So last year on Instagram I saw that @TeaisforTravel was starting an Advent Calendar Tea Swap. When I first saw it I was extremely interested and totally wanted to join:
But then I thought about it…a few years ago I did a book swap and sent my books off to the people I was assigned and was supposed to receive some, but I never did. I decided to skip it as I didn’t really want to get involved in something, have my hopes up, and then have nothing arrive.
Then I saw @teaandme blog was going to do it, and it looked like so much fun…plus I had almost 25 teas I just needed a few more…I figured aw, why not?!
So I signed up to do it. But then I was like how do I make an advent calendar? Whenever we did an Advent Calendar/Christmas countdown growing up, we always did paper chains. I never had one that had things in it. Thank goodness for the internet-I googled and searched pinterest to try and find some ideas.
So the concept I really wanted to do, didn’t work with mailing it to my person. I had a few ideas but I needed to finish it up between all the other holiday things I needed to do + get it out in the mail before December 1st, so I ended up doing a very simple envelope style.
I actually had so much fun making my advent calendar I didn’t even care if I ended up not getting one. With mine I chose certain teas for certain days and every pod had a tea and a letter about why I picked it to be a part of the calendar or to be had on a certain day.
I can’t remember what I wrote for everything, just a few-but I do remember the teas I used. They were:
December 1st-Lifestyle Awareness Serene Slumber Soothing Lavender: As Sunday was the first day of Advent I chose a “purple” tea (I did for every Sunday of Advent). Purple is a symbol of Advent as in ancient times purple was extremely expensive and used for royalty. As Advent is awaiting the “coming of the King”, its color became purple as well. The first Sunday of Advent symbolizes Hope and the first candle lit is the “prophecy candle” in remembrance of the prophets, such as Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. I also wanted to start off with a soothing tea as Christmas can be super stressful for people.
December 2nd-Stash Earl Grey
December 3rd-Tiesta Tea Maui Mango
December 4th- Lipton Black Tea
December 5th- Stash Chai Spice
December 6th- Tiesta Tea Fruity Pebbles
December 7th- Good Earth Sweet & Spicy
December 8th- Stash Wild Raspberry Hibiscus: The second Sunday of Advent is also a purple candle and represents faith. This one is called the Bethlehem candle and is a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
December 9th- Sencha Naturals Organic Matcha: Just in case I included in my letter how to make a matcha latte.
December 10th- Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea
December 11th- Stash Premium Green Tea
December 12th- Oliver Pluff & Company Jasmine Green Tea: I had won this tea in a giveaway from Regency Marketplace.
December 13th- Panera Ginger Peach Tea: Our library hosted a parent event every month. Right before I put the advent calendar together, they canceled their meeting but forgot to cancel their order at Panera. So we enjoyed a bunch of breakfast sweets, coffee, and tea.
December 14th- Stash English Breakfast Tea
December 15th- Tiesta Tea Nutty Almond Tea: This sunday of Advent you use the pink candle, so I chose a tea that is pink after it steeps. This candle symbolizes joy and is the Shepherd’s candle-representing the joy they and the world had with the birth of Christ.
December 16th- Twinings Earl Grey: December 16th is Jane Austen’s birthday so I chose a Tea that Jane Austen would have had. In one of her letters she wrote she purchased Twinings tea, because it was unadulterated -unlike other tea that was blended with anything.
December 17th- Tiesta Tea Royal Breakfast
December 18th- Stash Chamomile: Being halfway through the month I thought it was a good time to have some more relaxing tea.
December 19th- Tea Bar and Fusion Cafe Octavia Tea Company Earl Grey: I love this place and wish it wasn’t an hour away but in my city.
December 20th- Stash Peppermint
December 21st- Bigelow Pomegranate Pizazz
December 22nd- Tiesta Tea Lavender Chamomile: This is the last Sunday of Advent. This candle represents peace and is called the “Angel’s Candle”. I thought it was perfect for today as this close to Christmas chamomile is perfect to give one peace as they finish any last minute anything they need to do.
December 23rd- Stash Lemon Ginger: December 23rd is my sister’s birthday and she loves Lemon Ginger Tea.
December 24th- Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea: When I was a kid I had such a hard time trying to sleep on the night before Christmas as I would be too wired. My mom used to always have us drink Sleepytime Tea to ehlp us sleep, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t-but I still drink it every December 24th.
December 25th- Tiesta Tea Victorian Earl Grey: When I think of Christmas I of course think of A Christmas Carol and so what would be better than Victorian Earl Grey?
In fact I had so much fun making this, that I ended up creating and sending one to my niece as part of her Christmas gift.
So it turned out that the person who was making my Advent calender was @TeaisforTravel, the creator of the swap. I tried to use a different cup each day and have the pictures be different or about what I was doing that day. Some days I combined it with my 25 Days of Christmas Movies or with my reading Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen. Now I like different types of tea, but I tend to only buy/drink one: Tiesta Tea Victorian Earl Grey.
So it was nice trying out different teas, some of them being ones I had never heard of before. And while I may not have loved all of them, I loved having this experience of trying all these different teas.
So I am sharing the pics I really liked/thought turned out great. If interested in seeing all of them, just head over to my instagram @janeaustenrunsmylife
December 1st- Old Barrel Tea Lavenderberry: This was a very delicious tea that made me think of relaxing in a field of flowers.
December 2nd- Tazo Prickly Pear Cactus Tea + Praying With Jane. This tea was beyond good. I gave one of the tea bags to my niece who also loved it.
December 3rd- David’s Tea Seaberry Spa: This was a fruity and relaxing tea. I gave this to my niece to try and she LOVED it.
December 4th-Good Earth Rosa de Jamaica: This was my first time having Rosa de Jamaica hot as I had only ever had it as a cold brew and I really enjoyed it.
December 5th- Encore Chocolate & Tea Candy Apple: This tea wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t for me. I gave this to my niece who loved it.
December 6th- Whittard Earl Grey– I loved this tea and drank it while reading my Book Club’s Pick monthly pick, Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale.
December 7th- Trader Joe’s Lemongrass Earl Grey: I’d never had this tea before but I was surprised how much I enjoyed this variation on my favorite type of tea.
December 8th- David’s Tea Nutty & Spice
December 9th- Teatime Scottsdale Royal Tea: A very sweet tea that is in no need of sugar.
December 10th- Stash Chai Spice: Is it really winter if you haven’t had a cup of Chai tea? A delicious tea for a cold winter’s day.
December 11th- Teatopia Yellow Mudan + Praying with Jane: This was a tea I had never heard of but it was really good.
December 12th- Bigelow Lean and Fit Citrus Oolong Tea: I was so tired I needed to drink a whole pint.
December 13th- Artful Tea Purple Lychee: This was a Friday the 13th so of course I needed to wear my Ghostbusters T-Shirt, use my Ghostbusters mug, eat pizza, and watch horror films. This Purple Lychee was really good as I am not a big fan of lychee but enjoyed this.
December 14- Whittard English Breakfast: I’m really picky about my English Breakfast, but LOVED this tea. I also really love cats and Audrey Hepburn movies (if you couldn’t tell lol).
December 15th- Nobilitea Pina Power: I didn’t think I would like this as I don’t care for pineapple, but I enjoyed it. I also gave this to my niece.
December 16th- Nobilitea Prima Donna: This was a nice tea, but not for me. I also gave this one away to a friend. I paired this with my viewing of Star Wars: A New Hope as part of my 25 Days of Christmas. I know most will say it isn’t a Christmas film, but my family watches it every year at Christmastime.
December 17th- Steepologie Sour Patch Tea: This tea surprised me as it was better than I thought it would be. This day we decorated our family Christmas tree, our family tradition is to have an ornament that represents important events that occurred in the year.
December 18th- Buyulu Bohca Green Tea with Jasmine Flowers: I drank this to relax after wrapping gifts.
December 19th- Nobilitea Regal Plum: Drank this while wrapping more Christmas gifts.
December 20th- Crafted Leaf Teas Golden Tip Lapsang Souchong: I LOVED this tea so much that I ended up buying my own bag. It is so good and worth every penny of the price.
December 21st- Steep by Bigelow Organic Oolong and Jasmine Green Tea: A delicious tea and perfect for starting off a day in which one has a lot to do.
December 22nd- Nobilitea Cinnamon Blondie + Praying with Jane: I really loved this tea as it smelled and tasted like Christmas, just like gingerbread cookies.
December 23rd- David’s Tea Lemon Smash: This tea was perfect for today as it was my sister’s birthday and she loves anything lemon. This tea was delicious and we both had a cup.
December 24th- Stash Double Bergamot Earl Grey + Holiday Mix Tape: I loved this tea and drank it as I edited my review of Holiday Mix Tape, a modern Christmas Persuasion.
December 25th- Nobilitea Banana Pancakes: I wasn’t sure if I would like this as banana flavored things aren’t really my thing, but I really enjoyed it.
This was so much fun, that I was excited to do it again this year. I wasn’t sure if @teaisfortravel was going to do it again (with COVID19), so this year I put together a tea swap with some friends and family members.
If you are interested in doing it, contact her or try to do it with your friends or family. It is a lot of fun and a great way to stop and take some moments to relax during the holiday season.