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Like most people, we’ve got a lot on our plates, a lot happening in our day. And like many families, it can become so easy to get caught up in “busy” that we don’t take time to connect with each other and to simply enjoy being a family. There’s a common idea that families who eat together are more connected to each other and while I know that to be true, often I find that by the supper hour we’re all hungry and pretty focused on eating. We also don’t tend to do dessert most nights and so after supper finds us wandering off to whatever until bedtime. It’s not bad but I felt like we also weren’t enjoying as much of a shared interest in each other’s day as we could. So when my friend Beth wrote about some things that her family has done to “rescue the dinner hour”, I decided to try her suggestion of sharing tea together after the meal.

Frankly, it’s been wonderful.

I’ve been making a pot of tea before I put supper on the table so that it has time to steep and cool a bit and then while the others clear the table after we eat, I add the milk and a touch of sweetness to the pot, set out the china cups, and pour the tea.

We sip and chat, listen and tell stories, and we laugh. We all really love it. I’m hoping that it’s the start of a long lasting tradition.

I picture the friends enjoying evening tea with us. I imagine the girls on visits home from college or with their families some day, gathering around the table to share a pot of tea with the love and connection and respect of family that treasures moments like this together.

“Perhaps that is the true gift of a teatime celebration: It fills our cups with joy and warmth and friendship…

— —Emilie Barnes, “A Cozy Christmas Tea”