Today’s Prayer to Passage will be from the book ‘A Cup of Christmas Tea’ by Tom Hegg.

Today I pray, “Dear God, Memories of my father reading this cherished, classic story on Christmas Eve remain with me today. Thank You for childhood memories and the miracle of this season. I love You. Amen.”

Following my prayer, I held the closed book in my hands and opened it to this passage:

“I sat and rattled on about the weather and the flu.
She listened very patiently then smiled and said, ‘What’s new?’
Thoughts and words began to flow. I started making sense.
I lost the phony breeziness I use when I get tense.

She was still passionately interested in everything I did.
She was positive. Encouraging. Like when I was a kid.
Simple generalities still sent her into fits.
She demanded the specifics. The particulars. The bits.

We talked about the limitations that she’d had to face.
She spoke with utter candor and with humor and good grace.
Then defying the reality of crutch and straightened knee
On wings of hospitality she flew to brew the tea.

I sat alone with feelings that I hadn’t felt in years.
I looked around at Christmas through a thick hot blur of tears.
And the candles and the holly she’d arranged on every shelf
The impossibly good cookies she still somehow baked herself.

But these rich and tactile memories became quite pale and thin
When measured by the Christmas my great Aunt kept deep within.
Her body halved and nearly spent, but my great Aunt was whole.
I saw a Christmas miracle, the triumph of a soul.”

I teared up when I read these words. I think of my father and his stoic yet whimsical honor of tradition. I become sentimental when realizing now what a wonderful family man he was and is. And I become overwhelmed with gratitude for the traditions put forth by both my father and my mother throughout my childhood. I was blessed with an extraordinary childhood. My parents provided love, my greatest Christmas gift. And I carry that with me always.


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