Friday, December 6, 2013
My mother always baked at Christmas time. As soon as we were old enough all of us kids helped. We had cookies, pies, cakes. And we made candy too. And popcorn. Our house smelled so good from all the smells.
Once I had my own house I continued to make goodies for Christmas. Peanut butter cookies were my husband's favorite. He liked apple pie. When we would go to my parents house we packed a lot of baked things for everyone to enjoy.
I never learned to make "a little bit" because of coming from a large family. It was a good way to share and a good way to not waste the things I had made way too much of.
When I started having my own children I had them help me make the goodies. It was a tradition that I wanted to keep. We had so much fun and made a big mess. I should also tell you that I make a mess when I cook. I do not know how it happens but there it is. I hate the clean-up but it is worth it when all is said and done.
My children did what all children seem to have to do. They grew up. They moved to their own houses. I like my children as well as love them so I missed having them around all the time. And they began having families of their own.
Baking for Christmas is done over a period of time. You just cannot make all those things in one day. I would spend several days baking.
Then I realized that my grandchildren were not making cookies. We could not tolerate that. I invited them to my house to make cookies for the day. Each child would choose a favorite cookie to make. That would be their contribution to our Christmas celebration.
All cookies are made from scratch. There are no mixes or frozen cookies for us. We would spend a fun day making and sampling all the cookies. The children not baking at the moment would play games or watch television. It was so much fun.
My family kept getting larger. Cookie day turned into Cookie weekend. After making cookies for a day, we would go for a drive looking at all the lights and decorations. Then the next day we would make cookies with the children who had not made cookies the day before.
Still we kept growing. Now cousins were coming too. It became difficult to oversee the baking and manage all those children who were not busy. I had to institute a new routine. Girls one weekend and boys another.
The main problem there was that the boys still wanted to come on the girls weekend and the girls wanted to come on the boys weekend. I will never tell any grandchild that they cannot come to Grandma's house so I am not sure I gained anything by having two weekends. But it did allow for baking time to be separated and that was helpful.
I miss cookie day. I moved back to the prairies where I belong. After I retired I realized that it would be much cheaper to live here than in the city. On a fixed income that is a good thing. Unfortunately my children's jobs and families keep them where they were raised. There are no grandchildren here for cookie day.
My youngest son and his daughter continue to make cookies. I am happy that they do because they are both very busy people. I can also see how close they feel when they are working together and that is what it is really about, isn't it?