In my family, there’s been a long-standing tradition of baking Christmas cookies. Mom routinely would bake 10 or 12 different kinds of cookies. Sometimes she made double batches of particular recipes. All these cookies would be stored in Tupperware until Christmas morning when we could at last eat them. Breakfast was Christmas cookies and coffee. Even the kids got coffee — basically a cup of milk with enough coffee in it to color it beige.
Mom also would make up trays of her cookies to send to school with us and to work with Dad. Boxes were made up and given to the widows in the church. After Mom died, I baked cookies for a few years. But the widows died out and being alone, I had no need to make cookies so I’ve basically stopped making them. However, my sister has taken up the tradition.
This year she baked seven varieties. She saved the cut-out cookies until she was babysitting her grandson who is 4. He liked helping her make those cookies. When the cookies were finished, she asked him if he’d like to take some to his friends (two little boys who live next door). He said, “Oh, yes.” So my sister packed a tin with four of each variety and sent him next door. She told him to say “Merry Christmas” when they opened the door.
Off he went with his cookies. She heard him say “Merry Christmas” as he went in that house. He played with those boys for an hour or so and then came home … with his tin of cookies! She explained he was meant to have given them to his friends so back the cookies went. Somehow, in her instructions, the leaving the cookies didn’t come through clearly.
I’m sure the memory of baking those cookies and sharing them with his friends will stay with her grandson. Perhaps he’ll pick up his great-grandmother’s practice and become the family cookie baker.