Baking Christmas cookies ~ it's one of my favorite traditions. I started so many years ago, standing on a kitchen chair next to my mom. She taught me how to carefully measure - not over the bowl- but over the sink. It wouldn't do to have extra salt or flour falling into the bowl. She taught me how to crack an egg without getting any shell into the batter. She taught me the difference between folding and mixing. I knew it was getting close to Christmas baking time as an assortment of containers began piling up...ice cream tubs, gift boxes, Cool-Whip containers, anything that would hold cookies in the freezer. When she ran out of freezer space, Mom started stacking containers in the frigid garage.
Every Christmas Eve, we gathered at my Aunt Cathi's house. Grandma, Pop, aunts, uncles and loads of cousins filled her house. It was a night of laughter, love and lots of good food to eat. My mom and aunts brought their specialties. I couldn't wait for my Aunt Cathi's Spritz and Peanut Butter Blossoms, Mom's Butterballs (known as Mexican Wedding Cakes to most people) and iced sugar cookies and Aunt Janey's Molasses cookies sprinkled with red and green sugar.
Today, I continued the tradition. Candle light flickered, Christmas music filled the background and I began...sifting, cracking, mixing, scooping, and rolling. As the aroma of cinnamon and chocolate swirled throughout my kitchen, my mind wandered back to those early days of baking with my mom and how much I loved spending time with her and my aunts. I wondered what went through their minds when they were doing their baking all those years ago. Did they reminisce about the important women in their pasts like I did today? I hope so.
And now tonight, it's my table that's filled with these old favorites. It's just not Christmas without them. It's been my favorite kind of day.
Wishing all of you a very happy and blessed holiday season.