Christmas in a Cup

About a month ago, I thought I had found Christmas in a cup when I tried Sonic's pumpkin pie milkshake. It was the yummiest thing I have ever tasted ... okay, well maybe that's a stretch, but nonetheless, it was wonderful. The best part was that it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside as it made me think of the true meaning of Christmas, spending time with friends, and being surrounded by family.

Note my use of the word "thought." I "thought" I had found Christmas in a cup until tonight when I truly did find Christmas in a cup of gingerbread hot chocolate, and NO, I don't mean the taste of it but the way I got it. Now picture this, you've got me, my mom, and my dad (the 3 musketeers as I like to call us) on Christmas Eve with nothing really to do but look at each other, so about a month ago I decided I wanted to go to IHOP on Christmas Eve after seeing a commercial on TV for their holiday pancakes (yes, I realize that I am admitting what a fatty I am, but the story is so worth it! haha!). There is absolutely nothing special about IHOP, and my parents were less than thrilled to say the least. You would think that I would have preferred some homecooked meal or fancy dinner, but all I wanted was some ridiculously unhealthy pancakes. Humorously, I ended up getting turkey bacon, eggbeaters, and pumpkin pancakes which were far more on the healthy side than almost everything else on the menu there. As we were leaving, I saw a picture of some Gingerbread hot chocolate, and like the 6 year old I am, I said, "mommy, please!" She kind of ignored me at first, but as she was paying, she asked me if I really wanted some ... and I was like, "YEAH!" (I know ... very mature). So I proceeded to ask the hostess girl for a gingerbread hot chocolate to go, and as I asked for it, our sweet little waiter said he would get it and not to charge us. My mom, dad, and I all stood there somewhat dumbfounded, and I more than likely needed to pick my jaw up off the floor. This kind, sweet boy handed me my hot chocolate and said, "Merry Christmas." It was all I could do to get a thank you out of my mouth.

It was in this cup of gingerbread hot chocolate that it felt I truly experienced the real meaning of Christmas in America. After spending 2 Christmases away from family where there are no expensive presents or fancy foods to distract you from celebrating the birth of Christ, it's hard to spend a Christmas in America where although everyone "claims" to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, I would venture to say that most don't. This boy couldn't have been older than 18, yet he did such a kind thing for a complete stranger. To someone else it may have been only a cup of hot chocolate, but to me it was a gift from God, a reminder that He is always with me, always holding me, always taking care of me, and always listening to my prayers. We are never alone, and I am so thankful that God reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas in a cup of hot chocolate.