


Twinkling Tea

A Twinkling Tea is a perfect way to celebrate New Years or Christmas Eve in style.  A Twinkling Tea combines the formality of afternoon tea with the sights and sounds of the holidays.

Concept:  Formal


  1. Dress Up – Hold at table or living room
  2. Candlelight, twinkle lights and dim lights
  3. 4 tea sandwiches, scone, holiday breads, mini desserts (tarts,etc.)
  4. Sparkling cider and champagne??  Toasts to the future and past
  5. Conversation and games – Traditional parlor games??  OR Trivia Pursuit past 20

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Jane Austen Tea Party


As time goes by, Jane Austen and tea never go out of fashion. In fact, they’ve both become almost trendy in recent years. So what better way to celebrate Jane Austen’s genius than with a tea party re-creating a few hours of her everyday life?

Invite guests to bring along a favorite passage from one of Austen’s books. The invitation can include a pictures of typical costumes from the early 1800’s. Encourage guests to consider wearing a shawl over modern clothes or experimenting with period dress. Empire waists were popular then, as were choker necklaces.

Bare polished wood was the look in decorating at the time, so be sure to have at least one dark wooden table to set off your most charming porcelain knick-knacks. Print out some scenes of Regency England from this Jane Austen website: http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/rgnclfil.html. Glue them to rectangular doilies and hang three doilies vertically, at least four inches apart, on a long strip of velvet ribbon. Hang heavy tassels from lamp pulls, window shades, and curtain tie-backs.

Greet each guest with the offer of a glass of sherry. Invite them to choose refreshments from a buffet table covered with a white table cloth, with lace borders separating the four areas serving tea, sandwiches, scones, and cookies. Run dark green ribbons through the lace borders for a decorative effect.

Have several card tables set up around the room, covered with dark green cloth. Each table can be set with a small teapot filled with hot water, plus milk, sugar, thinly sliced lemons, napkins, and silverware. The hot water is for refilling guests’ cups if they have kept their tea bags or are using individual tea strainers. Have a plate of sweet butter and a bowl of jelly at each table. Use tall candles in polished brass candlesticks to cast a flattering glow down on the seated guests.

As guests settle in, they can take turns reading their chosen passages from a Jane Austen book. If anyone has chosen a section with several speaking parts, ask for volunteers to act out the scene. If people seem shy about reading to the whole group, let them read just to the people at their table.

The Austen family liked many kinds of music, so you can’t go wrong with anything by Bach, Haydn, or Handel, or with Scottish or Irish folk songs. If you have guests who like to sing, invite them to perform, perhaps accompanied on the piano.

Once each table has four guests, announce the opening of a game of whist. No Jane Austen novel would be complete without a few rounds of whist among friends. This card game is simple enough for players to learn the rules in a few minutes, unlike its offspring, the game of bridge. Give each table a copy of the rules of whist, which you can print out from this website: http://www.pagat.com/whist/whist.html.


  • Sherry
  • Green and black tea
  • Sliced chicken and cucumber sandwiches
  • Dilled salmon and cream cheese sandwiches
  • Drop biscuits
  • Freshly sliced French bread
  • Violet, mint, or rose jellies
  • Camembert cheese
  • Pound cake
  • Almond pudding




Like this article? Have you read these?

Jane Austen Lived Before the Inventor of the Tea Party

How to Take Tea with Jane Austen

Books and Tea ~ Creating a Literary Tea Party



Tea Party Girl Asks:  Are you a Jane Austen fan?