In the Crawford household, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the cookies. My sister’s favorites were Russian Tea Cakes and Thumbprint. Mine were Sugar Cookies, rolled out and cut with the star, bell and angel cookie cutters. My mom would always buy more tins of red and green sugar, even if we still had some left over from the last time we decorated the cookies. And if we had enough time and didn’t forget the molasses, we would also make Gingerbread Men. We used raisins, cinnamon red hots and icing to make eyes, jackets, buttons and hair. Most of those ended up in the stockings on the fireplace mantle.
More than anything, it was the smell of baking that I remember most. My sister was the Records Manager in a police station. One of her favorite gifts for the officers was a platter of cookies. She’d bake 5 dozen of each kind. Invariably, some would disappear as my other sister and I would sneak a couple from her gift platters. Everyday after work, she would come home, make the cookie dough and begin baking whatever batch was the flavor of the day.
I also love Christmas cookie exchanges. I worked at the Detroit Medical Center and one of the office staff asked each of us to make a dozen cookies for 15 people. Fifteen dozen cookies for just me and Terrance lasted well into the New Year. Even though there were 15 of us, no two people made the same kind of cookie. My favorite of those was the peanut butter cookie with the Hershey’s kiss in the middle. I don’t think I’ve ever made them, but still look for them at Christmas parties.
While I was in St. Clair, on Christmas Eve, between services, I would spend time with friends, decorating Christmas cookies. My job was to take instructions from their 3-year-old child, who was an expert on how the icing had to be placed just right. Two dozen cookies later, we’d select the best ones to set aside for Santa.
Christmas cookies were a welcome offering for carolers who came by our house. And for two of the churches I served, it was a way to let people — who are struggling with this joyous season– know that they are remembered and comforted.
Whatever your Christmas traditions, I hope you have a blessed and Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year. God be with you, And Amen.
The next Puzzler’s Corner blog post will be Wednesday, January 8, 2020