My Mom and I made the first of probably two eventual trips to do some Christmas shopping today. It’s positively balmy out which is great for traveling around, but makes the crowded stores steamy. This is government cheque day for pensioners, the unemployed, those who receive child care benefits, etc., so we might have been wiser to choose another day, but given the fickle weather this time of year, we decided to strike while the iron was hot.
To say that I don’t like crowds of any kind is an understatement, and with H1N1 floating around (I was sooo impressed by the young male cashier at one department store who kept wiping his nose on the back of his hand while we both checked our items…eewww!) and the unusually warm temperature, well, the shopping trip soon lost its festive appeal and quickly became a game of ‘how-fast-can-we-get-in-and-out-of-here’.
However, we both did well, crossing most of the items off our lists. I, who am free to go shopping any weekend on my own, usually put my list aside and help my Mom concentrate on getting as many things as she can, advising on sizes for the kids, and her great-grandson, etc. But I did well myself, and was especially pleased to snag one item that had previously been out of stock for weeks. Blah, blah. So, it was a GOOD day overall.
By the time I came home, I was ready for two Extra Strength Tylenol and a steaming cup of coffee as a chaser. (Hey, it works for me.) And that’s when I spied the Sacred China Christmas mugs. Of course, I had to use one. (You were wondering when I was going to get to this, weren’t you?)
Many moons ago, my dear friend Heather — who has since abandoned me with her new husband and a job at MacGill University in Ontario…the nerve! — gave me two of these china mugs as Christmas gifts, two years in a row. I was so taken with the pattern: “Christmas Magic”, a holiday embellishment of Royal Albert’s Old Country Roses pattern. They were two of the very few things I brought with me when I divorced and I cherish them…partly because Heather gave them to me, and partly because I simply adore the design. I’d sell my soul for an entire set. (Well, maybe give up my eye teeth?)
Heather and I always shared a coffee at Christmas, always used these mugs for years and years. It’s a small memory, perhaps, but they still make me smile every time I look at them. Sigh. I’m not exactly sure where I was going with all of this, except to ponder that don’t we all have a favourite plate that reminds us of holiday gatherings, or a cup and saucer that some beloved relative or friend always used to drink from? Or a decoration, an ornament, that’s been handed down from parents to child that can sweep us back to childhood with a glance?
So, the ritual of the Sacred China Christmas mug has begun for another year, and whether it’s holding coffee or tea, it will always bring back a rush of lovely reminiscences of Christmases past. And…my headache is gone. :)
Do YOU have a “Scared China Christmas mug”?