Tea Party Christmas

You know, sometimes you have to think twice about what you say to someone.  I was commenting to a pal recently that I was thinking about throwing a Tea Party Christmas.   They looked at my shocked and said, “I thought you were  Democrat?”    I was just standing there wondering what on Earth they were saying because what does my political affiliation have to do with how I decorate my house for the holidays?     Then I connected the dots:  I wanted to use materials from the pantry (e.g. tea strainers, tea bags, etc.) to decorate the tree.    She thought I was talking about how the “rouge” Tea Party would celebrate Christmas with a Sarah Palin miniature Baby Jesus.     I digress.

Going through my archives, I came across images from a Life magazine cover story I produced a few years ago at my river cottage in Bucks County, PA.   Thought I’d re-post them as inspiration for your DIY holiday decorating.

You don’t need a giant tree to get a tall tree.   A small, balled up tree on top of a table works just fine, too.   Here, you can see the finished tree: tea bags, strainers filled with dried herbs, bundles of cinnamon, fortune cookies and even delicate tea cups hung onto the tree with just string and ribbon.   Of course, energy efficient LED lights finished the whole look.

This is one of my favorite photos from the photo shoot.    Such a simple idea:   attach a tea cup to the tree and fill the cup with holiday treats like peppermints or even a small wrapped gift.   The metal tea strainer in the back comes with a metal chain and hook already, so it’s ready to hang on the tree! 

Okay, maybe this is my favorite: The star on top of the tree.   It’s just Chinese food takeout chopsticks hot glued to a cardboard round.  THAT’S IT.  The effect is pretty amazing and the cost was next to nothing and the time?  A few minutes.


  1. Mary says:

    I love the star made of chopsticks! It would be a great craft for our grandsons to make when they come. I have at least fifteen sets. I wonder what else they could make with them?

  2. Hannah says:

    Great idea with the star! You could also fill the tea strainer ornaments with scented potpourri to infuse the air with the holidays. great ideas, danny!

  3. Kim says:

    I collect tea pots & tea cups and have lots of minatures for my tree. Love the idea with the tea strainers with dried herbs or scented potpourri. I’ll have to dig mine out of the kitchen drawer.

  4. meredeth says:

    hi danny! i used to collect tea pots and this post really made me want to continue. i am just wondering something totally off topic – where in the world did you get those awesome moccasin slippers from that first photo? so cool! and they look toasty warm too! -meredethdash@gmail.com