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A new Christmas tradition!

A new Christmas tradition!

We all have our favourite Christmas traditions; the little moments and items that make the day extra special and unique, and the activities in which everyone joins in, creating a wonderful sense of togetherness and peace. These traditions form part of the fabric of December, an anchor in the seas of our busy lives, keeping us safely moored and reminding us that Christmas has thrilled our previous generations, and will continue to thrill future generations for years to come.

So what are our top 10 Christmas traditions?

-Christmas Cards! The first card was created in 1843 by the Post Office as a way of promoting its services, and now it’s a lovely, non-digital way of saying hello and offering the warmest of wishes in the coldest of months.

-Stockings! This comes from the legend of St Nicholas, the gift giver, who sent bags of gold down a chimney so that a poor man could pay for his unmarried daughters’ weddings. The gold ended up in some stockings that were being aired, and the tradition was created! The Dutch called St Nicholas Sinterklaas, which eventually transformed into the English Santa Claus!

-Mince Pies. Old Santa has a job to do, and he needs mince pies to fuel his trip! Initially inspired by Middle Eastern Cuisine brought back by Crusaders, this was originally filled with meat, but this ingredient had disappeared by Victorian times!

-Holly and the Ivy. Used in pre-Christian times in Winter Solstice celebrations, these enduringly popular plants offer a dash of colour in the dark winter months.

-Turkey. Originating in Mexico, these were popular with Henry VIII, and became a fashion in high society in the 19th century. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the turkey became a commodity that everyone could afford. Now they’re an integral part of many households on Christmas Day, and the correct way cooking this big bird is the cause of many yuletide arguments.

-Christmas Crackers. Invented by a sweet-maker in the late 1840s, these included riddles and mottos, but it wasn’t until the inventor made them ‘crack’ that sales really took off. Now the sound of the crack is traditionally followed by the reading of a bad joke, and the collective groan by those who bothered to pay attention.

-Christmas Pudding. Fruity, delicious, and sometimes on fire, this is an essential treat that no-one can fit in but rarely, if ever, refuse. Sometimes includes coins—or credit cards, because my Dad thought that was funny.

-Mistletoe. A pagan practice taken up by early Christians, this tradition of kissing under the mistletoe has its origins in England. A berry should be plucked for each kiss until none remains. Pucker up!

-Christmas Carols. Another pagan tradition swallowed up by early Christians, carols have been written throughout the centuries, but most of the familiar tunes were created in Victorian times. Contemporary Christmas music is played on loop in most public places from the 1st December, and has led some people to wear ear muffs.

-The Christmas Tree! These noble companions have been around for more than a thousand years, but the UK didn’t see one until the 1830s. Prince Albert put one up at Windsor Castle in 1841 and started a tradition that has created magic for every generation since. Caution: some people are very particular about where the decorations are placed, so if you value your life, don’t interfere. It’s just not worth it for bauble and tinsel.

And this year we warmly invite you to add a new tradition to your December celebrations: a mug of Hoogly tea!

Our delicious brews are designed to recreate the calm, cosy and indulgent pleasures of Hygge—the Danish way-of-life that has captured the imagination of millions, and helped the Danes consistently land a place at the top of the ‘world’s happiest people’ tables! Think of Hygge as Christmas all year round; a devotion to feeling peaceful, happy and comfortable by filling your house with things that bring you joy—cute lamps to add atmosphere, big fluffy pillows to lounge about on, and scented candles to add some spice. Hygge is about wearing your oldest, comfiest pyjamas and fluffy socks. It’s about making cakes and licking the spoon, without worrying about the calories. It’s about having friends and family over to share in your happiness and create laughter and memories together.

So if these things sound appealing, then condense them all into a mug and try a Hoogly tea this December. We’ve got some dazzling winter recommendations to warm your cockles: Spiced Orange herbal infusion, a zesty and fruity combo, coupled with mulled spices, offering the perfect accompaniment to a seat by the fire after Christmas dinner. Or how about Lemon & Ginger herbal infusion? Classic lemon and fiery ginger embrace each other in this energising brew that will give you just enough fuel to survive a game of charades before falling asleep in perfect comfort. Lastly, flip the kettle on for Around the Fire Oolong Tea. This is a lovely mix of the comforting and the exotic as smoky Chinese and Taiwanese tea leaves combine with safflower flames and crushed chilli for a kick that Rudolf would be proud of!

  Whatever your traditions are this Christmas, open your heart to Hoogly and make room for one more. We promise you won’t regret it!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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Hoogly Book club for Kids!

Hoogly Book club for Kids!

Reading is one of life’s simple pleasures. Children the world over fall in love with books, transfixed by the story, the world within which it is told, and the adventures that their beloved characters are thrown into. Whether it’s funny books, scary books, thrillers & mysteries or books that help us learn about the world, there are few better ways for kids to find a few moments of calm, mindfulness and intrigue than a good read.

With this in mind, Hoogly are delighted to suggest some fun titles for three different age brackets—books that we think will bring excitement and magic to your child’s downtime. Hygge is, after all, about relaxing and focusing on the things you love most—and there are few things more wonderful than the feel and smell of a new book, and the thrill of turning to page one and seeing what awaits inside…

First off, a book for the little ones: we recommend ‘Ruby’s Worry’ by Tom Percival. This is a lovely book about a fun-loving girl called Ruby who one day discovers a worry (which looks a little cloud with eyes). The worry gets bigger and bigger and threatens to spoil Ruby’s fun—can she find a way to get rid of it? This is a beautiful and poignant introduction to emotions, with lovely and inventive illustrations. It should be a must for all children’s bookshelves!

For the 7+ age range, we recommend “The Trapdoor Mysteries” by Abie Longstaff. This is an exciting, magical story about a servant girl called Tally, who works in a large manor house. One day she meets a squirrel and discovers an underground place of magic—and must use the help of both to solve a burglary!

For the 9+ age range, we recommend “Secret of the Sun King” by Emma Carroll. This is a thrilling, old-fashioned adventure story that will keep you gripped from the first page! It’s 1922: Lil and her friends must return a secret package to Egypt in order to break a Pharaoh’s curse and protect those they love. It’s a race against time—can they save the day, or will the perilous journey be their last...?

And while the kids have their noses buried in these brilliant books, why don’t you put your feet up and chill out with a cosy, calming Hoogly tea? Our brews are lovingly crafted to be the perfect tonic for a long, hard day, helping you stay mindful and enjoy your well-earned slither of peace.

As your inner balance returns, try a mug of our dazzling Vanilla Chai black tea: this combination of bold and fiery chai spices and super-smooth vanilla offers a unique taste experience that will draw you in, seduce you and have you rushing back for more!

Alternatively, for an invigorating taste sensation, we recommend Lemon & Ginger herbal infusion. This marriage of zest and fire will energise your day, giving you a refreshing and zingy new way to enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures.

So, there you have it: books and tea, thrilling young and old for generations. And with Hoogly—and our book club—they both just keep getting better and better! Enjoy!

Written by Chris Bedford

www.hooglytea.com

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