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Kansas, United States
This started out as a blog about our domestic adoption. So all of the older posts are about that journey. It was an interesting one, and it led us to our son, Jacob. My dream since I was a little girl was typical of most little girls. I wanted to get married, and have children and be a stay at home Mom. Although, not a very popular choice for a profession now a day, I find it very rewarding. As a matter of fact, every day is an adventure! I've been told personally that the stay at home Mom profession isn't 'work', but spend a day with me and you'll see just how much 'work' it is!!! It's blessed work!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Lesson of the Tin Cup

     My family just came home from a South Dakota Adventure for our family vacation. We visited the western side of SD for around 8 days including the Black Hills, the Badlands, and of course, Mount Rushmore. Then for a few days we went to De Smet and visited the Ingalls homestead and toured all the "Laura" sites. While there, in our room at the most exquisite Bed & Breakfast in town, I took down the "Little House" books that were displayed on our private fireplace. I browsed through them thinking, "I wish I had re-read them before this part of our vacation adventure." I used to read them once or twice a year as a child. I really enjoyed them. I felt like I had a little bit of a kinship with Laura because I, too, lived in Wisconsin and encountered difficult winters. That's probably about where the similarities would stop. The next day, my dear Husband and almost two year old son, and I went to the Ingalls homestead and saw the prairie that inspired her books. We saw the well Pa dug, the house he built for Ma, the schoolhouse and Church that he helped built. We saw the dugout and the shanty. We spent a good deal of time doing all the activities, messing with the animals, and walking around. Then we went into the gift shop and I told my Hubby that I wanted to spend a little time in there as well. I walked around and one of the gifts there that you could buy was a little tin cup. Then I remembered the excerpt about the little tin cup. I've included it below for you to read:

"Something was shining bright in the top of Laura’s stocking. She squealed and jumped out of bed. So Did Mary, but Laura beat her to the fireplace. And the shining thing was a glittering new tin cup.
Mary had one exactly like it.
These new tin cups were their very own. Now they each had a cup to drink out of. Laura jumped up and down and shouted and laughed, but Mary stood still and looked with shining eyes at her own tin cup.
Then they plunged their hands into the stockings again. And they pulled out two long, long, sticks of candy. It was peppermint candy, striped red and white. They looked and looked at that beautiful candy, and Laura licked her stick, just one lick. But Mary was not so greedy. She didn’t even take one lick of her stick.
Those stockings weren’t empty yet. Mary and Laura pulled out two small packages. They unwrapped them, and each found a little heart-shaped cake. Over their delicate brown tops was sprinkled white sugar. The sparkling grains lay like tiny drifts of snow.
The cakes were too pretty to eat. Mary and Laura just looked at them. But at last Laura turned hers over, and she nibbled a tiny nibble from underneath, where it wouldn’t show. And the inside of that little cake was white!
It had been made of pure white flour, and sweetened with white sugar.
Laura and Mary never would have looked in their stockings again. The cups and the cakes and the candy were almost too much. They were too happy to speak. But Ma asked if they were sure the stockings were empty.
Then they put their arms down inside them, to make sure.
And in the very toe of each stocking was a shining bright, new penny!
They had never even thought of such a thing as having a penny. Think of having a whole penny for your very own. Think of having a cup and a cake and a stick of candy and a penny.
There never had been such a Christmas."

The gift shop had a little, shiny tin cup with a small square of fabric in it, a long stick of candy, a cookie and a shiny penny. I stopped and must of held and stared at it for a long time. How terribly commercialized our Christmas holiday has become. As a Parent, I know understand the feeling that you have to buy your child a bunch of toys and things to make them happy. I didn't want to fall into that, but I have nonetheless. Mary and Laura were SO EXCITED about their little, shiny tin cup! It was something they needed. In this day and age, how many of us have cupboards full of cups and other tableware? I know I have a bunch! They had to share a cup up until this point. They got their very own cup! and they were thrilled. They also got a few splurges...some sweets and a WHOLE penny to themselves.
     I wish I had bought that tin cup...to hang on my Christmas tree every year to remember. It's not what you get for Christmas that matters, first of all, it's WHO you have in your heart and WHO you are spending your holidays with. I hope I really try to remember this this Christmas. I think I'm going to go on the Ingalls Homestead gift shop site and order one of those tin cups....to remember. I think it will be a good lesson to teach my children over the years, when I'm asked, "Mom, why do we have a tin cup hanging on our tree?" It will give me an opportunity to teach about thankfulness and contentment. 

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