It’s the “season of giving”, that phrase that TV shows use when they don’t want to ascribe to any particular religion but also really want you to buy from their sponsors. I fall for it whole-heartedly every year, and it’s why I was roped into two different Secret Santa exchanges; one in person, one by mail.
Last Friday was in person, and I got together with a mess of my board game playing friends to unleash the flood of gifts.
“This is the perfect bag to carry the presents in,” I said. “Absolutely no one will know that this cheesy Barnes & Noble book-related quote is from my arsenal of reusable bags,” I said.
Before we got to the presents, my very creative friend Amelié deposited approximately two metric tons of crafting supplies on the center table and told us in no uncertain terms that we were all going to be creative with her that night, yes, even you math teachers. She went on to explain how to make various Christmas ornaments, and flawlessly produced a golden snitch using only feathers and sheer force of personality.
This thing is better than anything I will ever accomplish in my life.
The rest of us, ranging from incompetent to highly incompetent in the making of crafts, fiddled around with the adorable supplies until Amelié was satisfied that we had had enough fun. I just glued eyes to a plain Christmas ornament in the hopes of creating some kind of minor eldritch abomination to put on my miniature Christmas tree.
Another friend of mine took one look at it, exclaimed “It’s an eye-ball!” and I did not stop laughing for ten minutes. I still giggle a little when I look at it. I’m easily amused.
Then it came time to open gifts, and when it was my turn, I steeled myself to pretend that I liked it and tore open the paper to reveal…
I’m so supremely bad at giving gifts, you see, that I’d forgotten some people are actually very good at it. And, to be fair, my love of tea is rather obvious if you spend any more than eight minutes in my company.
I tried it out today. My back has been doing its best impression of an eighty year old’s back this week, and the only thing that helps it to briskly walk half a mile to stretch it out. In this case, it’s a brisk half a mile walk in 23 degree weather through bone-sanding winds. I was very, very ready for warm tea when I got back.
It’s like a lava lamp for tea lovers!
While I waited for it to steep I cracked open my by-mail Secret Santa gift, which turned out to be the book Fangirl, a book that all my writer friends have been subtly suggesting I read. (“Jean, you should read Fangirl,” is what they said, every day, for two months.) I’ve never picked it up, but apparently it’s… uh… similar to my style of writing. Or sense of humor. Or something. I can’t remember what their reasoning was, as I’m only a very basic fan of any given thing, but I do like reading.
The tea, meanwhile, was looking lovely.
And- get this- if you set it down on the rim of your cup, it starts pouring automatically! Like magic!
Note to self: It does not automatically stop pouring, don’t get carried away.
It was, I have to say, one of the better cups of loose-leaf tea I’ve ever brewed up. Not only was it strong, but I only came away with small pieces of tea leaves in my teeth, which is a tremendous victory in my book.
I then took the tea and my book and lay down flat on the floor to read, to ease my aching back. The window looks pretty neat from down here, though.