One of my fondest childhood memories was when I was six years old. My little church youth group went out Christmas caroling one chilly, Southern California night. Toward the end of our journey, we were invited into the home of a very kind woman, who had a cup of hot cocoa ready for each of us to enjoy and warm us up. Many of my childhood memories have become vapors, but some have remained with me through the years.(some of the girls)
Tonight was the night my daughter's Girl Scout troop was to canvas our neighborhood, sing carols and visit the homes of some of the Scouts who live nearby. I wanted to do something special to thank them when they arrived to my home. Since one of my best childhood memories involved a kind woman and a cup of hot cocoa, I made a decision to pass on the kindness to this group of 10-12 year old girls, who would soon be ringing my doorbell and singing their little hearts out.
I knew I had 12 packets of hot cocoa in the cupboard, and very little time to run to the store to get more. There couldn't be more than 12 kids out there in the 40 degree weather on this cool Houston night. I brewed some hot water, poured the 12 packages of cocoa into a large crock pot, added the hot water, and one special touch - vanilla coffee creamer! Oh, so good. I had everything set up. I even brewed a pot of hot water in case any of the adults accompanying the girls would want hot tea. And if there were a maximum of 12 girls, the adults would not be left out. I waited. The cocoa stayed warm in the crock pot.
The doorbell rang at about 8:00 pm. The girls were all piled against the glass storm door, eyes wide with excitement, and smiles brighter than Christmas lights. I opened my door, invited them all in...and began inconspicuously counting heads...1..5...9, oh oh, 15 girls...4 adults, and myself makes 20 people! Add my son, who helped me prepare the night's sustenance, our total becomes 21 - on 12 packs of cocoa?? Good luck!
I've been in tight situations before. I've learned to trust, trust, trust. I also believe in the spirit of Christmas, and knew somehow God would reward my desire to make these little girls happy and create a memory they would carry with them the rest of their lives.
After a very loud chorus of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," I began ladling hot cocoa into my best holiday cups and began handing the cups to the girls, one by one by one. The level of the cocoa didn't seem to go down in the crock pot. Then the adults came forward. Still, I had plenty of cocoa! After everyone had been served, they sat quietly chatting amongst themselves.
Time was drawing short and the girls had to be going, since they still had two more homes to visit. I gathered them all together for a quick snapshot and sent them on their way.
After the girls had gone, I began the chore of putting things away, washing cups, etc. When I went to get the crock pot, I saw there was still enough for two more cups. My son and I enjoyed one more cup before the night came to a perfect closure.
This night, the Miracle of Christmas came to my home in the form of a warm cup of hot cocoa and in the smiles of 15 little girls, whom I hope will carry this memory with them forever.