One Christmas tradition I shared with my family was Christmas tea. It was a special time to share tea and conversation. When my Dad passed, my Mom and I carried on the tradition until she moved to another state. I then looked forward to our telephone conversation as we shared our Christmas tea across the miles, until she joined my Dad.
Without her there, my Christmas gatherings with my cousins became all the more special to me as that was my family connection. They were a large family so it would always fun to see them and catch up on all of their adventures. However, there came a time I was no longer able to attend these festivities.
One of my cousins traveled far across the country to share Christmas with her siblings and families. Despite her long journey she never missed coming to my house and sharing Christmas tea with me. I knew how it was to come home for Christmas and try to fit in family and friends in what never seemed like enough time. Yet, she never seemed rushed. For a time we sat and reminisced, sharing stories of past and present. I doubt she realized how very special those times were to me. After both of my parents were gone, for many years I spent Christmas alone. My cousin’s visits were much anticipated and magical.
You see, my family celebrated holidays with gusto. Christmas was the most special of course. Friends and family came and went at my parent’s open house. There was snow, copious decoration, lots of food and great conversation. Around eleven we started getting ready to attend midnight Mass together. To step from the cold into the warmth of the church on Christmas Eve and celebrate the birth of our Savior is a memory I hold most dear. So to have years alone at the most amazing holiday was initially quite foreign to me.
Weaving in those most cherished Christmas traditions from my family, I now look around at my own decorations and remember fondly Christmases of years past. I enjoy the peace of Christmas…His peace…that surpasses all understanding.
Christmas is about Jesus. Christmas is about family and friends. Christmas is about reaching out to others. Lost in our own traditions, it is easy to overlook others. Christmas is the time to reach out with the love of Christ. Jesus Christ is love. Share His love with others outside of your circle this Christmas.
As I sit enjoying my cup of Christmas tea, my prayer is that you have someone with whom to share Christmas tea. I wish you love, peace and grace. God bless you and keep you!
For it is written:
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
A Cup of Christmas Tea is a wonderful book and gift idea. My family read it every year (I still do):
Below is my Dad and Mom’s inscription in my book. May your every Christmas add to your own fond memories!
Dearest Michele, Truly hope you enjoy this gift as much as we enjoyed your “Same” to us. Each year as you have your cup of Christmas tea and read this book, I trust you will have fond memories. There were many!
Love, Dad and Mom
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