By Lori Boyd
Winter may be the coldest time of the year but beneath the frost-tipped landscape, hidden behind the gray ethereal curtain, whispering in the chill of the north wind, is a warmth that penetrates to the very heart of the season. While the falling temperatures give rise to icicles and snow flurries, they also make way for the wearing of a favorite flannel shirt, the stoking of a crackling fire, and the sharing of a comfy blanket by a twinkling pine. Even more, the moments spent in shivery winter air hold the promise of warmhearted reunions with family and friends. Winter is the coziest of seasons, despite the sting of a frozen nose or the tingling of red-tipped ears. It’s a time for fleece socks, a good read, and, of course, a steaming mug of something pleasantly hot to drink.
When the last bite of sweet potato casserole has been eaten and Fringle Dancer (our beloved shelf elf) has officially returned, one of many Boyd traditions will take place: the search for the perfect Christmas tree. We have two “forever” trees but love a fragrant pine in the kitchen trimmed with priceless handmade ornaments. We bundle up, pile into the family sleigh and head out to a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm. We sing carols the whole way and miss the turn every time. The excitement is high as we unload in the parking lot and discuss what size tree is needed, which is immediately followed by the traditional fight over who gets to hold the measuring stick. We run, talk, laugh, argue, hold hands and take a thousand pictures. When our mission is complete and the Boyd tree has been chosen, we celebrate with a cup of sweet and foamy hot chocolate. As I sip from that steaming mug, I’m filled with warmth that comes from the immeasurable joy of family.
The winter months bring more opportunities for family get-togethers – times we truly treasure. A gathering with my family around the holidays always includes a color theme, certain dishes that are considered staples (it was a dark day the year someone forgot the green bean casserole), and a craft, game or skit. These times are loud and hectic, funny and reminiscent, full of hugs and stories. Mom might use the Royal Dalton dishes or she might hand out paper plates, but one thing you can always count on is her Crock-Pot of hot spiced cider. As I sip from that steaming mug, I’m filled with the warmth that comes from the enduring comfort of home.
Quiet moments are few and far between in the Boyd house these days. Some winter mornings though, while the kids are still dreaming, Sam and I sneak downstairs, start up the coffee and sit in the living room by the glow of the fire. We have just a few moments to ourselves before the day officially begins. We talk about our plans, worries, goals and how richly blessed we’ve been. As I sip from that steaming mug, I’m filled with the warmth that comes from faithful and unconditional love.
As the weeks of winter pass, and you find yourself disheartened by dreary days and bitter cold, remember to wrap your hands around something pleasantly hot to drink. A steaming mug might be just what you need to bring a measure of warmth to the season. Happy holidays!