Holiday traditions are as wonderfully diverse as the families who practice them. In conjunction with my new release Bear Creek Christmas, allow me to share some of mine!
The following excerpt is taken from my new release, Bear Creek Christmas.
Knox produced matching holiday aprons from one of the bags, and they got busy. Levi turned on the radio for background music, and they started churning out pan after pan of lightly browned pine trees, stars, bells, and other familiar shapes. The cabin soon filled with the sweet butter and sugar aroma of fresh-baked cookies. Per Knox, any broken or defective ones were immediately eaten as a part of “quality control”.
The delight on Levi’s face was obvious as he relived happy memories of doing this with his family, and they began decorating the cookies with frosting, colored sugar, sprinkles, and nonpareils. They decided to give away the best ones and keep all the boo-boos to eat—though if Knox kept chowing them down like popcorn, there wouldn’t be any left at all. But, it didn’t matter because they were having fun and making memories of their own.
Aside from store-bought candy, our holiday included cookies and other treats. My mother went all-out for Christmas, providing us with a steady supply of snacks that only showed up in December.
As mentioned in the above quote, sugar cookies were one of the things we got to help make and decorate. The mouthwatering aroma was distinct and provoked memories of warmth, family, and good times. Mom would roll out the dough and bring out a set of well-used aluminum cookie cutters in basic shapes: bells, balls, stars, and pine trees. After they cooled, we slathered on colored powdered-sugar frosting—concerned more about taste than presentation.
Other yummy seasonals appeared, including fudge with walnuts, divinity, snowballs, thumbprint cookies, meringue cookies, glass candy, peanut brittle, and popcorn balls. Despite the long list, I’ve probably forgotten some things. Another classic for us was an extra-large box of Russel Stover candies that included a “map” of what each variety was by its location in the box. The chocolate/caramel turtles always disappeared first, and nobody liked the ones with coconut.
Two things come to mind as I reminisce. First, how did my mother find the time to make all this stuff for a household of thirteen? Second, I’m horrified by the amount of white flour, sugar, corn syrup, and margarine we consumed every year. I set aside those unhealthy eating habits long ago, but the dangers weren’t known or discussed back then. Still, the memories are worth savoring, and I lived to tell the tale.
Your turn to share. Please tell me what you and yours do for the holidays!