Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tea and Calendars

Remember the good old days when the only tea you could buy was Lipton? When I was a kid, my Mom hung a linen calendar towel on the door leading to the basement and we used the calendar with nature scenes from Rexall Drug that we got free and the little paper date books from the Hallmark store to carry in our purses. Anyone recall those?

Today there are 100s of teas out there to choose from and 1000s of calendars. I always laugh when they put the calendars out in the stores in October but this year I'm not laughing. I usually am able to get my calendars after the holidays for half price in January but this year on January third when I went out, the stock was pretty depleted. I had to go to a number of stores and bookstores before finding my daily knitting and crochet pattern calendars. And there were really no day books, which I carry in my purse and rely on all year to chose from. I ended up with the only one besides the Sierrra nature calendar or ugly black leather ones, with cherries on the cover. Usually I get brightly colored floral designs or ones with birds and feel sad I had to settle for the cherries. Next year, I am going to buy all my calendars in October and then will not have to worry about not finding them and being disappointed.

Picking out a calendar is one of the rituals I have come to enjoy about the new year. I am thinking that maybe this year there were fewer left because more people were out shopping and spending and also that calendars make inexpensive gifts. There has never been such a lack of selection.

Then there is the tea. I love Joy tea by TAZO and it is only sold at the holidays and Starbucks. Last year we were so poor I didn't even consider getting any but two years ago went on a wild goose chase for some because I'd waited too long to pick up a box. And I never found any. It was sold out. This year I luckily found a large supply at the second Starbucks I hit and I am so happy at the great pleasure that find brought me as I am only a tea drinker, no coffee.

Such small pleasures, tea and calendars. And also what turmoil they can bring from there being too many to select from. This never would be an issue in my childhood. Not another task to cross off one's list (buy cute calendars with cover designs that speak to you - don't forget to pick up box of special tea that only comes out for one month a year). There is also the added issue of always having to settle because of our reduced circumstances. Before widowhood when there weren't financial problems I bought my calendars in October. But with money being tight, I've waited to the last possible moment and then had a hard time finding the ones I want. I suppose I could go with a cheap dollar store version, but the $21.00 I spent on the three calendars I got seems a fair price to pay for accessories most of use daily and take for granted anyway. Calendars and date books are pretty essential to our busy lives, especially with kids' schedules to keep track of.

And now I am going to brew a cup of Joy tea and delight in the joy it brings my senses. It's been two years since I've had a box and the pleasure is that much sweeter! And maybe, I will pick up a second box to make up for the two years I went without. But just maybe - I find that I have become extremely frugal. Not such a bad thing for this former shopaholic (before widowhood).


  1. I have been reading your blog for a while and I am so happy you have gotten some simple pleasures back. I actually make my calendars every year for whole family. This year did on web with Vista Print and they were very reasonable and turned out great. Put pictures of family on each month and put all birthdays etc. Been doing for about 10 years, missed a few after my husband died, but am back at it. Kids love em. I think you are coming along better, so glad. Know how hard it is.

  2. I used to buy a kit with the calendar stamped on it that you decorate with sequins and beads. I love making them even though there wasn't any room for writing anything in. I haven't done one in years, but thought about seeing how much a kit would be now, if I can find one. To me that is progress because for months I haven't wanted to work on anything at all, or do anything that I enjoyed to do. I read two books over the holidays in part because I had the time, and also to block out the bad feelings I had about the holidays, and have me think about something else. That gives me hope that I am starting to find things to peak my interest, and not just dwell on the past.

  3. Patti - Thanks for sharing your craft calendar projects. I think crafts are very important for nurturing our creativity and helping provide us with some quiet and reflective downtime. Also, thank you for reading. I do feel better in many ways.

    Jeanne - I have seen the calendars you mention in the Mary Maxim craft catalog for about $10.00 each. They also have seasonal hangings you can make with the sequins that are very pretty - you can put them on your door.

    I am so glad you were able to read over the holidays since reading is an escape for me too. I thought about starting a challenging read, a classic for the new year but decided to just keep enjoying my chick lit books for now. I also like browsing through cook books before bed. I hope you can find something fun to do during this season of dreary cold. Keep hanging in there!