Sitting here nibbling eggnog butter cookies and sipping lactose-free eggnog, I’m thinking about Christmas traditions. I talk a lot about family traditions, but this year I’m wondering about my own family traditions. The girls are so big now, the oldest in her fourth year of college in another state, the youngest in first year high school. Nobody was too interested in helping get the live Christmas tree, although they wouldn’t let me get the Charlie Brown tree at Walgreens. Nobody wanted to decorate the tree so it sat naked for a week before I put lights on it. I decorated it a few days before Christmas with only a half box out of the three boxes of ornaments we have while keeping an eye on the Mizzou-Illini basketball game (Illinois put up a good fight!). No garland, no lit star on top. The kids were happy (although I was asked to fetch the star), the husband said he appreciated it. Me, I feel like the Little Red Hen who gets no help making bread but everybody wants to eat it. What happened to us?
In the good ol’ days, when the girls were little, they loved to help bake and decorate cookies, they insisted on a live tree and helped pick it out and decorate it. Then they got older. This year the youngest had to study for finals and is too busy with her social life, and the oldest is worn out from studying for exams and just wants to sleep a lot and see her hometown friends when she’s awake. We’re in a mid-life crisis of sorts, and it doesn’t help that I’m a little worn out from doing some big home maintenance projects and the husband had to deal with some issues at work.
I’m not worried about the Christmas tree problem, but I’m here at the computer, eggnog cookie in hand, wondering if my kids will grow up to make these cookies like their mother and grandmother did. I don’t think they have ever been that fond of the cookies, but using the cookie cutters and decorating with colored sugars and silver dragees sure was fun. When I was little I thought the same. As an adult who doesn’t like too-sweet treats, I now love those cookies and the memories they bring of my mother rolling and cutting and my sister and I sprinkling sugars.
I hope the kids come to appreciate eggnog cookies and continue the tradition of making them for Christmas when they are grown and living on their own. When I am old and gray (older and grayer) and no longer strong enough to stir the thick dough, I will expect to receive a plate of those cookies. And some rumballs, please.
And now, it’s time to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, which the kids don’t appreciate either.
PS: Eggnog butter cookie dough has no raw eggs in it, therefore is fine (and delicious) to eat raw.
Oh Linda, I know exactly how you feel and ache for what used to be. I think kids grow up and away, but they eventually do come back, in search of the familiar. It just takes a while. Merry Christmas. I;ve been ona cookie binge too.