Last night, I crawled into bed close to 11:30pm. I curled up with my book-light and latest Tea Read, Tea Celebrations by Alexandra Stoddard. Mrs. Stoddard’s written many books about personal style, beautiful living, and the art of everyday graces. Here’s a few of my favorite quotes from her chapter on tea parties.

“Just as a friend is a gift we give ourselves, so is tea. It is good to turn our attention to beauty and ritual and grace. It is a form of thanksgiving to plan ahead and invite friends to a tea party.”

“The tea ceremony is the way to serenity, but only if you play by a few rules. You don’t heat up water in a microwave. The ritual is all we have.

I’m married to a climber and I think I gave birth to one who take their climbing pretty seriously. I don’t claim to totally understand it. But the following quote relates the tea party to my boys’ favorite sport.

“When we focus on efficiency in our leisure and pleasure time as well as in our business life, we are making a big mistake. The whole idea of tea is to slow down. If you wished to get to the top of the mountain fast, you could get there by helicopter. To be at the summit wouldn’t have the same meaning as if you had climbed the mountain one step at a time. The steps we take intensify our reference for life.

I am anticipating crawling under the covers after hosting a small family reunion Saturday evening. The season of juggling the immense amount of details will finally see a respite. I will breathe deeply, inhaling the lavender tucked in my pillowcase and spend a few moments of thanksgiving before drifting off to sleep. And the next morning, I will awaken to a new day to time for an un-rushed ritual of tea.