It’s that time of year!
All over the country mothers and grandmothers are busy in the kitchen baking cookies with their kids and grandkids. On Facebook I see post after post of beautifully decorated cookies and smiling faces of children with their mother as they happily put their special touch on the cookies made to look like snowmen and angels and reindeer. So many creative women out there making wonderful memories with their children.
Then there’s me. Mother of the year – NOT!
When my girls were little I wanted to be that mother who makes such memories for her children by following that tradition of making cookies for Christmas. I got out my cookbooks and looked for recipes that said “easy to make.” All excited, I brought my little girls into the kitchen, sat them up at the counter and explained how we would start our own tradition and have these wonderful bonding moments making memories to last a lifetime.
We followed the recipe and put the cookies in the oven. When the timer went off, we eagerly opened the door expecting to have these wonderful cookies to decorate. The cookies were a disaster. They looked burned to a crisp.
Not one to give up easily, we made a new batch and tried again this time taking them out earlier. The cookies were still a disaster. This time they were gluey and clearly not done completely in the middle.
We pressed on!
I tried valiantly several times to make Christmas cookies before I finally accepted the fact that I don’t do cookies. No matter what recipe I used, no matter how hard I tried, my cookies were always too hard, too soft, overdone, under-cooked. In other words, I don’t do cookies.
I make a mean apple pie. At family gatherings, my kids and grandkids always ask for my banana pudding or peach cobbler. My husband requests my black forest cake and it is always a hit at potlucks or parties. But cookies? I don’t do cookies!
Hopefully my daughters were not scarred by being the only kids in the family who did not make Christmas cookies with their mother. Hopefully my grandchildren have not felt disappointed that Grandma never had plates of delicious, beautiful decorated cookies to eat at Christmas time.
Papa to the rescue!
This year my husband has come to my rescue. He makes wonderful jumbo raisin cookies using his mother’s recipe. When my youngest granddaughter came over today he took her into the kitchen and patiently helped her crack eggs, toast walnuts and showed her how to make cookies.
Papa makes the best cookies in the world!
Sampling the cookies when they came out of the oven looking just right, my granddaughter declared, “Papa makes the best cookies in the world!” She was right. They are delicious!
We made other memories!
Despite my total lack of cookie-baking ability, I know my girls and I made other good memories at Christmas time.
- Wooden Christmas decorations we painted one year that they still have on their tree
- Watching the movie, “Popeye”
- Snuggling in bed and reading the “Ugly Joke Book”
- Decorating the tree
So as I look at all the Facebook posts of beautiful Christmas cookies, I thank God for all those mothers out there making memories. But I want to encourage those mothers whose house does not look like it was decorated by Good Housekeeping, whose cookies are a flop, and whose Christmas presents are not elegantly wrapped.
Just love your children and laugh with them. Cookies or not, they will love you too and treasure their Christmas memories.