Christmas Cookie Traditions

I am a sap.

Or as my husband says I am soft.

And I am a sucker for tradition.

There is no greater or longer running tradition in our family than Christmas cookie baking. Like many people during the holiday season, I bake. I bake the traditional cookies, that my family has made generation after generation.

As a child, I watched my mom create thousands and thousands of delicious and beautiful cookies out of our kitchen, through the month of December. It was something my grandmother did, before my mom. They spent days in the kitchen, covered in sugar and flour, baking cookies that were our families favorites. Specialty treats, we only had once a year. Friends and neighbors looked forward to our family tradition every year, as we always shared the goodies.

As a kid I loved to help my mom and Mimi bake the cookies, and obviously loved the way they tasted. But not until I was older did I know the impact that this tradition had. During my teenage years, many things changed in my family, and unfortunately the cookies were unable to be made. During that challenging time in our life, my sister and I grasped for family, tradition, and what was our norm. That was when my role as cookie maker began. It took me a while to get the hang of it, the recipes literally made hundreds of each type. It was a lot of work that first year, but the joy the cookies brought back to my family was immeasurable.  It was then I realized how important those little balls of butter and sugar were.

I am proud to say this is my 11th year of baking cookies for the holidays. I have to say, I think I have it down to a science now. My husband and mom are amazing helpers. I have a system and a Kitchen Aid mixer, that do the trick. I still make thousands of cookies each year, although I have cut down a little from my grandmother’s recipes. I devote one weekend out of December to coat myself and our kitchen in sugar. I love how much my family enjoys the treats, and how my husband’s family has grown accustom to receiving them too. I shipped them all over the country, to the family we don’t get to see, so they may have a taste of our holiday. My grandfather is my number one fan, and the ultimate cookie monster.  He lives in Pennsylvania so we even Facetime him in to the baking process, like he is right there in the kitchen with us. And of course he gets the biggest package in the mail.

It doesn’t matter what your family tradition may be. Whether it is big or small, if it is cookies or matching pjs on Christmas Eve, tradition is tradition.  And it is truly be what Christmas and the holidays are all about. I am proud to carry on my family’s tradition and look forward to handing the torch to someone else one day. I am excited to share with you some of our favorite recipes. And  I hope to inspire you to carry on or start your own traditions during the holidays.

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps…. means a little bit more.”