Twenty-two Teacups {Brighten the Corner Where You Are}


From the hot kitchen, where dinner was ready and waiting, I heard the back screen door slam, followed quickly by children’s screams of delight.


“Daddy!!!!!” the younger ones cheered with joy, loudly announcing their father’s arrival to home after a long day at work. Outside, the winter sky was already dark, the evening cold and homes were being lit up across the country road with gentle lights.  Dinner was prepared and the table set – I wiped my hands on my apron and left the kitchen to greet my husband. He was still standing at the back door, his dress shoes on, his arms full of a big cardboard box.





“Here, someone left this for you today,” he said, extending the box my way. Taking the box from Mr. Gauthier, I peeked in to see the contents.  To my delight, my eyes fell upon a vast array of gorgeous, delicate teacups, all tucked away gently in the brown cardboard box.


I could not believe my eyes … such a treasure, I thought, as I carefully carried the box away from the noisy crowd, who were now trying to climb their daddy and give him hugs, others bouncing and asking random questions what he ate for lunch or how his day was … I tucked the precious package away from sight until after dinner, when things would calm down and I could take each teacup out and examine it’s beauty.




Over the dinner meal, as dishes were passed and the excited chatter began about our day, I inquired about the lovely arrival of the teacups.

“Someone gave them to me and I knew you’d like them,” my husband explained. And that was it.

Incredible! Delightful! No reason at all behind the giving, just a simple explanation – but what joy it was bringing to my heart! The generosity and kindness of such an act filled my heart with appreciation and gratitude.




Later, after  bedtime stories and devotions, when the children were tucked into bed and kissed good night, I tiptoed back downstairs and carried that cardboard box into the parlour. Unwrapping each teacup in the gentle light,  I placed each lovely cup onto the table to view the pattern, the colours and the variety. There were teacups with sunshiney-yellow, cheerful and happy, delicate flowered teacups, aqua blue and pale pink roses, even one with pretty birch bark trees displayed …



They were beautiful! So many! Counting them, I happily discovered there were 22 lovely teacups nestled in that box, all in perfect shape, no chips, with matching saucers and absolutely perfect.

Looking over each pretty little cup, I felt so blessed and grateful for such a random act of kindness. This wonderful box of twenty-two teacups certainly brightened up my dark winter day …

… and then my mind brought to attention the hymn the children and I have been learning ….

Brighten the Corner Where You Are

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar;
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
Let not narrow self your way debar;
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.


Whomever thought to package up these teacups and give them away may not have been thinking about brightening up someone’s day or bestowing a great blessing but that is exactly what it was – a blessing. May I, too, find ways to brighten the corner where I am – to look beyond my own little trials and find ways to bring sunshine into someone’s day … it may be something so tiny and small, but it may bring a little brightness into their darkest winter day.




The next morning, I showed the curious girls the dainty teacups displayed on the dining room table. We sang our daily hymn at the 100-year-old piano and I asked them to find a way to brighten a corner for someone … later, we made little presents for some new friends … friends that would not expect presents … we invited them over for tea and we had an afternoon together on the darkest day of December. Twinkle lights were strung, the table was set, goodies baked, food was served and friendships formed. On the darkest and shortest day of the year, what fun it was to brighten a dreary corner, even with just a simple tiny gesture of kindness and humble hospitality.



Post Script: I have created the below Brighten the Corner graphic for you to print and download, if you so wish. You may follow the link here to print. I do hope you can find a way to brighten up a corner this week.


December 30, 2018 - 3:17 pm

Gigi Laura, yes, I was so excited!!

December 28, 2018 - 5:51 am

Gigi Sue, that is a wonderful idea. I am giving one girl a hope chest this year for her birthday. I will save some teacups for the girls, for sure. Thank you for the inspiration.

December 27, 2018 - 7:05 pm

sue Well, this post really cheered me up and brightened my corner! The cups are amazing and your photos are beautiful. I was thinking how neat it would be to put one tea cup aside for each of your girls as a surprise addition to a hope chest for each of them to open later. I did that for our daughters 18th birthday and she loved it!

December 27, 2018 - 4:06 pm

Laura Smith What a wonderful surprise to receive those beautiful tea cups. I would be over the moon. May they continue to brighten your corner and all who share a cup of tea with you.

December 26, 2018 - 4:11 pm

Gigi Yes, I was very much overjoyed! It was such a treat to look through the box. 🙂

December 26, 2018 - 3:22 pm

Debby in Kansas, USA Oh, my!!! That was my first thought when I saw all those lovely teacups! They’re so incredibly beautiful. I can only imagine how your heart skipped when you peered into that box. I probably would’ve cried!! What a wonderful gift. I wonder if you’ll ever learned who gifted you such a treasure. With the sets you already have, you may just have enough to use a different one every day! Enjoy!

December 25, 2018 - 5:03 pm

Monica What a lovely, lovely gift!! I can see a hutch with the teacups displayed on it…yes I can. Have you thought of how you’ll display them? They will add some whimsy to your home, no doubt. 🙂 So happy for you and what lovely photos these beautiful cups make! ❤️

December 25, 2018 - 6:11 am

Rebecca What lovely teacups! There are some really gorgeous ones in there! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

December 24, 2018 - 4:34 pm

Gigi Thank you, Paula. I love your memory of your grandmother – how special!

December 24, 2018 - 1:15 pm

Paula Merry Christmas to you and your family. I printed your gift out and will look for an old frame for it. Thank you. I appreciate all your posts. Your words quiet my heart. Your children will remember those teacups forever. My grandmother served our morning breakfast tea/cocoa in a teacup whenever we stayed with her. A great memory for me to keep once she was gone….