This year I debated about baking Christmas cookies. Usually I bake traditional favorites and take them along on a visit to family in another state, with some cookies going to my church’s cookie sale. Not this year of COVID19. However, I decided to bake anyway. What is Christmas without homemade cookies! Especially ones traditional to the holiday.
So I baked my usual big batch of extra-gingery gingerbread bears and reindeer. I made my famous extra-strong rumballs, which my co-workers look forward to. I made my famous extra-buttery peanut brittle that my dad loves. Note the adding of extras to make extra tasty. Finally I made eggnog butter cookies, which date back to my early childhood – an “old family recipe” from the Chicago Tribune. I even found the original clipping in one of my mom’s cookbooks, a 3-ring binder of recipes she had saved. I use some of the same cookie cutters I used as a child, and I even use my mom’s old wooden cutting board. Treasured cookies, treasured cookie cutters, a wooden board with a patina of memories.
This year I trusted UPS (vs USPS) to mail cookies to my family. Despite being overloaded by shipments they came through like they had flying reindeer! Only a couple broken cookies. The rest of the huge batch of gingerbread went into the freezer to be enjoyed for the next many months, defrosted and dipped in hot tea – yum! I froze a little of the eggnog cookie dough to roll out and bake for our Christmas.
While this holiday season will be a lot different for most of us, the Christmas spirit can still shine. Decorate, bake, cook as a treat for yourself. We can actually relax and enjoy the season of lights and tasty goodies. Listen to carols, snuggle on the sofa to watch Christmas movies. No traveling or visiting can mean having quiet time to become extra aware of the meaning of Christmas. Extra can be good.
Merry Christmas to all!