The Ritual of the Sacred China Christmas Mug

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”?


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

19 thoughts on “The Ritual of the Sacred China Christmas Mug”

  1. I do, I do! It’s hard to decide whether the Spode Christmas Tree mug I bought for myself, or the footed snowman mug from the dollar store given me by a friend is the fav. There are others. They deserve a post of their own, I guess. I wouldn’t have thought of it without your prompting.

  2. I do not have one of these mugs but I think it’s gorgeous. I’d love to become an owner ~ does that count? Drinking anything from it would perk me up on a cold day. What a great gift your friend gave you Nancy. btw, I don’t like crowds either. Shopping this time of year drives me crazy.

  3. What a wonderful mug, and I’d have kept them, too. I have several favorite mugs that (after they had broken handles) have become pencil and pen holders in my study and in the kitchen.

    Plates from my mom and my husband’s grandmother are our ‘special’ plates for celebratory and holiday meals. It’s a good thing and a lovely connection to past memories.

    Cheers, and thanks for a lovely post on our American Thanksgiving!

  4. Hello Nancy,

    I love this post! I think we all have something that brings back memories of Christmas’s past. For me, it is an ornament made out of a clothespin in the likeness of a shepherd. I remember making it in Sunday School when I was 7 and every year, I have to be the one to hang it on our tree.

    I do like the idea of having a special Christmas mug, maybe I need to buy one on sale tomorrow :0)

  5. I, too, have special “things” that I cherish because of the memories associated with them. This was a lovely post, and it reminded me to slow down this holiday season and enjoy some great memories.

    Always Growing

  6. Hi Nancy, This is yet another interesting way to hear other peoples’ stories. :-) It this point in time, I’m giving favor to a one-year-old mug that my son and daughter-in-law gave me last Christmas. It was given me as a “thank you” for a monetary gift given to a wonderful charity in my name. Every time I use the mug (I love tea, chai, etc.) I think of them and their wonderful generosity.

  7. My sisters, SIL, Aunt and Cousin go on a “Women’s Weekend” once a year. The first year we went, we had to buy something to drink our coffee in, as the B&B owner told us she didn’t drink coffee, and she didn’t make coffee. So, we purchased a little coffee pot, coffee and all the trimmings and each of us found a suitable mug to drink coffee from. Now, when we go on our weekend, we take the mugs, ‘just in case”. I might be cheating, because I leave mine out to use all year. Drinking from that mug makes me feel good, and remembering our annual trips makes me happy.

    I enjoyed this post so much!

  8. A beautiful story, Nancy. I believe memories ground us and the more we cherish the merrier! Bless you and cheers each time you raise the cup :)

  9. Dearest Nancy: Oh, how well I remember the mugs! But more than those, its the moments we’ve shared in their company over the 25-odd years since I spied that first one and it spoke to me of you. A lot of tears and laughter have flowed under the bridge since then . . . Beautiful memories, that keep me whole while I’m so far from home. Thank you!
    I still look, every year, for more pieces in the pattern — so don’t give up your eye teeth yet! :) In the meantime, may I reserve one sacred Christmas Magic mug, and an afternoon of your time, for this Holiday Season? I’ll be home for Christmas . . .

    Oh wow! You betcha’! Can’t wait to see you! I’ll keep a light on. :-)

  10. Every object has a story, particularly the ones we love (is that why it’s so difficult for me to throw away anything?) I love using things that remind me of people I love, and I believe that using them adds somehow to that connection (well, your friend Heather commented on this blog…)

    The clerk who wiped his nose at the register was indeed gross, and a reminder to me that this sort of thing isn’t all one-way. I used to work in the local store. Can’t tell you how many times people would lean confidentially over the counter to me at the register, hack and breathe in my face, and say, “I feel horrible, but I just had to get out.” Thank you for sharing…

  11. Hi Nancy, I absolutely loved this tale, the wandering before the punchline and all! I maybe liked that the best, not liking crowds either. Why is it that we now notice every cough and sneeze of other people while we are out and about? How nice that you help your mom too, good bonding time for you both. :-) Our home is full of special things, having moved so many times, we have gotten rid of so much, only those special ones got to come to this downsized house. For the first time in many years, Christmas will be held at our house and the boxes will be unpacked to see what decorations were kept. The ones from my own parents are most special to me.


  12. How wonderful to enjoy shopping with your mother. The mug is very pretty. I don’t have a special Christmas mug, but I am always on the lookout for that perfect mug; dainty looking and feminine, but with a good weight and substantial feel to it. It’s a difficult combination to find.

    I do have a few Christmas ornaments that belonged to my grandmothers. I don’t remember which ones belonged to which Grandma, but they are special. The others that make me smile are the ones that my kids made over the years.

    Thanks for inspiring the memories.

  13. Dear One
    I am Rev Moore Brown .I Hereby the way having the righteous opportunity writing you this letter . How is business?I Hope everything is moving on well with you . I am writing this letter because i would like to Purchase 500 pieces of Ceramic Christmas coffee mug if your company will assist me to get some Or if you have some in stocks for sale Or any other types . I would also like to know the colors, prices, and also wants to know the method of payments that you accept. I will like to end here with much greetings and thanks to you and hoping to hear from you soon us you received my mail and try us much to add your contact phone number when you are replying me back my mail .
    Best Regards
    Rev Moore Brown

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