Sunday, December 19, 2021

A Week Before Christmas Treat by Merri Maywether

Twas the week before Christmas 

in a rural Montana town. 

Every kitchen was bustling 

Yet there was nary a frown.

Okay, that's where the poem ends--for now. I love Christmas for more reasons than I can list. Somewhere at the top is the treats. Everyone bakes and it is a different thing from every household.

This past week brought a pleasant surprise, and it came from a gift I received in September. A friend gave me a jar of Russian Tea mix for my birthday. I left it in my desk drawer for when the temperatures dropped.

What I hadn't anticipated was the result of that decision. 

My students noticed the jar every time they visited the drawer for a supply. Once the barometer dropped below ten degrees, they shared their keen observation skills. During study hall. As we'd gather our supplies and prepare for an hour of productivity, one or two students, or half the class would ask, “Can I have a cup of Russian Tea?” 

Our school is so small that meeting the request was doable. So every day until my jar ran empty, there were cups filled with the spicy, citrus tea. 

One thing I love about teaching in a small school is the constant real-world discussions. Once the tea ran out, our conversations segued to how to make a new batch. It was like a knitting circle, except it was twelve and thirteen years olds discussing their favorite variations of Russian tea over their science and social studies homework. 

With the school year winding down, we’re shifting the conversations into a real-world experience. The kids are bringing jars. I’m bringing ingredients. They are calculating the conversion so the recipe will have them all heading into the winter break with a pint-size jar of their favorite cool-weather treat. 

It really is good. Here is a down-sized recipe so you can make some at home.

Batch yields 6-pint jars or a large Rubbermaid container

When Susan makes a wish for Santa to bring her a special present, she sets off a chain of events.

Susan has helped other people find their true love. It only makes sense that her friends would try to repay the kindness. There is one little hitch to their plans. They're trying to match her with Hunter Lane. The same Hunter Lane she'd rather avoid for reasons she'd rather not disclose.

Hunter is the oldest of the Lane brothers, and the only one of them who is single. When Hunter sees Susan, he knows there's something special about her. As he gets to know her, Hunter learns two things. They have a shared past, and he sees Susan in his future.

When Susan finds herself in a situation that demands Hunter's help, they discover it takes more than a wish to hold on to love.

Christmas Wishes is available for 99¢ Amazon 

Merri Maywether lives with her husband in rural Montana. You can find her in the town's only coffee house listening to three generations of Montanans share their stories. Otherwise, she's in the classroom or the school library, inspiring the next generation's writers.

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