Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Holiday Memories

Cookie CuttersI don't remember a childhood Christmas without piles of gingerbread cookies to decorate. (Well, actually they were mostly molasses crisps, but we don't need to get technical about it.) I don't remember any sugar cookies, just gingerbread. The cookies came in many shapes and sizes - Christmas trees, rocking horses, little men. We were as attached to those cutters as we were to the ornaments on the tree.

This family tradition was born, or so I've been told, when my older brother who was 3 at the time wanted to send Christmas cards to his friends. My mother suggested that he decorate cookies instead, and so the tradition was born.

Each year a table was given over to the decorating. Wax paper, toothpicks, spoons, paper towels or napkins were our tools. Confectioners sugar, water and food coloring became simple icing. Some cookies were decorated with great care. I can clearly remember my sister bent over a single cookie for what seemed like hours. I remember her cookies as the most intricate. Other cookies did not get so much attention.

Once enough cookies were decorated the packaging and distribution began. We carefully chose which cookies would go to which recipients - frequently cookies were decorated with a particular person in mind. We packed the cookies in layers of wax paper and nestled them into boxes. We would walk to the neighbors to deliver theirs, and then head out in the car to deliver others.

The cookies were always received with great enthusiasm. Oohs and ahs were common.

There were always a few of the cookies left for us. But, here's the confession portion of this post, although I would eat a few I didn't really like them. I'm not a great fan of molasses. And yet for a few Christmases when I was on my own I continued the tradition using the same molasses crisp recipe.


Sherry said...

Chelle, what a lovely memory!!! Not only did your mother teach you a unique way to send a card at the holidays, you were able to experiment with your own creativity!! It also showed you that personalizing something is a wonderful way to let someone know how much you care.

I laughed when you said you didn't really like the cookies!! But I smiled when you said you continued to use the recipe as an adult.

It's the tradition and the memory it evokes that kept you using that recipe!!

Many blessings for a magical Christmas with those you love!

Linda said...

Every post I read brings back a memory of my own. This one made me remember the time my teenage daughter and I made cookies in Santa shapes and she decorated them so that Santa was anatomically correct! We laughed so hard we had tears rolling down our cheeks. I've got pictures of them somewhere, too. I'll have to dig them out and show them to her tomorrow night. Thanks!

susan said...

For the first time, we actually cut out cookies and rolled dough. That was fun. The mess was not. Still, I think we're going to try it again next year. Thanks for sharing a great memory.

tumblewords said...

Lovely memories! Gingerbread's not one of my faves either.