Okanagan’s darkest night of the year lit up with festive tea party

Okanagan’s darkest night of the year lit up with festive tea party

Museum annual Christmas tea coincides with winter solstice

Seeking a spot of respite in the holiday hustle? A favourite seasonal tradition returns to the Vernon Museum and Archives this year with the annual Christmas Tea Saturday, Dec. 21.

“As this year the tea coincides with winter solstice, the darkest night of the year, we’ll have the museum lit with festive lights to welcome not only Christmas, but the return of more light,” said Community Engagement Coordinator Gwyneth Evans.

Whether you’ve finished all your holiday preparations by then, or need to recharge for the final dash, come with friends and family to enjoy decadent holiday treats, and a variety of teas in vintage china tea cups. Guests will also have the chance to win door prizes at no additional cost.

“This year, the afternoon will also be lit up by singer-songwriter, Tanya Lipscomb,” said Evans. “Those who know her, know she has a sparkling personality.”

Lipscomb is well-known locally as both part of the voice trio, Dharma Dolls, and by some as Kiki the Eco Elf.

“There’s nothing I enjoy more than connecting with people through music,” said Lipscomb, who entertains people of all ages, from children to seniors. Lipscomb will be singing carols and holiday songs, as well as leading sing-alongs of holiday favourites.

Christmas tea parties were initially introduced as a temperance measure. In mid 19th century England, Christmas was a drinking holiday.

“It was often the only day off of the year for working class men, and they would spend it in the pub,” explains Evans.

Enter the temperance movement, and the introduction of tea parties as a way to make Christmas a more family friendly holiday. Thousands of working and middle-class residents would drink tea at long tables, often while listening to a sermon preaching of the virtues of an alcohol-free life.

“We won’t be preaching to anyone,” assures Evans. “The holiday cheer will be coming from gathering with family and friends over tea and song.”

The Christmas Tea Saturday is from 1 to 3 p.m. As the teas always sell out, purchase your tickets ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Tickets are $30 per person, available at the museum, or alternatively, they can be purchased with a credit card over the phone. Reserve your table of six or join a table to meet someone new.

For more information, call 250-550-3140, email mail@vernonmuseum.ca, visit www.vernonmuseum.ca or find us on Facebook.

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