For a number of years my heart has just not been into
To me, the task is not about the end result of tins and containers
stocked with cookies, sweets, and candies but rather the
event of baking: getting out the recipe cards all stained with food coloring,
sugar and butter and then choosing the ones to make;
listing the ingredients to buy;
selecting the perfect cookie cutters to use;
measuring, pouring, beating, you know the drill.
The happiness that came from this activity was not in the sweet smells from the oven, but the chatter of children's voices above the Christmas carols being played in the background.
Somehow, after my children grew up and moved away,
missing them during times like baking for Christmas was too much.
I stopped baking more than a token of basic cookies.
I longed for the spilling of sprinkles and red sugar crystals, the sticky floors,
the laughter, the little angel wings broken while frosting, the pleas of
"Can't I eat just one more?"
That whole exhausting bustle of it all.
This pre-Christmas week's visit of my granddaughter revived the baker in me!
Dust off that rolling pin and let the vanilla pour!
Of course we wear sundresses under our aprons when baking Christmas cookies--
it is Texas, after all!
Licking the beaters has become a controversial topic due to the raw eggs,
but a taste shared with a black and white friend didn't seem too risky.
She carefully and selectively frosted every one of the shapes,
choosing the colors wisely.
"The stars MUST be yellow, Grandma!"
Creamy mint candies were tedious as the rolling of the balls went on forever.
She stuck with it and we had lengthy conversations about life and Santa Claus
and best friends while we rolled.
Occasionally we broke into spontaneous song as a favorite came on the radio.
The following day, the various tins were laid in a row and we made up plates of
our pretty fancies. Christmas cards were addressed, bows applied and my little elf skipped through the neighborhood, delivering the goodies to the houses.
She looked like Little Red Riding Hood who traded her hood for a Santa hat.
Our street is so safe, but Popeye watched for any signs of the Big, Bad Wolf.
Just in case.
Her enthusiasm and happiness spread cheer to all.
Her brief delivery visits were sweeter than the goods in the basket.
And I am humming and smiling as I scrape dried cookie dough
off the floor and cabinets (and the dog!).
I remember why I enjoy Christmas baking.