Christmas Tradition #4: Baking Cookies
I’m sure you’re familiar with the Christmas tradition of baking cookies, and our family is no exception. Each December, we would bake cookies with Anny. First, let me paint a picture of my dear sweet Anny, my mom’s mother. She is an actual saint and I’m sure if Martha Stewert has a role model, it is my Anny. She is an incredible cook and every person who has eaten her Thanksgiving meal agrees it is the best they’ve ever had. And she has more than just a knack for home decor. Walking into Anny and Pap’s house at Christmas time automatically puts you in the Christmas spirit.
Anny would invite the cousins over for an afternoon of baking cookies, sand tarts in particular. She would lovingly instruct us as we fumbled through making the cookie dough from scratch. Of course there were mistakes and spills, and she never got angry with us, just enforced that it was fine and we were making memories. I remember one afternoon in particular when my cousin, Megan, accidentally used salt instead of sugar in one batch. Anny quickly rectified the situation, “That’s ok! We’ll use these for decorations!” And then we laughed and laughed and it’s still one of my favorite Christmas stories. The Year of the Salty Sand Tart.
Now let’s fast forward to baking Christmas cookies in my own home and SPOILER ALERT: my sister, Andrea, ended up becoming a home ec teacher, Megan makes all of the clothing her family wears, and I have not one domestic bone in my entire body. Apparently I am unable to recall anything that Anny ever taught me. Brace yourself… this isn’t pretty.
Me: Hey Kids! Let’s make Christmas cookies today!
Jacob: Do we have the ingredients to make Christmas cookies?
Me: *scours through cabinets, not looking for actual ingredients, just the bag of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix I bought at least 14 months ago*
Also Me: Ah! Yes! Here it is! Wait, do we have butter… butter.. YEP! Ok! Let’s make some cookies!
The kids were excitedly running around the kitchen island and Jacob started playing Christmas music as I pulled all of the baking materials out. All of a sudden Ceci stopped and looked down at her feet. There was a giant puddle of pee pooling around her. “MOMMY! I’m sorry! I’m just so a-cited!” So, potty trainings going well… but that’s another story. We quickly cleaned the floor and her, but didn’t let this tinkle speed bump ruin our Christmas momentum.
And to give the experience a little danger, I lifted each kid onto a rotating bar stool and pushed them up to the island. As I dumped the cookie contents into a mixing bowl, Jacob gave each of them a wooden spoon. I brought the bowl over to Piet first, and he “helped” me stir by flicking spoonfuls of ingredients all over. Then Ceci, and she was a much more graceful helper, barely moving the batter at all.
During the ball rolling portion of our cookie experiment, Ceci determined she would rather make worms than balls. And Piet.. well, let’s just say I had to channel my inner hockey goalie, deflecting Piet’s relentless attempts to score some cookie dough.
Just then Jacob exclaimed, “IS THAT PEE?” “Who? Ceci again?” “No, Piet!” I looked at the chair he was sitting in, and sure enough, somehow Piet wet through his diaper and all over the chair and floor. Pee Clean Up – The Sequel. But we weren’t finished making Christmas memories, so we trudged through.
I tossed the misshapen cookie balls and worms into the oven and just hoped for the best. I never actually wait for the oven to preheat the whole way, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when Jacob tried one and immediately spit it out. Apparently they were “raw” and I was “trying to kill someone.” So after the kids decorated the cookies (but mostly the island) with sprinkles, I put them in for longer. And they were fine. Everything was fine.
Sure, I’m not capable of teaching my children to bake cookies from scratch, but I hope they’ll remember this pee soaked experience fondly. I know I will! And I look forward to another batch of Betty Crocker’s best next Christmas!