Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Landscape, Language, Teaching, Wildness, Beauty, Imagination

A Shared Cup of shared Christmas Tea



I hope this holiday season of all traditions finds you with loved ones whether in person or in spirit.

We were all set to be on the ranch with Grammie, Bop Bop, and the Wisconsin Winks this Christmas, but the record setting cold hitting the Great Plains put an end to those plans. “We don’t want our family traveling in these conditions,” Mom and Dad let us know. And, they made that call even before the entire state of South Dakota closed all travel. Predicted temperatures of -70 including the wind chill factor anticipated for this week. The North Pole has nothing on the Wink Ranch!

A Wink family tradition for Christmas is to read the gorgeous book A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg. While this is titled Christmas tea, the story holds for all traditions. This is a human story of roots, memories, and love. I thought that I’d read to you:

Mom’s book is covered and filled with photos of treasured friendships. Every Christmas Mom begins to read this book aloud. In my experience, she has yet to make it through the whole story without the wave of tears that has another reading the final pages.

Here is my well-worn recipe card from Mom. That is Wyatt, Dad, and Bo in the photos. I love stirring the ingredients together. This has always reminded me of the sands of the desert. I’ve also heard this tea called Russian tea and friendship tea. I’m thinking that this would make a lovely Solstice tea, as well.












Wishing you and yours a lovely holiday season of all traditions and the spirit of many shared cups of Christmas tea.

With love,



Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores language, landscape, wildness, beauty, and imagination.

18 thoughts on “A Shared Cup of shared Christmas Tea

  1. Pingback: Happy New Year 2023 and Deep Gratitude! | Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

  2. Beautiful Dawn!❤️💕🎄🥰 merry merry Christmas

  3. Merry Christmas Dawn
    From a childhood friend of your Dad way back to Moville, Iowa

  4. Thank you for the Christmas wishes, Dawn. I love this book, the Christmas tea, and all of the memories!! I’m so sorry that you will miss Christmas at the ranch because of the brutal winter weather. We are having single digits here in Charlotte and it’s sub-zero temps in the mountains where my mother lives! We will be going there on Christmas Day.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family! Love, Janet

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Much as I love your Wink Ranch posts, I’m so glad you didn’t go! I’d like to think your mom and dad came down to balmy Santa Fe! I’m sure they couldn’t leave the animals 🥶. You and your mom are such amazing writers- Christmas family history- wonderful- Merry Christmas with love, Liz Hinds. ( I’m in Pagosa where it’s warm and sunny- with grandchildren!😂

    Sent from my iPad


  6. Dawn, I am so sorry you cannot be with your Wink Family this Christmas. Great decision as it was 28 below zero for about 36 hours here. Wind chill of 56 below. Many prayers for those feeding livestock, repairing power lines, law enforcement, EMS, etc. who brave the elements. We must not forget the animals who suffer in this. Warmed up to 21 below this morning with a promise of 4 above today. To you and yours I humbly offer:
    I wish you the joy of the Christ Child
    the dearness of an embrace.
    I wish you glorious sunsets,
    and smiles wreathing your face.

    I wish you a treasure of memories
    of puppies and lemonade sweet.
    I wish you contentment in old age
    and family to make it complete.

    I wish you the laughter of children
    and kisses stolen at dawn.
    I wish you a candle in darkness
    and pray you encounter no harm.

    I wish you respect from your colleagues,
    contentment be yours time to time,
    and challenges there for the capture,
    achievements toasted with wine.

    I wish you the richness of friendships—
    success in all your endeavors.
    I wish you abundance of blessings,
    today, tomorrow, forever.

    Love, Pat

    • Dearest Pat, I read your poem by the glow of lights of the Christmas tree and have tears in my eyes. What a beautiful and poignant blessing. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. Ever so much love, Dawn

  7. Ah, yes. I remember Russian Tea. I learned to make it at a summer teen institute when I was sixteen. It was part of the supplies we put together for our month-long canoe trip down the Wisconsin Namekagon river to the St. Croix and finally up the Missippi to Minnepolis, where our parents picked us up. Great adventure! I kept the recipe and made it for a long time afterward, then forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me, Dawn.

    • Patty, I love knowing that this was considered such an essential supply on those canoe trips! Great adventure, indeed! Thanks so much for taking the time to connect. Holiday hugs!! 🌺

      • Good to hear from you again, Dawn. Gawd! I can’t believe I didn’t notice my typo of Mississippi, considering all the hours and years I spent chanting the spelling and joking about getting lost in how many “iss’s” you repeat. What irony! How lovely you and your family are able to retain and continue cherished traditions. Correctly spelling Mississippi used to be one of mine, LOL.

  8. Merry Christmas Dawn and Noe and your lovely family. I have the same book and you’ve inspired me to pull it off the shelf and do a little Christmas reminiscing.

  9. Dear Dawn, wishing you all the blessings and joy you so richly deserve at Christmas and for the year to come. Emanuel

  10. Thank you. I understand the issue with tears (Joan). As I age, my heart has softened and I no longer have to be tough or macho to survive. But then, I didn’t have to be at an earlier age. I find myself teary-eyed on many occasions and don’t care. Tears remind me of my humanity. Sad that you didn’t get to go home for Christmas. There is something magical about that word “home”. Hearts coming together in mutual loving-kindness. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • Dear Michael, all here so very beautiful and poignant. What a blessing to receive. Thank you ever so much for taking the time to connect. Merry, Merry Christmas to you and yours. 🌺✨

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