Christmas Tea Party Setting?

by Judy
(Butler, PA)

Question:
Our church group is doing a Christmas tea party. I am responsible for one round table of 8. It will be in the church rec room, so the atmosphere is casual. I thought it would be pretty to use my Christmas log cabin large dessert plates. The table clothes are either red or white. My dishes are white, blue and red. I will use cloth napkins, and nice silverware. I think the group is supplying the centerpiece. My group will bring tea sandwiches, eclairs,... My concern is my cups are matching mugs. Someone will also supply a tea pot, must it match? I have dressy dishes, but these are so nice for Christmas.

Answer:
Hello Judy,
Thank you for your inquiry!

It is not uncommon to have tea accoutrements that do not match. Some tea party hostesses don't even use all matching place settings. Unless you bought a tea set or dinner set that came with a matching teapot, I wouldn't worry about it.

The theme of your table can be pulled together with other decorations like the centerpiece. Colors are more important than things matching in pattern. To give a far reaching example, your teapot would probably be out of place with a pumpkin colored or shaped teapot if you are trying to use it with a Christmas theme. ;-)

A basic teapot in a plain color, even a wonderful Brown Betty, will do the job very nicely and won't stand out like a sore thumb. Along the same line of thinking, even if your mugs or tea cups don't match, you can still use them. Mix-n-match is very common especially at large, group hosted tea parties. It would be near impossible to have all matching place settings unless you rented the table service.

Good luck on your Christmas tea party, and feel free to send us pictures afterwards!

Sheila,
Your Tea Party Guide

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Additional comments on Christmas Tea Party Setting
by: Judy

Just to make an additional question on my log cabin setting. I was concerned about using mugs at a tea party luncheon. I have decided to use the match. mugs. Thank you very much for the comments. It really helps.

Additional Clarification:
Judy, by match. mugs. do you mean mugs that match your dessert plates? If so, by all means you can use them, especially since you said it will be casual atmosphere. If it were a more formal tea I would probably recommend borrowing or buying regular tea cups, but I don't think it necessary with a more relaxed setting. I think it will be just fine.
Sheila

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