This is my first Christmas without my mother. Mom died suddenly in mid-September, three months before her 75th birthday. For mom, the holidays were less about Santa than stress. The yuletide anxieties began around Labor Day, when she'd fret about finding the perfect gift, and finding the time to find the perfect gift, and whether she'd bought enough perfect gifts.
The British famously believe that nearly everything can be cured by a cup of tea. Every day in the UK, we consume more than 165m cups of the stuff, but there is a grand version of this soothing, simple hot drink: traditional tea, enjoyed at around 4:00 p.m., accompanied by savouries and cakes. It is a British ritual that comes with age-old etiquette rules which are still adhered to today.