Celebrations Charles Dickens Christina Rossetti Christmas Community Compassion Memories Podcast TTT Season 1

Episode 48: Merry Christmas from Tea Toast & Trivia


December 25, 2019. Christmas has arrived.  With the last-minute shopping completed, we ready our hearts for this special day anticipated since the beginning of December.  All the plans have been made, the gifts have been wrapped and the baking completed.

Merry Merry Christmas!

This is the time to feel the magic of the holiday season. Thank you for listening in to a special Tea Toast & Trivia podcast. I am grateful for all your encouragement and support of this podcast.  Soon we will be entering a second season and I am looking forward to all the conversations that are awaiting our arrival in 2020, a new year, a new decade. As I look back to Christmases of the past, what I remember most is the time spent with family and friends. Christmas is the quintessential time when we want to embrace the best of life, whatever that may means to us at this moment.

In our modern age, we measure our lives by benchmarks to determine whether we have attained the desired level of excellence. Even at Christmas we use subtle benchmarks as a check-in to see if we have achieved the best of the Christmas spirit. Not that benchmarks are bad. They are very helpful and come from a good place. We measure our abilities to give gifts to our children because we want them to know that they are loved and that we understand what makes them happy.  We look for the best eggnog recipe, add a few more names to our Christmas card list so as not to forget a friend.  We worry whether we will have enough chairs for guests invited to our dinner table.

We have one simple, yet profound desire. We want our family and friends to know that when they come to our house, they are welcomed with great joy.  We exchange Christmas letters that confirm that we have been blessed over the past year and that we remember each other, valuing friendships and connections.  Every year, on December 25th we want to create an environment that will be remembered in the years to come.

The question that comes to mind is – Why is Christmas so extraordinary?  Gifts are given at birthdays; love is celebrated on Valentine’s Day, rebirth at the Vernal Equinox. Perhaps it is because Christmas gives us three benchmarks that speak to the longing of all humanity.  They are found in all traditions and have been embraced throughout history.  These standards of excellence are set so high that only a global community can achieve them….collectively.

The first benchmark:

Joy to the World – for all creatures that live on our earth

The second benchmark:

Peace on Earth – for all our wondrously diverse cultures and traditions.

The third benchmark:

Goodwill to mankind – for all to accept our responsibility to others; to cooperate, respect and participate.

As we celebrate Christmas today, may we be guided by these benchmarks throughout the coming year.  By our resolve to be a positive influence for good, we become the gift that keeps on giving. I believe in the magic of the holiday season, the possibility of shining light in dark places and building vibrant and compassionate communities that work together for positive outcomes for all.

As Charles Dickens wrote in A Christmas Carol. “And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”

From our house to yours, A Merry Christmas and all the very best of the Holiday Season.

One of my favourite Christmas carols comes from the pen of the English poet, Christina Rossetti. She titled it simply, “A Christmas Carol.”

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain,
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty —
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom Cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom Angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and Archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But only His Mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am? —
If I were a Shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part, —
Yet what I can I give Him, —
Give my heart.

By Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

10 replies on “Episode 48: Merry Christmas from Tea Toast & Trivia”

Merry, Merry Christmas, Rebecca! What a lovely podcast to hear this morning with my, ahem, coffee 🙂 Here is a complementary poem by Rossetti. May 2020 be filled with lively and loving podcast conversations in the spirit of His wonderful grace and gift to us.

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine,
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

Liked by 2 people

OH!! What a wonderful benediction to this podcast! I reading your comments over (ahem) coffee. I am going to practice reciting this poem out loud to my empty, yet filled with word, room. Many hugs coming your way.

Liked by 2 people

Thank you so much for your encouragement. Everyone wants to fill the greatest joy at this time of year, but there are times when we face difficult and complex paths. It is in these moments, that we need the comfort of others and the promise of this season. Many many thanks to you and Carina.

Liked by 2 people

I am delighted that you listened in to the three benchmarks. We say the words so easily and yet, we must muster great determination to put them into practice on a daily, consistent basis. It is not a journey for the faint of heart!

Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.