Learning to be a gracious host or hostess is essential to creating an aura of hospitality. In order to make your tea-time visit a meaningful occasion that you and your guest will both enjoy and prosper from, there are some common tea themes that can be incorporated in your shared time together. These are from Tea Here Now by Donna Fellman and Lhasha Tizer (Inner Ocean Press, October 2005).

Praise of Others

Before getting together, think about whom you have invited over for tea. Take the time during the tea get-together to convey to others how you appreciate them. This can include sharing what you feel is special about them. You can communicate this appreciation verbally, through the written word, or through some action you take. When you know the other people well, you can let them know how you respect them, how you have learned something from them, and how they may have helped you or someone else.

Unexpected Guests as Divine Messengers

An ancient belief holds that everyone and everything come into our life for a reason. With that in mind, be spontaneous and open to the company of drop-in visitors by offering whatever tea and food you have. Be willing to discover how and why these unexpected guests have graced your life at this time. What is it that they bring to you, and you to them?