The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans is heartbreaking, touching, and truly a wonderful reminder of the love and pain of Christmas. As a parent, the story fed that deep desire for time to slow because children grow all too quickly.
In a conversational tone, the narrator tells the story of his own awakening to the importance of love in the story of Christmas. An old woman helps this young man remember that love and family should come before work as he discovers that pain is an equal part of that story.
A warm sweetness is both the sentiment of The Christmas Box and the necessary component of a complimenting tea. Basilur black leaf tea (Tea Book #5) pairs nicely as the sweetness of almond flavors plays nicely into the spirit of the story and Christmas.
May your Christmas Box remain empty.
Cormac McCarthy wrote one of the darkest books that I have read in a long time. The Road tells the story of a father and son as they try to survive in a barren post-apocalyptic world. The characters are never given names which makes them only exist in relation to each other. They are completely dependent on the love that exists between them because without that love there is no need to exist.
McCarthy explores the terrifying idea of a father who must teach his son that suicide would be better than dying at the hands of the cannibals. At one point, the father ponders what he would do if the son couldn’t kill himself, “Could you crush that beloved skull with a rock? Is there such a being within you of which you know nothing? (McCarthy, 115)” This struck a very emotional nerve with me as I thought of my own sweet boy. I couldn’t imagine the pain of knowing that to save your son you might have to kill him.
I recommend Zhenas Fire Light Chai tea when reading The Road. The name fits nicely as it reminds me of how the two main characters say that they carry the fire. The sweet spice of the tea provides a nice warming feeling while your mind explores the dark themes. So join the characters in carrying the fire and start reading!
I will be completely honest, I re-read Wuthering Heights because I really disliked it when I read it years ago. Upon a second reading, I can say that it is still not my favorite but I can truly appreciate it as a piece of writing. I find the storyline too dark and the characters unbelievable. Young Catherine is too naive, Heathcliff is too dark, and Linton is too weak. I was hoping to have grown to love Wuthering Heights, but it just doesn’t work for me.
The writing, however, is powerfully done and really captures human emotions well. When Bronte writes the scene of Heathcliff mourning the loss of his love, I could feel his pain. The way Emily Bronte depicts emotions is the most honest and believable writing of emotions that I have ever read. So although I cannot say I enjoy Wuthering Heights, I am very much impressed with the writing itself.
The mood of the book is cold and dark, which makes it perfect to read with a steaming cup of tea. I recommend a London Fog while reading Wuthering Heights. You need this comforting drink as you read of love lost, abuse, death, kidnapping, and betrayal. A traditional London Fog is earl grey tea, steamed milk, and vanilla syrup. If, like me, you are feeling lazy just brew some earl grey, add a splash of milk, and a few drops of vanilla extract. It might not be as pretty but it still tastes amazing. Warm, sweet, & slightly citrusy it is the exact opposite of Wuthering Heights. Although Wuthering Heights is not my favorite, it is definitely an important piece of literature and I can understand why many love it so much.