I believe that I have made Christmas cookies nearly every holiday season of my adult life. I didn’t learn it from my mother, who never baked Christmas cookies with us. There was, of course, a reason for that. My dad’s bakery offered any number of different kinds of holiday treats, from sugar cookies to Swiss braided bread (Zopf) to almond and peppermint bark. If we wanted a Christmas sweet, all we had to do was get a handful of cookies out of the showcase.
The first time I remember baking Christmas cookies myself was when I was in my first apartment in Leadville, circa 1974. My apartment was small and oddly laid out. For example, in order to get to the bathroom, you had to go through the one and only bedroom. It was a good thing I didn’t have much company because it would have required me to make my bed every day.
Anyhoo, the kitchen was nothing but a stove and sink and refrigerator at one end of the open apartment. And not in a way that was hip and cool like the “open concept” is now. More like an afterthought. Nevertheless, I recall making jam thumbprints, peanut butter blossoms (with Hershey’s Kisses), and the essential sugar cookies. I know there were other kinds as well, but I’m old and can only remember those three.
Even prior after Court left home and prior to grandkids, I would bake a variety of holiday cookies. For a while I tried a variety of different kinds, but there was always sugar cookies and peanut butter blossoms. Then, after I began having grandkids, the world of Christmas cookie baking opened up for me. They all like to bake, and they all like to deocorate.
So it’s no surprise that this past Saturday, four of my grandkids came over to make and bake Christmas cookies. While I am a faithful baker, I am a terrible and impatient decorator. I cut out the cookies, bake them, throw on some icing, and sprinkle colored sugar over the entire cookies. Done.
Not those three. They carefully spread icing over the entire cookies. They used chocolate chips and sprinkles to make adorable designs. It was a ton of fun…..
The Christmas holidays can be stressful, so I’m happy every year that I can take some time out of the busy season to share this activity with my grandkids. I’m pretty sure there will be a time when it’s just Cole and me.
And then there will be none. Anyway, none who will decorate. You’re never too old to eat a Christmas sugar cookie.