Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Cookies

Christmas cookies are a tradition that many of us cherish.  I have made Christmas cookies as long as Rick and I have been married. My first Christmas cookies were made for a 4H project when I was about 10 years old.  They were rather sad sugar cookies but I won a ribbon and that was enough to spur me on.

After Rick and I married, I learned to make biscotti ( several different varieties) including cranberry orange, chocolate spice, and almond.  But the cookies that our nieces and nephews love, the ones they ask for, the ones they and now their children help me make every Christmas is a Swedish spice cookie.  They have ginger, cloves and cinnamon in them and the whole house smells like Christmas when we bake.

I never know how many kids will be in my kitchen baking cookies.  Last year, Jordan invited his friend Ella to come bake cookies.  Then on Christmas Eve, Jordan, Anthony, Breeze, Daisy and Joy decided to bake.  I have learned a secret.  The kids don’t really enjoy mixing the dough as much as they love to decorate.

Now, I buy dozens of jars of glittering colored sugars, sprinkles, and all sorts of cookie decorations.  I spread them across the kitchen table in little bowls, cut out dozens of cookies and place them on cookie sheets and let the bedlam begin.  Usually you can’t see the cookies for the piles of sugar and sprinkles , but that is ok, the kids love them.  We turn Christmas music up loud, and dance around the table.

Four years ago, I got a call the week before Christmas that I was to see a  new doctor  before the  new year. Many tests had been run and I had no clue what I was facing or if I would have another Christmas.  The kids sensed that something was amiss that year.  It seemed as though they knew, those cookies and our time that day had to be extra special. Never have we danced so wild, laughed so hard and covered cookies with so much sugar as we did that Christmas Eve.  There was such a frenzy, the Christmas tree leaned on its side!

Since that Christmas, I have never fretted about the floor covered in sugar, or a Christmas tree falling.  That Christmas, those cookies, that phone call, gave me my transformation for the holidays.  I truly understood that all the gifts, all the worry, all the stress was not important.  What was important, at least for me, was time with family, friends and making cookies with as many generations as I could.

If I could share something with you this Christmas, it would be this.  There is no perfect holiday, until you think there might not be another.  Then, they all become perfect, the flaws, the goofs, the spills, the cookies with an inch of sugar on top.  Enjoy the moments, live within your means, spend time with those you truly want to spend time with and laugh as much you can. 

This is my column for the December issue of The Leaf.


  1. Cookie day when I made cookies with my grandchildren were almost as special as Christmas itself.

  2. What a nice way to live in the moment. Cookie day sounds like a great tradition. None of us know if we will be around tomorrow so live life to the full. I know all too well how important life is when one think that the end is near. Anything can happen that we have no control over.
    A day well spent with the kids.

    Have a great day.

  3. Couldn't be said any better! You're a gem Jilda!