Dawn Tolbert

Writer
#366Days

A Whole Lotta Baking Going On #366Days Day 8

Christmas cookies on cooling trays

When we were first married, I had the bright idea that I would like to bake Christmas cookies for our neighbors. We lived on Prior Street then, nestled in a neighborhood of older adults who’d lived there for years. It was a beautiful small community in which to begin our life together. Those folks — the Davises, the Lockridges, and Miss Travis Haney — all took such an interest in us, and baking cookies for them seemed a great way to show our appreciation. So bake my cookies I did.

I always loved baking Christmas cookies with my mom (still do!), and I wanted a way to continue it as an adult without having to actually eat the tons of cookies myself! When I was little, of course, the process involved a rolling pin and lots of flour, but that was back when there was more than one of us to clean the kitchen! I’m lucky if I’m able to find time to stir together the Betty Crocker cookie mix and get it on the pan. [I really don’t know how my mom did it, working full time and having three kids.]

Larry loved the idea of taking cookies to everyone and quickly added it to his list of Christmas Expectations. There were years when it would have been easier not to bake the cookies, when I really didn’t want to, but I’m glad he didn’t let me quit. I used to huff that of course he liked Cookie Weekend, his job is to get to be Santa-like and deliver the cookies. The mixing, baking, cleaning, and boxing part is my job. I’m not really Scrooge or the Grinch; you see, I’d just assumed at some point I’d be making the cookies with my own kids and Cookie Weekend was just a reminder that my own list of Christmas Expectations seemed to have crumbled in my hands. At some point though, I’m not even sure when, I found myself looking forward to the cookie baking again.

christmascookiesinboxesIMG_6773This year, I cleared 19 dozen cookies in a baking frenzy that started somewhere around 6:30 a.m. and lasted, off and on, for most of the day.

I was waxing all philosophical, thinking of the great heritage I was continuing. Of my mother, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers who had baked for their families and friends. And then I caught myself yelling “Hey Siri. Set a timer for 2 minutes.” I just had to laugh. See, in this crazy future world, it wasn’t enough to have the microwave timer to time the cookies; I needed my smart phone to tell me when the batch fresh from the oven needed to cool before heading to the cooling rack. I had to wonder what my grandmother would think of such a thing!

Sometimes you just need to laugh at yourself and enjoy the adventure.

P.S. — Yes, as I told my former band director in the grocery store, there are houses for sale in our neighborhood, in case you want in on Cookie Weekend 2016. 🙂

 

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