Jay Johnson -- 'Tis the season to think about heart-warming things. Here's a list of my favorites:
1. Old holiday movies on TV
2. Big animated holiday windows in department stores
3. Fresh snowfalls in the country
4. A roaring fireplace with family gathered around
5. Sharing tea with a good friend
I had the chance a few weeks ago to share tea and treats with my friend Deborah in Minneapolis. I must say, it warmed my heart.
First, there's the beauty of the tea table itself. The art of setting a beautiful place for yourself and a special guest is a rarified pleasure. When someone sets a beautiful tea table for you, say a silent prayer of gratitude.
The tea itself is a great heart warmer. The hot liquid goes down easily. I haven't always appreciated great tea, and that's due to my upbringing. I was force-fed tea whenever I was sick, so tea meant illness to me.
Now it means friendship.
Tea lubricates a gathering and makes for an easygoing conversation. Speech flows casually, elegantly, quietly. It's unforced when friends get together on a lazy afternoon. Do you think there is anything more important in life than friends getting together? I can't think of a single business deal, sale, or stock trade that can produce the same warm glow of friendship.
Did you ever read A Cup of Christmas Tea? It's a lovely read this time of year. Don't be put off by its illustrations, either. This is a book for all ages. And, yes, it will warm your heart, as it has warmed readers' hearts for over 25 years.
In the 500 video shorts contained in my Design2Share Video Library on YouTube, you will see examples where I have taken my video camera -- a sturdy palm-sized Radio Shack $99 camtastic Sanyo special -- and shot videos of heart-warming slices of life.
I recorded some of my pre-tea time with friend Deborah in It's All About Tea and Artsy Fireplace. Just click on these links to watch the videos. I marveled at her teapot collection, her daughters' handmade beeswax candles, the loving way she set the table, her fireplace art collection. It was a "complete" experience. Some homes radiate warmth, and Deborah's certainly does.
It was casual, it was friendly, and it was all about the heart. I hope this holiday time brings you the same kind of special experience, too.