Title: The Christmas CupThe-Christmas-Cup
Author: Nancy Ruth Patterson
Pages: 71
Reading Level: 9-12
Star Rating: ★★★

If you’re at all like me, you’re wondering – What IS a Christmas cup, anyway?

The Story.

Megan is determined to set herself up in business. The most practical (and obvious) way to begin is to run a lemonade stand. Her savings are piling up… she’s going to be rich!

And then, the auction happens. And Megan sees a lonely looking cup that no one wants to buy. And she just has to buy it. And she hands over almost all of her savings.

It isn’t until she returns home that she realizes how ugly the cup really is; and how much she dislikes it. But Megan’s Nannie has a plan. Every time either of them has a spare coin, they’ll place it in the cup. They’ll also write a list throughout the year of all of the people that blessed them. At the end of the year, they’ll choose one of the people on the list to receive a gift bought with the money in the cup!

But who will the gift go to? And will Megan and Nannie save enough to buy whoever it is a really nice gift?

Cautions.

I really appreciated the relationship aspect as well as the foundational moral of The Christmas Cup. Megan is very, very close to her grandmother Nannie – Nannie loves Megan, spends quality time with her, and offers her sensible advice. It was she who first invented the idea of writing down the names of the people who had blessed them during the past year. In this, I believe that she encouraged Megan in an important character trait – gratitude. While we may wonder about the application of their activity – purchasing a Christmas present for one of these people – we can all agree that gratitude is a trait too little emphasized in today’s society.

Willis talks Megan into throwing rocks at a Mennonites’ horse and buggy. She hits the horse, spooking him and causing the buggy to tip over. She lies to her teacher concerning her involvement in the prank, but later begins to feel guilty over her actions, and confesses to her teacher. After her teacher takes her to visit the Mennonites, Megan feels much worse and repents of her meanness.

Willis Bailey, whom Megan describes as “the best-looking boy in her class”, walks Megan home every day after school.

Different religious strands – Presbyterians, Baptists, and Mennonites – and their beliefs are mentioned.

Megan lies to her teacher but later confesses the truth.

A boy carries an arrowhead as a lucky piece. Luck is mentioned several other times in different contexts.

Santa Claus is mentioned once.

Halloween is mentioned.

‘Darn’ is used once.

Conclusion. Sweet but with definite elements to be discussed.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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