Through the long cold winter I drink gobs of tea. I love it in all seasons, but in winter a hot cup of tea makes all the difference. It really does lift your mood — the sound of the tea kettle whistling, the steam rising from the cup, that wonderful scent, and of course the taste. And a cup of hot tea also makes an effective hand warmer. :) (Yes, once again I will be dealing with chilly temps in my big old house).

If you have a tea lover in your life, consider giving a gift basket of teas and related items. Bigelow, an eco-friendly company, puts together some great ones. For the holidays and the winter season the “Let it Snow” basket. “Cheerfully painted, this crackle finish metal container holds a delightful assortment of biscotti, truffles, gingerbread cookies, snack mix and a 3.5 oz. Lindt milk chocolate,” …and of course a selection of teas. Sounds yummy! Let It Snow gift basket, $30.

Or this one, for anytime, just a lot of tea varieties (144 individually wrapped tea bags) in this basket. It’s always fun to try different kinds, looking for a new favorite (mine are “Lemon Lift” and “Constant Comment”) along with a charming, ceramic 22 0z. Honey Bee Mine Tea for One set and two honey spoons. Bigelow Giant Tea Assortment, $50.

“If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you.” ~Gladstone, 1865

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