Over the weekend we had the most wonderful time at my in-law’s house. The kids participated in a very special tradition – making Christmas cookies with their Nana and Papa.
The previous years JH&S were too small to help, but this was their year. I’m not sure who had more fun! The kids loved getting their little hands dirty and Nana and Papa (and Mom and Dad too) loved watching their excitement in learning something new.
Here are a few words from Nana on what this tradition means to her:
One of the most precious items I received from my Grandma Mary was her apple cookie jar. It sits on a shelf in my china cabinet and every time I look at it I am reminded of all the wonderful memories of helping Grandma make sugar cookies.
The other day I was sitting on the couch in the toy room and Jase walks up and points behind me and asks “What’s that Nana?” I told him that was my Nana’s cookie jar. He said, “It looks like and apple, Nana.” I said yes, but it’s a very special cookie jar that belonged to my Nana. He just smiled and said,“oh” and went about his way playing with the toys.
That made me remember all the times I stood on a chair in my Grandma’s kitchen helping to make her oh so yummy sugar cookies.
She would roll out the dough and we would place our cookie cutters oh so carefully so the shapes would be just right. I remember her having mostly stars, bells, and trees. We’d spend hours watching her roll out the dough and we in turn would cut out the shapes over and over again until all that was left of the dough was a small round ball which Grandma patted flat and placed on the cookie sheet to bake.
Then we would have to wait for the cookies to come out of the oven and cool before we could ice them. Most of the time we just sprinkled them with colored sugar before they went in the oven to bake, but sometimes Grandma would put a thin coating of icing on them when they cooled and we sprinkled silver BB looking balls on them. These were really special decorations and they were so hard that Grandma would always tell us not to crunch them or we might break a tooth. But, it was just like not biting a Tootsie Roll pop, you just had to and then crunch and Grandma would laugh.
I always enjoyed baking with my Grandma and so I always had Matt and Erin help make the Christmas cookies every year, thus another tradition began. First me with my Grandma and then with my children and now with my grandchildren. Lots of flour, sticky fingers and memories for a lifetime.
By the time the cookies were cut and ready to bake, Henley was a professional, Sadie was covered in flour, and Jase just wanted to know when he could eat the cookies.
After baking and cooling it was time to paint…literally…with paint brushes dipped in icing. So much fun and pretty tasty too. Jase did taste test a few fingers full of icing before he was though.
In the end, too many angels and reindeer were eaten before they were completely decorated and there was a huge “messy, messy” as the kids would say.
JH&S may or may not have been on a sugar high. I can tell you for sure though the adults were on a happiness high. I can’t wait until next year.
Do you have any family traditions during Christmastime? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!