“Drink because you are happy,
but never because you are miserable.”
G.K. Chesterton, Heretics
I have finally figured out our problem…the reason for all the current lack of civility,
violence, looting, hating that is sickening our nation…
It’s PUNCH CUPS!!!
Yep punch cups…
We no longer have, let alone use, punch cups!!
You know, those demure little glass cups that accompany a crystal punch bowl?
You know…those little glass cups your grandmother always used during the holidays
when all the family gathered together…at her house.
Be it wassail, eggnog, or Chatham’s artillery punch…
Oh and don’t forget that floating ice-ring.
My mother just did a flip flop in her grave over my mentioning ice-rings.
She tried her best…but Lord knows, they never popped out as they should.
More slushie and unattractive vs the pictures in her SoutherLiving cookbooks.
Bamming and Bamming that mold on the counter trying to loosen the ring…
but I digress.
And I would bet that you were probably too little and don’t really remember
those little punch cups…
And because you were little, the grown-ups didn’t let you use those little cups–
they were fearful you’d drop one and Heavens forbid, you’d break Grandmother’s
special glass cups.
You were relegated to a jelly jar or dixie cup.
And if the punch was alcoholic, you were offered chocolate milk
or perhaps some kool-aid or Hi-C punch or maybe a Coca-Cola.
If they were feeling festive, you may have even gotten ginger ale with
a single bright red maraschino cherry floating festively amongst the bubbles.
Punch cups speak of day’s gone by…
they whisper of afternoon teas, luncheons, showers, and special gatherings.
This all came to mind when I was cleaning out the laundry room.
We’ve started the arduous task of purging.
We are beginning to clean out this 37-year life of ours with 21 on those 37 years
in our current house.
It’s time to lighten the load in anticipation of a potential spring
change—relocating, downsizing, tightening the ship!
So as I began this insurmountable task this morning, I found an old punch bowl…
not the nice one mind you, but more of a backup…it was one of my grandmothers…
my mom’s mom seems more like the previous owner vs my dad’s mom as she was a bit more frufru.
I’ve got that pretty one in the dining room…this one was the battleship
vs the cruise liner…heavy and sturdy rather than frilly and delicate.
And as I was gathering the cups from various cabinets and hiding spaces…that’s when
it hit me like a ton of bricks…our current culture’s entire trouble is they/we
have no punch cups…or no real knowledge, let alone experience, with punch cups.
For punch cups harken to a time when we celebrated holidays and occasions with
those dear and near-sacred family heirlooms, be they cut class, crystal or pressed glass
or even something really special…silver or more likely silver plate.
They were pulled out of storage, washed and even polished to participate
in a generational ritual…the sharing and celebrating of our lives as a family.
Christmas, Chanukah, births, showers, birthdays, weddings…
And thus these innocuous little punch cups are equated to something so much more…
they represent family and the celebration of family.
We have sadly forgotten such.
We have become entirely too angry, too self-consumed, too divided.
What happened to punch cups?
What happened to celebrations?
What happened to family?
Long live the punch cups!
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.